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Author Topic: Huge fear of Lymphoma  (Read 275 times)

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Offline mwolfy

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Huge fear of Lymphoma
« on: July 14, 2014, 01:08:00 PM »
So I'm new to this forum.  I have always been completely OCD with my health.  I take medication for generalized anxiety but can't seem to shake the idea that I'm dying of some serious illness all the time.  I'm a 34 year old mother of three young children. My mom passed away at the age of 34 from Leukemia (originally diagnosed as Lymphoma) back in 1984.  I ALWAYS think that I have lumps and bumps everywhere that will diagnose me with Lymphoma.  About a month ago I came down with a bad sore throat which turned out to be strep throat (had a culture done, my kids all had it too).  Well I finished 10 days of antibiotics and got another sore throat.  Went back to doctor and did another round of antibiotics.  I'm feeling healthy and fine now but during these sore throat issues I noticed I have some large lymph nodes in my neck.  One in particular is really worrying me.  I showed the doctor, he just said it's a lymph node and was slightly swollen at the time because I was sick.  Well now I'm feeling better and can't stop poking and prodding at it.  It's STILL there and I swear it's lymphoma.  I don't know what to do?  I feel like it's definitely cancer and can't eat or sleep.  It consumes me all day long.  Anyone else deal with this fear?  I'm thinking of going back to the doctor to have it looked at again.  My problem is that I never believe my doctors either.  It's so miserable living like this :(
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Offline mwolfy

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 04:07:55 PM »
Just bumping this up, hoping to get someone who can relate or tell me I'm okay!  :spineyes:
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Offline Aimee1875

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 05:31:40 PM »
I also have a huge fear of lymphoma. One day I felt my neck and swore down there was a lump but there was nothing really there,just a muscle I think. But I kept touching and touching and before I knew if,a lump appeared. Fast forward almost 5 months and I still have the lump in my neck and my doctor told me it was a lymph node and it wasn't abnormal. Now,because I poked and prodded,that's the reason I still have it! So please don't keep touching it because it will take even longer to go down and you'll constantly worry. Even though after 5 months and it hasn't got any bigger or changed,I still believe it's lymphoma. But you've not been well so that will be the reason your lymph nodes are swollen! Please don't stress over it and try not to annoy it,even though I know it's a difficult thing to do. I hope your mind get put to rest soon! X
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Offline mwolfy

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 07:03:28 PM »
Thank you so much for the response!  I didn't realize that I'm probably irritating it more. I keep digging in my neck to feel it ALL DAY long. I'm having a hard time focusing in anything else. But your comment makes total sense!  I'm going to use all my will power NOT to touch it. Also, schedule another appt with the doc to see about dealing with my health anxiety problem (and have him double check my lymph node).
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Online playmaker093

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 07:21:58 PM »
I know there may not be a direct link, but my lymph nodes seem to be bigger to me when I'm stressed and poking for them.
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Offline Aimee1875

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 06:59:07 AM »
Exactly,try and not annoy it because when I left it,it seemed to go down and feel a bit more squishy rather than hard. I'm sure you'll be fine!! I was touching it all the time and I was getting really upset because it just never seemed to go away,but now I doesn't bother me as much because I know that after 5 months,surely it would have changed or I would be having other symptoms x
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Offline broker556

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 11:09:57 AM »
Well,  I just had a lymph node removed and it was not cancerous.  It was swollen for 3 months and my ENT told me it was nothing to worry about, but that was not good enough for me.  After 3 months of begging her she finally removed it and it came back non cancerous.  You will get thur this.  Good Luck
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Offline mwolfy

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 08:53:57 PM »
So I went to the doctor today and he examined all the major areas if lymph nodes (neck, chest, under arms, groins) and said I have no enlarged lymph nodes. I showed him the one the bothered me and he said it is not enlarged and is under 1cm and nothing to worry about. He said he will do bloodwork to ease my mind so I went and had my blood drawn. I am so terrified of the results. Why am I so crazy?  My husband is frustrated with me that I don't believe my doctors and always go back for second opinions. I hate being a crazy over my health but my concerns always seem so real in my head!
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Offline AnxiousMD

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 12:15:48 AM »
You're ok.  Cancerphobia is a real thing and can be very, very difficult to combat.  I think the fact that there is a family history makes it reasonable that you are being diligent, but don't let it consume you.

Couple of things:
1) You had a sinus infection that took 2 course of antibiotics to fight off.  That's a lot of infection to clear and those nodes in your neck is where alot of the fighting took place.  They swelled to help fight things off and it will take time for them to shrink back down, sometimes a couple of months.  Also, lymph nodes don't like to be touched so the more you poke it, the more inflamed they become.

2) you've seen your doctor who checked them and felt they were fine.  Plus you have no other nodes to speak of.  That's also reassuring. 

3) There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion if it will put your mind at ease.  But, if the 2nd opinion is the same as the first, then you need to trust them. 

Long story short - I've had an "enlarged" node in my neck for 3 years.  My doctors could barely feel it, but it felt huge to me.  Normal blood work, normal CTs, normal MRI, THREE ENT docs all saying it's fine (hey, I'm thorough), still obsessed endlessly about it.  In the end what finally helped it stop hurting and slowly return to normal was realizing I was doing the damage to it by constantly prodding it and letting go.  It's not easy to do and there are still days I have a small nagging voice in the back of my head, but it's been the best thing for my health. 

When the labwork is normal, make a promise to yourself to leave it alone for at least 1-2 months.  It's going to be very hard to do, but it's important that you give it time to recover.  After the 2 months if you still think about it and it's not any smaller, talk to your doctor again.  Most likely, though, after 2 months of leaving it alone it will be smaller or even back to normal size. 

You'll be ok.
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Offline mwolfy

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2014, 10:49:06 AM »
Thank you so much for your reply. It helps me think logically when I read what you wrote. Of course, I STILL in my head believe it's lymphoma and I'm dreading the blood results. I'm trying to not touch my node but it's hard to ignore it.
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Offline rogueknits

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Re: Huge fear of Lymphoma
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2014, 12:21:21 PM »
I too have a huge fear of lymphoma (or any type of cancer--anytime something is "off" with me that's where my mind goes). Right now, I have a swollen lymph node in my cheek and at least one in my neck. My ENT was not worried about it and was surprised I even found the one in my cheek (it feels huge to me!). I'm trying not to worry, but of course I keep checking it and pressing on it, which isn't helping. Now the whole area is kind of sore and irritated, which is only making my anxiety worse (but I'm telling myself it's just from constantly rubbing the area). I don't have much advice, except try to keep busy and take your mind off of it. One thing that helps me is to remind myself that I don't have any other symptoms--no fever, aches, night sweats, etc. I'm sure your bloodwork will come back normal.

Lymph nodes can take a good long time to go back to normal after they've gotten swollen, and sometimes they just stay enlarged. I have one in the back of my neck near my skull that is just always on the large side. It freaks me out a little sometimes, but I remind myself that it's been that way for years now with no ill effects.
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