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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Please help: should I be worried?!?


 SarahAnne - Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:59 pm

I'm a 24 year-old female. I have had a large lymph node in my left neck (where the jaw & ear meet) for over 2 1/2 years. It can be felt easily. It doesn't hurt. (I had mono about 4 years ago, but have been fairly healthy up until the last 6 months or so). The past few months I have been very tired & have had a low grade fever on and off. I have also noticed that my skin was pretty dry and itchy (don't know if that has anything do with it.) Anyway, after antibiotics did nothing, my GP did a CT scan which showed "numerous enlarged lymph nodes greater than 3 cm". However she said she wasn't concerned. So I took it upon myself to see and ENT. He's scheduled for me for a tonsillectomy and removal of the biggest lymph node (the one that I've felt for years) for biopsy. However, that's over a month a way. He says not to worry myself to death, but he also said that the size & location of this largest lymph node make him a little suspicious. I don't want to worry over nothing, but I don't want to convince myself I'm okay only to be shocked to find out somethings really wrong. Any advice or insight?
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:54 pm

Dear SarahAnne,

well, the site of the lymph node is usually benign ...not to worry you...but the size is big! if it's 3 cm ...what about the other lymph nodes...are they also the same size?and are they only around that big one or in different areas? did they mention anything about its consistency? how does it feel to you...soft like your ear lobule or firm like the tip of your nose?

do u have tonsillitis (inflammation in your tonsils) ? and has it been going on for quite sometime...ever since you noticed that Lymph node? or did they just suggest its removal?

Well, let me know ok? and you'll be more comfortable once they remove it (excisional biopsy) and check the nature of its cells.

I don't want you to be worried...all will be fine :wink:

Best Regards,
 SarahAnne - Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:47 pm

Thank you so much for responding!!! I truly appreciate it!!!

It feels like the tip of my nose, not an earlobe. I'm not sure that I mentioned it, but it keeps slowly getting bigger. The other enlarged lymph nodes vary in size from 1-3 cm. They are on both sides of my neck, but most of them are on the left side (where the big one that they are removing is located). They haven't said anything about consistency. Although when my ENT & his radiologist looked at the CT they said that a few "looked a little suspicious." No I haven't had problems with my tonsils lately. Back 6-10 years ago, I had tonsillitis and strep throat all the time. My ENT just said that they had grown large and they had folds in them. I'm honestly not sure what that means. He just suggested taking them out.

I guess I just feel like they aren't telling me honestly what they are thinking, and all I really want is to be leveled with. If they really think that they're fine, I wish they would just say so. Or, if they are suspecting that they are malignant, I wish that they would tell me that. I just kind of want to be prepared. Any more thoughts & advice is greatly appreciated. Again thank you so much!!!
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:36 pm

Dear SarahAnne,

well, if it feels like the tip of your nose then that's worrying...but it can be residual from your previous mono...? nothing is certain unless we see the lymph node's cells under the microscope and determine their nature...?

have you noticed any lymph nodes anywhere else?!for an example,under your armpit, aroun dthe groin,etc?

removing the tonsils is just a procedure ...just to rule out its involvement...

I wouldn't worry if i were you, just go with the flow...eat alot of ice cream and cold drinks after the tonsillectomy :wink: ....and then we'll see if we should worry or not after the biopsy,ok?!:-)
Best wishes,
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:54 pm

Dear SarahAnne,

I was doing a quick review and I just want to make sure they've taken that biopsy for your lymph node?! lymph nodes in the neck are most likely to be malignant until proven otherwise with biopsy,ok!?

keep me updated,Best wishes,
 SarahAnne - Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:44 am

Thanks so much for caring enought to check back! It may sound funny, but it really means a lot. I haven't told my family about all of this, so its good to know someone cares!

He wanted to schedule my tonsillectomy and biopsy for the same day, so its Monday, April 25. I am scared to death. I did some checking and think I might have found some lymph nodes in my armpit. I can't decide if there is really something there, or if I'm so freaked out that I think I'm feeling something. How long does it usually take to get biopsy results?

Again, thanks so much for taking the time to reply! It means more than you will ever know!!!
 SarahAnne - Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:58 am

I almost forgot. Normally, my lymph nodes don't hurt, but after drinking alcohol, they hurt the next day. It's not like a hangover headache, it is actually in my neck where the lymph nodes are. For a while I thought that maybe I had just slept wrong, but now I've noticed that its only after I have been drinking the night before. Does that sound really weird?

Thanks!!!
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:53 am

Dear SarahAnne,

That's my pleasure and it's always great to revise stuff again :wink:
Well, Alcohol is definately linked to some cancers especially with substantial alcohol intake...and what makes it even worse is smoking...!! I know it's a bad custom/habit,but people have to control it... :(

and that pain you got in your neck is called neuralgia(pain in the nerves)following alcohol consumption ...because Alcohol causes damage to nerves as well.

how big are the lymph nodes under your arm pit...because sometimes they are non-specific (due to an infection or from the long use of deodorants)

Listen....take it easy, let's see what will the biopsy show....it really depends on the lab ,so it might take from 2-5 days?!

keep me updated,
best wishes,
 SarahAnne - Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:22 am

Well, the good thing is, I don't smoke at all. I only drink every couple of weeks. I am so ready for the biopsy. It's the waiting and wondering that is the worst!!!

The lymph nodes in my armpit are tiny. That's why I'm not sure if I'm really feeling them or if I'm just going crazy!!! (It's probably a little of both! Ha, ha!!!)

Monday is the big day. Both the tonsillectomy and biopsy are being done at the same time. My ENT said that I should take off of work for at least 10-14 days? I think that seems a little excessive. Is that really necessary? I'm a broker and really can't afford to be gone that long. Would it hurt me to come to work on Wednesday or Thursday? Again, many thanks!!!
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:07 pm

Dear SarahAnne,

well, tonsillectomy is not a major operation...although it's more uncomfortable for adults than children. If things went smoothly with no complications then you can get back home after a week ....not more may be less.

you'll just have the biopsy wound and if you take good care of it while you go to work,then it's ok,u'll go back to remove the stitches unless they did cosmetic ones.
Good luck!!

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