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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Enlarged Spleen, Swollen Lymph Node(s) scared.

 altosdad - Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:53 am

I am a 38 year old white male. I have never smoked (although my mother did) and don't really drink. I am + 20 lbs over my target weight but am active.

About a month ago I developed a pain in my upper abdomen just below my rib cage. After this did not go away for a couple of days I went to my doctor and she also discovered that I had some swollen lymph nodes, some white spots on my throat (which was NOT sore), and a low grade fever (~100). I was feeling good enough not to have even noticed those. She told me that the pain was from a swollen spleen but that my stomach seemed fine. (No pain there during examination)

Even though I had mono at 18 she said she thought it was mono and ordered blood tests and told me to take it easy. Also ordered a ultrasound to check for gallstones.

I went home rested and began to feel better.

Well about 8 days ago the "stitch" in my side came back, not as bad as before but definitely there. I also can now easily appreciate at least one hard (yet painless) swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck. What makes it worse is that about 4 days ago my night time thermostat went nuts. I don't have the classic symptoms of what I read are "night sweats" as I am not "drenched" but I don't have a fever, yet am "hot" in a cool room without excessive bed covers or clothes. Not drenched in sweat but lightly sweaty and hot enough to be unable to sleep. (Hence why I am writing this at nearly 5AM)

After reading up on the net a bit (I had two premature children, 2 years apart, so I know about the good and the bad of information on the net) it seems that the best fit for the symptoms are lymphoma's.

Frankly, at this point I am really getting scared. I am planning on going to my doctors tomorrow and just wanted anybody here's thoughts on what is going on and what to ask / say to make sure I get the right tests.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:09 pm

User avatar Hello -

They symptoms you describe are equally applicable to mono and lymphoma. However, since you have a history of past mono you could definitely be having a recurrence, even though these are relatively rare. Epstein-Barr viral infections can lay dormant for decades, and this is statisically the more likely cause of what's happening now. Regardless, you of course should have all the appropriate tests, starting with a mono-spot blood test, which could settle things right off. If that's negative it still doesn't mean you have lymphoma, but that would then need to be ruled out/in and the appropriate action taken.

The white spots in your throat cause me to lean heavily toward E-B virus/mono recurrence, as this is fairly typical for that.

Please do follow up with us once you've been re-evaluated by your doctor. Best of luck to you.
 altosdad - Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:29 pm

Here is an update.

Mono tests were negative. So I had a abdominal CT and multiple blood work-ups checking basic blood chemistry and liver, pancreas, and kidney functions. Also a check of urine and stool for blood.

All of the tests and the scan were normal. So at least, for right now, I have been told that it does not look like any of the "big nasty" forms/types of cancer. I am VERY relived for that.

However, I still have symptoms. The "night sweat" like symptoms have gone (hurray) but I still have upper abdominal pain and occasionally (2 x week) have light bouts of nausea.

So it has gone from very scary to quite frustrating. I have a GI followup in about 2 weeks (around end of Sept 2008). I assume they are going to be looking for ulcer and will order endoscopy of stomach and probably colonoscopy.

At this point I am happy to do the tests if it leads to an explanation. I am not in terrible pain, but I am quite uncomfortable and really want to know what is going on with me.

Any advice or thoughts that I should be asking the GI would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks so much.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:26 am

User avatar Well great news about the blood work! Now that the Big Nasties have been ruled out (and the night sweats have stopped) hopefully you can relax a little. Still, there is something going on that needs addressing so you can resume your full enjoyment of life. The GI workup makes sense, since what you are now left with are potential ulcer or gastritis symptoms. The only thing I can think of you might want to mention to the gastroenterologist isn't so much a question as to be sure he/she understands how this all started and what symptoms it began with, which were apparently leading in the wrong direction. Keeping those in mind could well help a doctor connect the not-so-obvious dots.

Best of luck to you with this, and we'll be looking forward to an update.

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