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    Old 12-14-2004, 05:58 AM   #1
    Alyosha
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    One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Hello all and thanks for taking your time to read my post. I'm from Sweden and just found this board - I hope it is ok for non US-citizens to post.

    My wife and I visited Paris early September this year and about two weeks after returning I noticed that my left tonsil was enlarged. I was quite sure this hadn't been the case earlier, so when it was still there in late September, I visited a doctor. He felt the tonsil and said it was feeling alright and that it was probably some sort of a virus. A month passed, and it was still there. I contacted another doctor over the phone. She was very un-interested (I think I even heard a *sigh*) and told me that this was just normal. I told her that it's been this way for over a month and I insisted to get to visit. Ok, she said, I'll put you in the queue and you'll get a letter when it's your time.

    So, in the middle of november I went to see another doctor (not the one on the phone). At this time, I should say, I have had caught a numerous colds (catching a cold, feeling better for sometime, and then catching a cold again), but no high fever, no night-sweatings etc. Since it's almost winter, I thought that's just normal. She also felt the tonsil, which was the same size as when I noticed it (and still is) and I told her that my both lymph nodes under my jaw had been swallen. They always tend to get swallen when I have a flue though. She also thought that this was nothing to worry about but she called a specialist (ear-nose-throat) which suggested to wait for 3 more months and if nothing extraordinary happens during the time then let it be. At this time, she took a few blood tests which showed nothing.

    Now it's been one more month and this is the status: the tonsil is still noticably enlarged, but I actually think it hasn't been growing at all. My lymph nodes under my jaw is still enlarged, one about >1 cm and the other on about 2 cm - I can't tell if they have grown, maybe the 2 cm one a bit. About a week ago I noticed a pea-sized lymph node on the left side of my neck. And also two about pea-sized right above my both collar bones.

    All of this time I have searching the net for symptoms (maybe too much ), mainly because I keep catching colds. I should say that I have only been staying home from work for two days in the whole time and that was when I had a low fever. At the moment, it feels like I'm going to have a new fever though. And last night I panicked and started thinking about that I'm still really young (27) and that we will have our first child in februray. And now I'm as worried as I have never been. Today I called the doctor I visited the last time and I was allowed to visit almost immediately. I told her about my worries for lymphoma and she felt my swallen lymph nodes and also noticed one in my left groin - now both groins aches a bit after the investigation. She took a lot of blood tests, a urine test and also booked me up for a specialist on the hospital - I don't know when it will be though. I guess it will depend on the blood tests.

    It feels fine to finally (three months after I noticed the enlarged tonsil) have a proper examination, but I'm worrying _really_ much for what it will end up in.

    Additions: the nodes are movable and feels a bit soft/rubbery. I haven't felt particularly tired and have practiced sports from time to time (resulting in new colds though, but during the practicing I have felt just fine and not at all tired - except for the normal tiredness), the last time was last Saturday. I haven't lost any weight.

    Actually, I don't know why I posted. I just felt like talking to someone in a similar situation (or that have been there before) and it would be nice to hear if anyone has experienced anything similar. Maybe someone could let me know what they think? Maybe some encouraging words that this doesn't have to be lymphoma? Maybe some words about that if it is lymphoma, it still could be treated. Feel free to give comments on my situation and to ask follow-up questions! (maybe I have left something of importance out) My hope is that it is some kind of lengthy (not dangerous) virus and that the swallen nodes are associated with my colds/flues. Also, it feels hopeful that the tonsil hasn't been growing (from what I can see).

    Thanks again for your time.

    Best regards from Sweden.

    Last edited by Alyosha; 12-14-2004 at 06:09 AM.

     
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    Old 12-14-2004, 06:20 PM   #2
    Marimac
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    I am in the US and glad to read your letter. It sounds like you have had quite a problem getting medical attention. Sometimes colds and flu are really allergies and will cause swollen glands that are trying to protect the body from something that it feels is attacking it. Lymphoma is really pretty silent at first and the symptoms one hears about are usually when there is advanced disease. None of this takes the place of a good exam by your doctor though. Stress will also cause some one to be susceptible to colds and stress will cause enlarged lymph glands too. Tonisllitis is also an inflammatory illness that will cause lymph nodes to swell around the jaw area and although it is frustrating it is not dangerous. So hopefully you will get through this exam with just a good antibiotic and will feel much better.

     
    Old 12-14-2004, 08:05 PM   #3
    sally4501
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Hi. I am also from the US and am glad that you wrote your message. Unfortunately, I cannot give you any true medical advice, but I can tell you that I have been going through something similar, myself. About 6 weeks ago, I was stretching back and happened to run my hand across my neck, which is when I noticed a small, but swollen lymph node. That night, I did the worst thing that you can do -I got on the Internet and read all kinds of scary articles on Hodgkins, etc.. The next day, I made an appointment to see my doctor. My doctor ran blood tests and everything came back normal. When she saw me, she said that my throat was inflamed - although it did not feel sore to me. She gave me antibiotics because she thought I had an infection, which later came back that I did not. She asked to see me 2 weeks later. When I went back the second time, the lump had stayed the same size. She told me that she did not think it was anything serious, but wanted to see me 1 month later to make sure that it had not gotten bigger. In the meantime, she ordered a chest X-ray, which is also came out normal. About 1 1/2 weeks ago, I went to see her again and she tried to convince me that there is nothing seriously wrong with me. She said that the lymph node is only 3mm (it feels bigger to me) and that it is nothing to worry about.

    I'm sure that she is right, but every once in a while, I get extremely worried and am frightened that I have some form of cancer. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that I've been having to clear my throat alot. I don't know if this is related or not. I do have some allergies and about 1 week ago I had a minor cold. Perhaps this is the cause for me needing to clear my throat.

    To add to this worry, I am about 7-8 weeks pregnant. I continue to pray that the baby and I both remain healthy.

    Anyway, I'm sorry that I could not offer you any good advice, but hopefully it helps to know that you are not alone. Most likely, we are both alright. I agree, the Internet does provide useful information, but it can also cause needless worry.

    Best Regards from the US.

     
    Old 12-15-2004, 03:11 AM   #4
    Alyosha
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Thanks marimac and Sally for your posts.

    I feel with your worries Sally (especially since we're both about to be parents - something one would like to feel complete happiness about). Something you and me and the rest of us must try to do in our lives, is not to worry. It's hard just as it is and gets harder when you feel some sort of abnormality in your body. Still, none of us know what tomorrow holds. Evil things can (and probably will, at some point) happen to us, our family or our friends. The best thing we can do is to take one day at a time since there is nothing we can do until we know things for sure. They are easy words to say, but not that easy to live up to. Definately something to strive for though. I agree with your comments about the Internet. Very useful sometimes, but a lot of times we can't handle the extreme amount of information that is out there.

    Today I got the test results on my blood and everything seems to be fine according to my doctor. This calms me a bit, but I guess I won't be completely calm until I see the oncologist. Hopefully, this will happen soon.

    Thanks again for your posts and feel free to keep on posting!

    Last edited by Alyosha; 12-15-2004 at 03:15 AM.

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 02:06 AM   #5
    Alyosha
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Still really worried about this. Maybe someone know if three months is a long time (i.e. bad) before getting any help? I keep blaming myself for not getting the time at the oncologist until now (it will probably take at least one week from now until I get there as well). But at least I went to the doctor almost immediately when I saw the enlarged tonsil.

    The things that I try to repeat for myself is that the blood tests are good and that the tonsil that I noticed three months ago hasn't gotten any bigger. That must be good, right? Also, even though I've been keep catching colds during the last two months, I haven't had any fever (not high at least) until maybe for three weeks ago when I stayed home from work. But it has never been over Fahrenheit 100. Also, this week I have felt warm and fever-like, but not over 100 F this week either. Except for the enlarged tonsil I have only got one lymph node (below my cheek) that feels like it is around or over 2 cm (all the others or pea-sized, except for maybe one or two that are about 1 cm) - that must speak for that _if_ it is lymphoma, it hasn't gone _that_ far yet, or? Also, this large lymph node usally get enlarged when I have the cold.

    At the moment I am home from work, not mostly because of the low fever, but because of my anxiety. I can't think of something else at the moment, even though I try to force my self not to do that (as I mentioned yesterday, the blood tests calmed me, but as the idiot I am I found out that good blood tests doesn't exclude lymphoma )

    If someone has been in a similar situation or just want to say a few words. Please do..

    Last edited by Alyosha; 12-16-2004 at 02:16 AM.

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 02:43 AM   #6
    linacre
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    I have had an enlarged tonsil for the past three months, along with swollen lymph nodes in the neck, axillary region and groin, chest and abdominal pains, nausea and loss of appetite. I have had endless tests (CT chest and abdomen, MRI cervical and lumbar spine, needle aspiration, blood counts) without any significant abnormalities. My doctor recently tested for toxoplasmosis, which came back positive. He said that it would resolve itself naturally, but after two weeks the problem has still not disappeared. I am now about to start antibiotics to see if this has an effect.

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 06:52 PM   #7
    sally4501
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    I totally understand how you are feeling. Like you, I also have a lot of anxiety. It's better now than it was a month ago (shortly after I first discovered the enlarged lymph node), but I'm still scared. I tell myself that my blood tests came out alright, my chest Xray was normal, the Dr. told me that everything is fine (and she is a very thorough Dr.), but yet, I'm still afraid. Why isn't my enlarged lymph node going away??? Then, I wonder how long it has actually been there. I discovered it approximately 6 weeks ago, but it could have been there since last summer for all that I know.

    I hate this, I want to be totally focused on the baby growing inside me - but I keep having this negative feeling about my own health. Part of me feels selfish for feeling this way. I've also been praying alot and know that I should have more faith in God - but that's also hard. I just wish that this lump would go away!! Or, part of me almost feels likes getting it removed so that I would know with absolute certainty whether or not it is something serious, but I don't know if doing that would be safe for the baby since I am pregnant.

    I wish us both the best of health. Let me know how your oncologist appointment goes. Maybe I should meet with an oncologist myself?

    Take Care!

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 01:35 PM   #8
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    I too have the same symptoms and are getting no answers. Maybe someone has a clue as to what the heck is going on with me.
    I have had one swollen tonsil for four or so years. It has a white spot on it. At least 3 doctors have looked at it and no one seems concerned.
    Since August, I have had swollen lymph nodes on the same side (right side of neck). The lymph nodes in my groin area are on and off sore and swollen.
    I constantly get colds, I feel as if I am constantly sick. I have been getting severe migraines lasting days. I have brown/black floaters that impair my vision, daily.
    I physically have to lay down and rest in the midle of the day. I am always tired and feel like crap ALL the time. I have pain and a swelling on my lower left rib cage. My chest hurts and it feels as if I have a respitory infection of some sort, but I cough up nothing. Today, my lower back on the sides (kidney area) are really sore. I had a MRI (brain scan) last week and things seem fine. The doctor did an antibody titer test and my ASO titer was over 500. She said it indicated a past untreated strep infection. I have been on penicillin for four days so far. I don't feel any better and I can't stand it anymore!
    Another frightening change is that I cannot recall simple words, my short term memory is really bad all of a sudden-I am confused much of the time, and I forget what I am doing and can't concentrate on any one thing. It is so noticeable that several friends and family members have commented on it.
    Does anybody have an insight??? Could this all just be related to a strep infection???
    I really appreciate any feedback.
    Thanks!

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 02:03 PM   #9
    Marimac
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    The body is one single organ and everything is connected. Therefore if you have a strep infection it is affecting the whole body. The penicillin has not had time to kill the infection after four days, however, you will find your symptoms increasing as the fight between the antibiotic and the strep begins. The body will start to mount a force to fight the infection and you will perhaps run more fever than you did when not treated, you will experience more pain for a day or so and then in about 2 weeks you will start to feel better gradually. Chronic infection will wear down the body's immune system so that it does not put up much of a fight and then you have these odd little feelings that aren't right but not easy to describe either. So good luck and don't give up till the antibiotic is taken up and a couple of weeks have passed.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 02:07 PM   #10
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Thanks. I'm just a little impatient, as I want to feel normal again!!!Is it possible that I have had this infection for months?

     
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    Old 12-30-2004, 02:26 PM   #11
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    The body is constantly fighting off opportunistic infection. That is germs in the air we breathe etc. So, a small infection could start and overtime gradually build up without notice. Thank goodness we have antibiotics for this. Many times in the former centuries people just died without anyone ever knowing why.

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 01:28 PM   #12
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    hey... i have like the same problem. one of my tonsils is so big it feels like a tennis ball. I have noticed it over 1 year ago when it was enlarged slightly and i also had about 2 lympth nodes under my chin, I figured it was nothing, 2 weeks ago it got way bigger and swolen lympth nodes grew everywhere, i got tested and it turns out i got mono... even tho i know its mono, it still scares me to think why was it big 1 year ago when i didnt have mono, im still worrying and want to get a biopsy done to test for lymphoma. im wondering why it was slightly enlarged the first time i noticed it 1 year ago.

     
    Old 01-10-2005, 12:56 AM   #13
    Alyosha
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    I shouldn't really be back here on the board, since I try to stay off searching the Internet while waiting for a diagnosis. The Internet has given me more worries than calming, but I have to do something.

    Anyway, I'm posting a few words and hoping someone may give me a few words back.

    Christmas and new year has been really bad, mostly regarding thoughts in my head.

    Because of my concerns I got a time at the oncologist quite fast and visited her on Dec 22. They took a lot of blood tests and did a needle biopsy on one of my lymph nodes (the status on, the ones I can feel, are still: one tonsil and one lymph node below my cheek around 2 cm - none has gotten bigger from what I feel). I started to feel anxiety again just a couple of days after my visit - and so it has been from time to time until now (I nearly fainted because of a heart palpitation last friday). It is so hard to tell what is a real symptom and what is coming from my anxiety!

    I've had night sweats a couple of times. One of them was drenching, but strangely enough only around pelvis so I had to change underwear (not t-shirt). The other ones made me a bit wet under my arms, but nothing more. Last night though, I was quite wet on my t-shirt and underwear, but nothing that caused me to change it. Along with these strange night phenomenons I've had burning areas on my skin (mostly not areas that I would like to itch, more of a sun burn), mostly when I wake up in the night and in the mornings but also during the day. In the mornings I have also had chills (and also during the days, but nothing severe), that passes when I get up of bad. In the evenings the skin get more itchy, but no more than what I can handle and that passes if I don't itch (I should mention that I have had a sensitive skin all life, which has caused red patches if someone touches it or even small thick white patches (looks almost like non-symmetric mosquito bites) if I have hit me on something). I have also had troubles with my stomach where I have felt a pressure/ache below my right rib - something I have felt before the last years as well and thought of it as an irritable colon. I have had a pain in my groins from time to time as well, but not much lately. I have also had a high temperature, but I don't know if one could call it a fever. Seldom over 37.5 celsius degrees (never over 38 = Fahrenheit 100.4 I think), but also seldom below 36.5. It is at least more than I usually have had before in my life. I have had chills from time to time during the day as well, but nothing that wouldn't pass with some more clothes.

    Most of these symptoms did occur after or during the time one/a couple of weeks before christmas when my deep worries began (but I'm afraid to connect them to mental symptoms, even though some probably are). The symptoms I had before this "mental breakdown" (that is before christmas and during the fall) is a soar throat from time to time (not painful). Chills a few times (maybe 2 or 3). Early in December I also began to feel a muscular pain in my throat/neck (I think I described it earlier as well) both on the back of my neck and on the front - something that has come and gone and something that I connect to the lymph nodes (hopefully falsely).

    Anyway, on Jan 3rd I got the tests (blood and needle biopsy - something that didn't make me calm for long because of what I've read on the internet with uncertainty about needle biopies - I regret reading so much!) back and everything looked fine. My oncologist said that personally she isn't worried, but much because of my worries she will send me to ear/nose/throat for a removal of the 2 cm lymph node so that they can have a careful examination. She also will send me to do a CT of thorax and the abdomen. On both these examinations it would take "a couple of weels" (from the 3rd) until they can perform them.

    Because of my anxiety/worries I am thinking of maybe getting some help from a psychologist (will be first time if I do that) but I don't know if anything else will calm me than the examinations that will follow. Since I sit all day at work, there are a lot of space for thoughts, so I don't know if I will be able to work anymore.

    Feel free to comment on my thoughts (and ask questions). They were a bit unstructured (as my head at the moment), but hopefully possible to read. Thanks in advance!

    Last edited by Alyosha; 01-10-2005 at 01:02 AM.

     
    Old 01-10-2005, 02:05 AM   #14
    MonNiteFootball
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Hi there,
    First and foremost, the idea of cancer and an unknown diagnosis will give even the most balanced/centered person anxiety. You are NOT going crazy.
    You are human. Now, does that feel better?
    The time period prior to my original dx of cancer was actually harder than hearing the dx itself. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. Once you know what you are dealing with and how to deal with it, the control is back in your hands for the most part and things become clearer, including the roller coaster ride of your mind and emotions.
    A proper dx of yes or no definitively, is what is going to remove your anxiety my friend. So hussle those doctors up, REMOVE the 2cm node (needle biopsies are not recommended and that is advice from a top cancer surgeon; mine get the scans and get a clear answer. You don't necessarily need a psychologist. You simply need answers as to why you feel run down and have enlarged lymph nodes. That in and of itself seems to be the entire basis of your anxiety.
    I hope that helps.

     
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    Old 01-10-2005, 02:22 AM   #15
    Alyosha
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    Re: One enlarged tonsil and several swallen lymph nodes

    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, the lymph node IS going to be removed. Maybe I wasn't clear about that. It feels good to have it removed and doing a CT so that I have a complete investigation. But as you say, the time it takes to get to these examinations is really painful (mentally). I will talk to my oncologist today and see if she knows when I can come.

     
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