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  • Lumps in Neck for years - Stay Informed

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    Old 08-20-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
    Wiggin's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2010
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    Wiggin HB User
    Lumps in Neck for years - Stay Informed

    Hello to all my fellow Hypochondriacs,

    Please take that with a grain of salt. Although we are all here for legitimate reasons, I refer to us all as being hypochondriacs because we worry aimlessly, searching the internet for clues. WHAT WE ALL SHOULD BE DOING is scheduling MD appointments, and not worrying until a doctor, (or several doctors, if you aren’t convinced,) has told you to do so otherwise.

    I am posting so those who are in, or will be, in my situation have something to reference. To begin, let me just say, IF YOU FEEL ANY LUMP, ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY, GET IT CHECK MY A DOCTOR. NOW! With that said, this is my story.

    About 3 years ago, I was lying on the couch with my girlfriend and we both noticed a marble sized, soft, squishy lump on the back of my neck at the base of my hairline. Being that I come from a family that has been ravaged by cancer, I immediately became paranoid, and schedule a MD appointment. My family doctor, whom I trust dearly, informed me that it was not fixed to any tissue, and was solitary, thus he thought it was a cyst, and nothing to worry about.

    About 6 months passes and I continue to constantly feel around my neck. Around this time, I notice a second lump, about a centimeter in diameter, about halfway down my neck on the left side. I immediately begin to think the worst. I schedule an appointment with my new doctor in Philadelphia (at Temple University for school) to get it checked out. They note that this new lump appears to be two lymph nodes matted together, and they conclude that my first lump is also a lymph node. They refer to this as lymphadenopathy, simply meaning, enlarged nodes. I inform them that I have been having occasional night sweats, and they decide to make some moves. They schedule blood tests, and send me to a specialist at UPenn Presbytarian for an ultrasound guided fine needle biopsy.

    I go to the appointment at UPenn, and EUREKA! The doctor comes in, turns on the ultra sound, checks out my node, and states: “We don’t even need to do the biopsy. You’re blood work came back clear, and these look like perfectly healthy nodes.” What a relief. He goes on to explain how skinny individuals such as my self can palpitate their nodes on their neck and in their groin region. The weight off of my shoulder was phenomenal. If you are looking at this page now, I am sure you know how horrible it can be to constantly worry that you are sick.

    About 2 years passes, and I am at a routine dentist’s appointment. Part of the appointment contains what is referred to as a pre-cancerous screening. In this procedure, they use a form of ultraviolet light which reflects back different colors based on what are considered healthy vs. abnormal cell growths. The Doc uses the light, it hits my tonsils, and he becomes alarmed. He tries his best not to freak me out, but schedules me to come back for a follow up to ensure that typical cold or sinus irritation is not the cause. My paranoia kicks back in full force, as I am fully aware that the tonsils are part of your lymphatic system.

    Where as I was told to not worry by many doctors, due to my blood tests and visual confirmation that the nodes in my neck “looked” healthy by an ultrasound, I have read many stories which have told me to do other wise. Many people have reported clear blood tests, and finally, years later, after having a biopsy performed, discover they are in late stage lymphoma.

    This is where I stand. I have my follow up with my dentist to check my tonsils again for abnormal cells on the 31st, and an appointment with my original family doctor to update him, and DEMAND A BIOPSY on Sept. 1st. I will keep this posting updated as things progress. If you are out there in a similar situation, do not let anyone convince you that you are being paranoid. A lump needs to be checked out, plain and simple. Your doctor is the only person who can help you. Please do not use the internet for anything other than reading other people’s stories, and getting advice on tactics. YOU CANNOT SELF DIAGNOSE. Push and prod your doctors until they tell you what you want to hear.

    Once again, I will update this page as things progress. Thank you all for reading, and may whatever god or entity you pray to give you strength.

    Last edited by Wiggin; 08-20-2010 at 02:39 PM.

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    Old 08-22-2010, 12:32 AM   #2
    JClooking's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2005
    Location: Michigan
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    JClooking HB User
    Re: Lumps in Neck for years - Stay Informed

    Just wanted to wish you good luck on the follow-up. I know you're probably a little nervous (maybe understated) because I think I know how you must feel. After finding a lump in my armpit and having blood tests last weekend, my doctor had left a message for me to call his office late Friday and I didn't get the message until after they were closed. This morning when I was showering I noticed that my whole armpit is now swollen. I know I'm probably worrying myself needlessly but it's hard not to. You better believe I'll be on the phone as soon as the office opens Monday to find out what they wanted and to make a follow-up to check out the swelling.

    I'll check back here to find out what you heard but in the meantime, try not to dwell too much (because I'm so good at handing out advice that I won't take.)

    Old 10-10-2010, 09:46 AM   #3
    Scroller's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2010
    Location: Johannesburg South Africa
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    Re: Lumps in Neck for years - Stay Informed

    Dear Wiggin
    Thank you for your informative post.
    With nearly 500 views and only JCLooking’s reply, please post your follow up in case you have decided not to do so for whatever reason.
    As a newbie I would say the HB community forum helps empower me by sharing my thoughts and dealing with my emotions and resolutions to do what I have to and should do.
    Could it be that the consequences of being a hypochondriac or somebody in flat-out denial are much of a muchness? Levelheadedness is the least natural response in these circumstances; as is any commitment to stay in touch; so isolation beckons as sure as gravity.
    Hope to hear from you soon?

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