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sarahb19 08-01-2012 02:28 AM

Referred to hematologist, what to expect?
Hi all, I'm 18 years old and for the last 6 months iv had a lump under my armpit. I went to one doctor who brushed it off telling me nothing more than "that's just a lymph node" even though my armpit is clearly swollen to twice the size of the other one!
Iv been feeling ill for a while now, like I'm coming down with a cold or the flu and in the last month iv woke up on a number of occasions covered in sweat. Some nights I'm drenched to the point of changing pyjamas and sheets, some nights I just wake up with wet hair, a wet neck, chest and a damp pillow. The majority of nights though I just have a normal night where don't sweat at all so the sweating isn't consistent.
I went back to the gp,asked for a different doctor and told her my symptoms, she ran blood tests which all came back clear apart from a slightly high liver count. She then said she had to think about what to do because some of my symptoms were slightly concerning. She rang me back yesterday saying that she was concerned and wanted to refer me to the hospital to see a haemotologist. She said she'd put me down as urgent and I would be seeing them in a week or two.
I don't really know why iv come on here I don't expect anyone to make a diagnosis or tellu me I do or don't have lymphoma but I was wondering what I would expect at this appointment? And just kind of the likelihood of it being lymphoma?
I suffer from anxiety so its literally all iv been thinking about, going through different scenarios in my head. The wait is horrible for anyone though, with or without anxiety.
Anyway I would appreciate it if someone who has been through this themselves or knows anyone who has could shed some light on what I can expect from here because I don't really have anyone else to talk to about it as I haven't actually told anyone what the doctors suspect I have, just that iv been referred to the hospital.

Thanks in advance.


YaYagirl 08-01-2012 08:38 AM

Re: Referred to hematologist, what to expect?
Hi sweet lady!

Of course you feel anxious. I think anyone would. Of course you are fearing lymphoma right now!

There are other more common reasons than cancer for Lymph node swelling. Hopefully this is an infection that can be controlled by antibiotics. Of course it is best to be sure.

The doctors may need to do a biopsy to verify the source of the problem and rule out cancer. With modern anesthetics a biopsy is not bad at all.

Do you have even one family member or friend you can let know about what you are going through? Sometimes it can seem that if we tell anyone it makes it more real. But this is naturally a scary thing. Anxiety is calmed, in my opinion, by telling someone what we feel, and letting ourselves cry and let it out. I am sure you are feeling very tense.

I haven't had a cancer scare, but I have other fears and I know how bad it feels to keep it all inside. It's really hard to wait for news.

ladybud 08-01-2012 08:58 AM

Re: Referred to hematologist, what to expect?
I agree with previous post, that having even one person to talk with can help. I also would call my doctor and ask in the meantime if you can get an ultrasound of the lump and see a surgeon, as most likely it will need to be biopsied, and then you'll already be established and they can get you scheduled sooner, so you don't have to wait between each item. An ultrasound helps determine whether it is a cyst or solid mass and the size can be determined more precisely, as well as seeing other lymph nodes in the area. She would probably order that, and you'd be a step ahead. Good luck!

sarahb19 08-01-2012 10:14 AM

Re: Referred to hematologist, what to expect?
Thanks for the advice both of you I appreciate it :) I have mentioned it to two of my friends and neither of them reacted, I don't think they knew what lymphoma was and they just sort of said oh I'm sure its nothing. I don't think they understand the severity they just think I have a chat or something that needs removing. I think that's why iv come on here just to find someone who doesn't know me that I can tell them I'm worried without them thinking I'm over reacting.
Also ladybud thanks for the advice regarding the ultrasound etc but I'm in the UK and I think the hospital will just order any tests that are needed. My doctor did say she needed to think about whether to order a scan or refer me straight to the hemotologist so I'm not sure whether the hemotologist will just decide from here what tests I need. I guess that's why I'm a bot confused cos I'm not really sure how it all works. Will have to wait and see I spose!
Thanks again for your support

YaYagirl 08-02-2012 01:43 AM

Re: Referred to hematologist, what to expect?
Hi sarah,

That was probably just their way to try to comfort you and they didn't mean to appear to dismiss your worry. I'm sure they don't understand what to do in the situation.

Probably many of us come here seeking understanding from people that also are struggling through our issues. You're right, we do understand. Before you share with anyone make sure they are what I call 'safe' people. meaning people that demonstrate ability to empathize and understand without trying to tell us what to feel. I only know a couple of people who know how to be there for me. and I think it's a learned thing.

By the way, I don't think whatever you feel is over-reacting. We feel what we feel.The thing is we can learn to handle what we feel, let the feelings wash over us and let them fade away. It even helps to look in a mirror and give yourself understanding, and tell yourself it is normal to be afraid of the possibility of cancer, and tell yourself that you are going to take care of yourself, too, and to not worry. Tell yourself that you can relax while you wait to find out what you have to deal with.

Be sure to let us know what you find out. OK? :angel:
We are here for you.

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