Discussions that mention potassium

Lymphomas board

I went to see my internist originally for an ear infection (swimmer’s ear) March 1 2005. At that time I had noticed lumps in my lymph nodes at my groin. Some were small pea-sized, others, deeper-set were even larger. My male internist recommended I see an ob/gyn, which I did. I had a feeling that he was leery of dealing with "female" problems". That's okay with me -- if he can't do it and can suggest another avenue, I am fine with that.

Went to ob/gyn. A nurse practioner and the doctor examined the nodes in my groin and both agreed they were abnormal. A regular “annual” exam was done. All tests including cbc, thyroid, hormones came back normal. I also had an internal and external sonogram. All normal. Although when I had the sonogram, I do not feel the tech was listening to me close enough and did not attempt to scan the deeper tumors in the crease between my groin and leg. This may be why my sonogram (external) looked normal. I told her it was easier to locate the lumps if I was standing and she said that the lymph fluid flowed down to the nodes which made them larger. That is not what I was talking about --when I stand; you can feel the pea-sized lumps rolling around. You can also feel deeper to where the leg and groin meet and get to the larger lumps (almond-sized).

I am extremely aggravated. They even insisted on doing an HIV test on
me!!!! Geez, I've been married for 10 years, and been monogamous. I do have occasional night sweats but that is probably because I like to sleep with tons of blankies.

Other info that is pertinent to a diagnosis: I have had chronic diarrhea for over a year,close to 2 years. Gets worse with stress. Most likely related to my prescription meds: currently on Cymbalta (depression), Tompomax (depression/headaches), Xanax-XR (anxiety), and Esgic (headaches). I have talked to my psychiatrist about this. Oh, I smoke a pack a day and drink a 12 pack of diet sodas a day. Have 3 indoor cats that sometimes go outside (concerned about Toxoplasmosis from exposure to cat litter…). Oh, and I am a generally very healthy 42 year-old female. Rarely get sick.

Oh, and what pushed me over the edge the other day was that I found a lump between my left armpit and breast. Pretty much on my ribcage. I suspect it's just a lipoma, but I am NOT a dr. Discovered this after the ob/gyn appointment but before the oncologist visit. I have lost a LOT of weight since July 2004 - 30 lbs. By choice. I workout at least 6 days a week and am 5'8" and weigh 130 lbs. Since all this began in March, I have mysteriously lost about 5 pounds. I’ve not changed my eating and have even worked out less. I’m guessing it is the stress of waiting for doctor appointments and test results.

Anyway, I did go back to my internist for a referral. He immediately referred me to an oncologist and gastroenterologist. I’ve already been to the ono for my initial. He ordered more blood work and a CT-scan from the neck to the groin. I also have a pea-sized lump under my chin that has been there for years but has changed – become more prominent. Most likely due to weight loss. Found a NEW bb-size lump on my right jaw.

I go see my oncologist tomorrow for the results from the blood work and CT-scan. Of course my anxiety level is WAY high. :eek:

I figured I’d write this up and post it – I know how people like to follow similar stories of their own symptoms and I thought I’d share mine.

Oh, and one more thing…I am not one of those people who think everything in the world is wrong. I detest going to the doctor and will only go if I am on the verge of death or in extreme pain. One thing I did find interesting about this oncologist is that he wanted to do a CT-scan right off the bat so he could get a layout of my lymph system. What he said was he wasn’t sure that the larger lumps were actually lymph nodes. He did not want to biopsy something that was not a node.

The blood tests he ordered at this point are a CBC, ESR, and PNC (????). I could not find anything about PNC, then I figured out they probably meant potassium and calcium, ya think?

I’ll keep you all posted.
I had asked the nurse what blood tests were run when I was trying to find out what time my ct-scan was scheduled for. She told me that over the phone. Me, not knowing, just jotted it down thinking I'd look it up later. I'll definitely know tomorrow. Potassium and calcuim test was the closest I could find and it kind of made sense that he would check that -- it can show the overall nutritional health of a person. Considering my weight loss, he may be looking at that. I didn't want to spend too much time looking at a test that may not have even been the right one.

But... tomorrow is the day. My self diagnosis is reactive nodes with a bunch of lipomas thrown in for anxiety! :D
Hi all,

Sorry it took me so long to get back but I've been wiped out from the stress of this mess. This is a long message...

Okay, here’s the deal:

Combination of ct-scan and blood test show no cancer. That is the good part. The oncologist was happy to be rid of me. Apparently the lymph nodes can be felt easier since I am so lean. Something extremely interesting about the scans: if you have little body fat, ct-scans are limited in contrast. Here is a quote from the report: “There is no definite evidence of adenopathy or mass noted. Liver, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands and kidneys appear unremarkable, however, detail in the abdomen is markedly limited by the total lack of mesenteric and retroperitoneal fat. Very poor discrimination of tissue planes, therefore, is present due to this lack of adipose [fat] tissue.” I would have thought just the opposite! Since I am so lean, there is not good contrast on a ct-scan. This is something for you very thin people to keep in mind. It is also something I wonder about….. Is there another scan that would provide a clearer image? Something else that bothered me was the pea-sized lump on my rib did not show up. The oncologist dismissed it since it didn’t show up and I suppose since the blood tests didn’t indicate cancer. I see my internist Monday for the other problem I’ll talk about in a minute.

Something the scan showed that shocked me was a 5mm lump in my lung. Even scarier is how the ct-scan doctor interpreted it: “…suggestive of minor to mild interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. Correlate clinically”. I looked that up. Really scary, but not as scary as the vein thing I’ll tell you about in the next paragraph. The oncologist suggested that I get another ct-scan in 3- 4 months to see if it has changed. The tumor in the lung is too small to biopsy and he said it would involve opening up the lung (???). I’ll worry about that in 4 months.

My main concern is that it showed I have severe stenosis of the left subclavian vein, almost to the point of obstruction. Geez. I am not overweight; I don’t think my cholesterol is high. This is frightening. I don’t wanna stroke out at age 42! So, I see my internist Monday and he’s going to start with a cholesterol test and talk to me about it. I did a bunch of research on the internet and I think it could be from weightlifting. Weird, huh? I like to lift at the gym using really heavy weights. According to some articles, you can damage your vascular system with strenuous exercise or repetitive heavy labor. A few months ago I experienced pain in my left shoulder and had to stop lifting for a while 'cause it made my chest and shoulder hurt..... kinda fits the profile of a vascular injury. I KNOW! Don't diagnosis myself!

The blood tests were mostly normal. The PNC test - yes, it was potassium and calcium. I had a few things that were out of range, but only slightly:
On the CBC the RBC was 4.03 (4.2 - 5.4 normal), MCH was 32.4 (27 -31 normal), MO was 7.8 (4 - 6 normal). ESR (sed rate) was 2 (0 -20) normal and it's supposed to be higher in women of my age, from what I've read. Sodium was 132 (135-146 normal). ALT was 42 (2-40 normal).

So..... the test results were good and bad. I don't know what to think. I'll just keep reading up on the stuff and be as informed as possible.