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Friend with Night Sweats

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Hello to my friends here on the HL/NHL Boards,

My boss was out from work for the last ten days. When he came in he said he felt like he had had the flu or something, and had run a high fever off and on. I did not think a lot about it, but the next day he mentioned that he had lost 18 pounds in a week, "due to that sweating all night." He said he kept waking up around 3:00 am, and the sheets had to be changed, etc. He said "water was running out of him like a water sprinkler." He also mentioned a sore throat.

I am concerned, because I know night sweats are the classic "B" symptom in aggressive HL and NHL (I never had sweats or "B" synptoms). My questin is: Does lymphoma cause fever in people with sweats at night ? Is this much weight loss typical of emerging lymphoma ?

max

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jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1985
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Max,

There are many things that can cause these symptoms and cancer
is one of them (lymphoma). His immune system is reacting to something.

He should get this thoroughly checked out and have some tests done.
Hopefully it was some kind of infection.

I'm assuming he saw a doctor?

Jim

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

I very much appreciate the feedback, Jim and all others.

What seemes odd to me is that he had no congestion of any form, and had even said during his time out that he just felt "funny," with no usual flu symptoms -- no muscle aches, for instance. He did not go to a doctor. He did mention a "constriction" in his throat, which went away.

As I mentioned, I never had "B" symptoms, and hence never much researched them during my sickness.

I will follow up with him, without getting patronizing. I will share anything that I may learn from him and this odd week he has had; the remarkable weight loss, etc.

Max

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Aaron's picture
Aaron
Posts: 237
Joined: Jun 2012

The weight loss alone is cause for medical attention I would think

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Test

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Max,
I agree with what Jim is saying. I can remember when I was young and had the flu I had night sweats pretty bad for a couple of nights. It was just the flu. I never had night sweats with Lymphoma . John

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3156
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Max,
I am type A...no night swets, fever or sudden weight loss. What you've described sounds exactly like Type B symptoms of Lymphoma. Your boss really needs to get this checked out. Doesn't sound good. Sue

vinny59's picture
vinny59
Posts: 1030
Joined: Nov 2006

Hey Max, I never had any symptoms with my B lymphoma, but with the weight loss alone he needs to get checked.... They are classic symptoms Vinny

dixiegirl's picture
dixiegirl
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

Night sweats have always been apart of the disease for me. They are my main warning sign, and they totally suck!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Thanks to Vinney and Dixie adding to what Jim and everyone had noted earlier. I recall when I was being staged that the checklist for "B" symptoms included rapid weight loss, night sweats, severe fatigue, and another item or two, and the doc also stated to me that gererally (this is NOT an exact rule, he noted) a more aggressive behavior from the disease. Of these, I had only severe fatigue, but it was SEVERE. I might be driving to a service call at 10:00 AM following a long light's sleep, and have to pull off the road and sleep for 30 minutes, for instance. I felt at times like passing out in the floor.

Dang. I am going to call him today and recommend that he have this followed-up. He is 63, a little overweight (not fat), with no history of cancer. But, he has never had these sympotoms before either. He also mentioned not being able to stay out of bed during the daylight during this episode, so much so that he did not even call or take phone calls. He had heart stints installed a few years ago.

As I stated above, I will keep you all filled in with what transpires, since this is medically very curious, at least to me. Bless your weekend,

max

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diazr1's picture
diazr1
Posts: 101
Joined: Mar 2012

He sounds like me but I just didnt have so much fatigue and i was oridinally diag with STage 3 HL with Symptoms

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1985
Joined: Aug 2011

I never had night sweats or fever but fatigue for sure. I fell asleep at my
desk at work, would take naps sometimes at lunch and often just crashed when
I got home. I had also been having GI problems and saw a GI specialist
and was diagnosed with "mild inflammation". Didn't find out about the cancer
until after I was in ICU for internal bleeding.

I'm glad you're gonna call him.

Jim

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Jim,

You may have read elsewhere where I wrote about my old infusion partner Deborah. She was about 40, and had colon problems six years earlier, which the docs "worked on" for about six months, before it was discovered that her problem was actually colo-rectal cancer. After a lot of surgery and chemo, she was clean for almost five years, and then was diagnosed with colo-rectal, stage 4, in her liver and both lungs. It was during her treatment for that that I met her. She lived about another eight months thereafter. She NEVER HAD LYMPHOMA; my point is just that digestive problems often seem to get soft-peddled, and docs do not think "Cancer" until it is often too late.

I'm glad such was not the case with you. It was very saddening to lose her....

max

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1985
Joined: Aug 2011

Hey Max,

I was thoroughly examined both upper and lower GI but my
problem was in an area of the small intestine not easily seen
by normal endoscopy or colonoscopy. They had to do a special
endoscopy (forget what it's called) where they go further and
can see the small intestine.

I've read many stories here where people state they were misdiagnosed.

I'm so sorry to hear about Deborah.

Hugs,

Jim

AngeH's picture
AngeH
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2012

That really should be my name by now.

I was thinking that maybe my weird "b" kinda type symptoms were just pre-menopause! Hair loss, then it stopped falling out. I'd get hot, but not really sweat much at night - even at other times of the day, like off and on hotflashes. Fatigue unlike any other I'd experienced, which I just thought was from stress - 60 hr work weeks, saving money for a down payment on a house, family, etc. No one had a clue what was going on inside of me. My primary doc, and another, looked at all my blood work and said, "It doesn't make any sense". HAAAAA!! Until I had the scans (CT and PET). Even Sjogren's testing didn't come out right.

The reason why I didn't actually sweat was because my glands couldn't/wouldn't produce anything to sweat. Just like my eyes and my mouth, and anywhere else. What the tell-tale symptom was the fevers. I'd been experiencing them for years, not very high and never lasted for too long - not long enough to cause worry. I never gave it a second thought. They'd just happen for no reason, I'd run a low grade fever, and then go away.

Also, as a woman here, since going through RCHOP, I no longer have a period and so I'm going into menopause early (so far). I was warned of this by my oncologist. The flashes from lymphoma, and then from the RCHOP were super bad. After my last round (mid May), they got a lot better, but then I am now on other medications for Sjogren's, and they are back with a vengeance. I just can't win... lol

But, seriously - Sweats and weight-loss that bad, absolutely seek medical attention!!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Ang,

There was a great writer in the 1100s named Peter Abelard. He worte a famous biography by the somewhat unbecoming name of History of My Misfortunes. I guess it could be the title of your clinical history with cancer. We actually have numerous female members who describe menopausal issues, so you will find discussion of that here. Infertility generally is also a common topic. For the users of the abvd drug Vinblastine, infertility is a common side effect, for men and women, although it is not always permanent. I was 53 when taking it, and only got severe neuropathy from Vinblastine, and never got hecked for sterility. To be honest, I basically never even thought about it.

I myself would have never known I had cancer if I had not had heart (cardiac) pain from a node pressing against my heart wall one night. The ER thought I had unstable angina, and only the follow-up tests realized it was lymphoma. I had that pian only ONE NIGHT, and if I had not gone to the ER, I undoubtedly would not have known I had the disease until late stage IV, since I NEVER felt a node anywhere.

I am trying to get this guy to the doc. He is retired Army, and has free everything, so perhaps he will cooperate.

Thank you for contributing,

max

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po18guy
Posts: 237
Joined: Nov 2011

Something to be checked for. I developed it for a second time just as NHL arrived - which told me that my immune system had failed. Tonsillitis produces the sore throat and temps, but not the sweats. Doctor time, and the sooner the better.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Po18,

I went and read your bio information. I recommend it to eveyone here. I like the last few lines in it especially. A blesing against every odd that you are here ! The confusion with biopsy results is not uncommon. I have always heard that an excise biopsy (cutting the node out for a pathologist) is much more accurate than a needle-drawn specimine. You do not specify which you had on your neck, but it sounds somehwat iike the neddle variety.

Several writers here use the cancer facility you mentioned in the Great Northwest, so you have that in common with a lot of folks here.

I am three years clean from an indolent HL, very close to your 2.5 years. The first docs to see my CT were non-oncologists (one Internal Med girl just out of Residency, and a general surgeon). Without saying so, they both spoke as if I were a "goner." Both thought that marks in my lungs were cancer, but the first oncologist to look at the CT said, off the cuff, "That aint cancer at all." He was correct. It was (apparantly) scar tissue from a bad wreck 20 years earlier. However, he was a radiation guy, and had to refer me to a medical oncologist. Like your case, she was on vacation, and I got another guy, who, lucky for me, was (is) a brilliant man from the best schools in the US. It got better from that point, Thanks be to God. In chemo, all is well that ends well.

max

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AngeH's picture
AngeH
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2012

I read your profile. Amazing!! I had to pick my jaw up off the keyboard. Just amazing!

I was just super lucky to have great docs that all pretty much know each other, or at least know of, and actually listened to me and not brush me off (like I've had before earlier in life).

All the best to ya, Pro18!

po18guy
Posts: 237
Joined: Nov 2011

Thank you very much for your kind words, Max and AngeH. Both lymph node biopsies have been excisional. Even from that, the first pathology report stated simply "abnormal cells". Once I got to SCCA, far more advanced testing was done on the node and marrow samples and the diagnosis was finalized.

I watch for fellow T-Cell patients in the forums, as we are a somewhat rare breed and there is precious little time to fight this one. But, as you can see, progress is being made. I am just over four years into this journey and, while treatment is continuing, there has been no evidence of disease for just over three years now. I am essentially on a maintenance dose of a drug to combat a cancer for which there is still no standard treatment. Sometimes it seems like remission is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet, in my case, it was there!

I forgot to mention in my bio that I am not a candidate for an allogenic stem cell transplant, as no donor can be located in the world book of donors. My own stem cells are in storage, but autologous stem cell transplants are not considered a cure in T-Cell Lymphomas.

Am I big on second opinions? Oh, yes. Big on prayer? Absolutely. Doctor calls my case a miracle.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

po1,

Yes, the "T" variety is much rarer than the various "B" cell variants. You are learning medicine the way I did, by having everything !

Bless you, your faith, and your rare attitude,

max

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Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Bless your faith and rare attitude. "T" is pretty rare.

max

po18guy
Posts: 237
Joined: Nov 2011

Although it seems that faith is not the #1 topic anywhere these days, where do you turn when medical science has nothing to offer? Even before that point? So many doors have been opened, in exact sequence, at precisely the right time, that this was no matter of luck or coincidence. Of that, I am certain. It was the prayers of many.

AngeH's picture
AngeH
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm non-Christian - I'm Pagan. But, I always said I do not discriminate, I accept prayers of all denominations! :) Prayer in any religion or spirituality is pretty much the same, and every single bit of it helps. I'll pray for you, you pray for me. We'll all pray for one another. Much prayers to you all!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Po,

My undergrad study was mostly in secular philosophy and theology. I have studied Eastern religions (Buddhism, Taoism) extensively as well.

There is no name but the One. You are correct in how and why you were healed.

My opinion,

max

smona84's picture
smona84
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Max,

I had Lymphoma at a young age and was at Stage 4 and had no symptoms besides bulges pertruding around my Lymph nodes. I know that Lymphoma symptoms are night sweats and weight loss, however, there are MANY things that could be of result to this. My main concern either way is the massive weight loss in a week. I hope for the best!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Hey Mona.

I have not encountered you here before. If cancer was long ago for you, are you OK today ?

max

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

How is your boss?

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

Cat,

I spoke with him about a week ago (I work pretty independently, and he calls only occasionally). He said that he is still weak, and feels "funny," and "disoriented."

He did not mention sweating, but did say he had lost more weight. He is a "fried chicken" king of guy, not one to diet. I mentioned up front:

"I'm not your mom, and I am not going to mention this again, but I believe that you have a serious need to get to a doctor." He replied with something like, "Yea, I think I will."

I hope it works. I shall advise.

Maggie made a post elsewhere regarding shingles that I will mention here to you, since you are the most knowledgalbe on that topic, it seems to me.

thanks,

max

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