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Lymph nodes are uncomfortable

ThisisLife's picture
ThisisLife
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi,

I'm just on day 5 after my first round of chemo and my axillary lymph nodes are achy. I'm also getting weird twinges in other areas where there are lymph nodes. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm telling myself that this is the chemo on attack! I hope I'm right!

My lymph nodes also go tender when I had alcohol. Apparently that only happens to 2 -3 % of people. Anyone have that happen?

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

Hey sharlene, I was feeling mine a little bit last week, the nurse told me I might after infusion she even said they may shrink a bit and I think she was right. As far as a bit of pain while inbibeing, from what I e read I thought it was kind of common. Hope your feeling well, I remember day 5 last week and it wasn't a barrel of monkees as I remember . Stay strong! Aaron

ThisisLife's picture
ThisisLife
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi Aaron,

I saw in your other post that you are feeling better. So glad to hear it! I can so relate to the weak leg thing! I went to the grocery store a couple of days ago, was good until I got to the checkout, then was weak and shaky. Wishing I'd taken my son (14) along with me!

Thanks for the input on the lymph nodes. Glad to hear that others are feeling them too! I will take it as a positive sign. Mine have definitely shrunk some. Before I started treatment I felt like I had a couple of lemons under my armpits. LOL

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

The chemo will do quite a number on the lymph nodes. Mine felt like rocks in my abdomin before I started chemo.(R-CVP)After the first treatment I laid on the bed and they actually felt softer and rounder that same night. My abdomin felt weird as well. I asked the nurse about it and she said that was normal. It shows the tumors are shrinking and everything else is realigning in the empty space. She said some feel it within a few hours and others it may take a lot longer to feel any difference. John

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

Hey sharllene, like Jim was sayin to me earlier it's about learning what our bodies will let us do during treatment. It sounds like your off to a good start and I think I am too for the most part, as long as I can keep this sore mouth thing in check. One good thing we have in common so far is this nice mild summer weather, I don't think hot weather agrees with treatment. I really think that if we focus on taking care of ourselves and remain as active as possible and eat as well as we can we can really minimize some of the negative effects. Stay strong and we'll be celebrating our remissions in no time Aaron

ThisisLife's picture
ThisisLife
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2012

About the mouth thing. . . when did your sores start appearing? I heeded your warning and have been very diligent about my dental hygiene

I was expecting things to be rough the first couple of days and wasn't expecting the fatigue on day 4 and 5. Will just have to pace myself now that I know!

My appetite has been off. I have been eating, even nothing really appeals to me. This isn't really new though. It was somewhat like that before I was diagnosed too. I'm finding the texture of meat unappealling and I'm craving fruit and vegetables. I guess it could be worse. :)

I hear you about the weather!!! Hasn't it been amazing. We put a heat pump in a couple of years ago, so are fortunate to have air conditioning in the summer. I can't imagine going through feel crappy and dealing with being overheated!

Take care my friend and you stay strong too!

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

I'd go from having something of an appetite, to not being able to even think about sticking anything in my mouth in about 10 seconds. But, when I did eat - LOTS of fresh fruits, even fruit cups, veggies. It was great. Applesauce was the most incredible thing, and Italian ices (usually cherry). I had no tolerance for hot foods (temp), but I could eat the heck out of tacos! Spicy was good. My only real advice, eat whatever appeals to you! Whatever you feel like you can tolerate. I would annoy everyone by wanting something, take two bites and then couldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, then an hour later want something else. Be a grazer.

The mouth sores for me started on the first round, then the Neurlasta shot made the rest of me hurt, and then the nausea, etc. I would literally stay in bed for roughly 10 days per round, give or take a day or two. My worst round was 3 - I couldn't even walk to the bathroom by myself. Rounds 4 and 5, I started to actually black out from pain and vomiting. All I could do to get through each round was tell myself, This Too Shall Pass. It's only temporary and it'll all be done and over with soon. At one point, during round 3 or 4, I seriously thought I was just going to die.

Definitely pace yourself, and don't feel like you have to do ANYTHING, except whatever it is that makes you feel good.

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1982
Joined: Aug 2011

Hey Sharlene :).

I didn't have swollen lymph nodes where they were visible
so I had no physical way of identifying shrinkage, etc.
I don't recall any pain or tenderness as well but I had surgery
after the first cycle and had pain meds for awhile until I recovered
the surgery and resumed treatment so it's possible it was masked
during that process.

I have read some posts here over the past year where some
people have complained of pain in their lymph nodes after
consuming alcohol. I recall a young man who said it happened
after having a couple beers so, evidently this can occur.

You may want to avoid alcohol until after you've completed treatment
or "test the waters" later on in your treatment. I think it's safe
to say that "heavy partying" is not a good idea ;).

On a positive note, it seems to indicate the treatments are effective
so that's a good thing!

Regarding Aaron's post, and as Sue has said many times, you will learn
the "new you". I think we've all experienced "the mind is willing, but
the body isn't" scenario. That's why it's important to learn what we
are able to do physically and maybe drop that a notch or two to give us
a buffer and prevent over exerting ourselves.

It's hard when you're not very active and awake, not to worry - that's why
for me, the anti-anxiety medicaton was a godsend. I also tried to keep myself
distracted (TV, reading, Internet, whatever I could to that wasn't too taxing...).
You'll learn what works for you.

I think you're doing great!

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

ThisisLife's picture
ThisisLife
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks Jim. I have a handout from my oncologist that says a small amount of alcohol is permissable on ABVD protocol, but I have no desire to imbibe at all right now. Also, my anti-nausea meds say to "limit" alcohol, so I would not even consider drinking while taking those. Besides, I know that my liver will thank me!!! It's got enough to deal with at the moment. LOL

But because I haven't had alcohol, I know that this must be caused by something else and I'm assuming it's the chemo! So bring it! It's kind of reassuring to feel something happening.

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1982
Joined: Aug 2011

Atta girl! Maybe we can have margaritas when this
is all over with and you're ready ;).

Hugs

ThisisLife's picture
ThisisLife
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2012

Sure!!! Aaron and I (both in the Northwest) are planning on meeting up in January when we are both in remission for a "beverage". You are welcome to join us. The more the merrier!!!

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1982
Joined: Aug 2011

Since I live in North Carolina, that would be a very expensive "beverage" ;).
Hmmmm, maybe we could set something up online or the chat room or something?

Hugs

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1011
Joined: May 2012

That'sLife (Didn't Sinatra have a hit by this name ?)

Most of my cancerous nodes were in the left axilary (armpit, center chest, heavily around the esophagus, and "wrapped around the main vein descending into the abdominal area." Although the biopsy node from my armpit was "the size of a golf ball," I never felt a node anywhere, before or during treatment.

I had a lot of weird sensations during and after treatment, including soreness here and there, etc. I have always read that the intensity of side-effects (or the absence of any side-effects), are no indication of how well medication is, or is not, working. Since nodes have no sensory nerves, and do not hurt from cancer (a painful node is almost always from infection, not cancer), I would very much doubt that "painful nodes" mean that they are shrinking or dying. More likely, it is the presence of powerful, toxic chemicals circulating around in you, where they never were before.

My doc once told me that nodes that were cured of the presence of cancer became "like scar tissue," but he later told me he did not recall the comment, and said that cured nodes, "mostly just disintergrate into nothing, and are not visible on CT."

There was a fellow on this site shortly after I joined, who was in CR, but stated that he had to go for salvage therapy. I do not recall who this was; perhaps he is reading this. I asked why more treatment if he was in CR, and he explained, which I do not recall the specifics of, but I do remember him saying that he had a hollow (cured) node "the size and shape of a bananah" in his chest." He added that it was the largest his onc had ever seen or even heard of. I believe it ! Perhaps some of the other members recall reading that post.

At any rate, I would not read too much into "soreness." My biopsy incision, port incision, and the place where the biopsy sample were were all within about a 4" square area. The surgeon told me that my incision was almost exactly where he did a lot of breat cancer incisions, and cut through a nerve bundle. He told me up front that "You will have a lot of odd sensations there, and up and down your arm, maybe forever." He was right. The area feels swollen at times today (three years into CR), but you can never SEE or FEEL anything there. What is odder, I get the SAME sensation under the OTHER armpit. My onc said that this is not uncommon, and he called it something like "parallel sensation," and said that it was the nervous system out of wack a little pit, and confusing what is where.

So, again, take "sensations" with a little salt.

Also, I never had a drink during six months of infusion. I had no desire for it at all then, and my liver enzymes where abnormal anyway, which was a strong reason to not drink.

Loritab can do thinks a beer can't, anyway !

Regardless of sensations, I pray the med is working gangbusters for you.

max

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

I was told by my onc I was not allowed any alcohol for my RCHOP. I wasn't ever really a drinker anyway, so I didn't miss it. BUT, every once in a while, I do like to enjoy a glass of wine or something, and being told I couldn't kind of made me want one. LOL! Figures, right?! But, I got over it. I bought a big bottle of my favorite wine and the night I got told I have complete remission, I cracked that baby open! Celebration time!

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

I had lots and lots of chest pains after each round, and it was caused by the nodes/clusters that were behind my chest wall. I guess it was the chemo kicking the cancer butt, but it did hurt pretty bad. Sometimes it would wake me from a dead sleep. Thank Gods for pain medicine! I took just a minimum amount necessary - perc 5's, sometimes two at a time if I needed. I didn't feel them anywhere else, really. The ones in my neck, which were the first noticeable ones, didn't even hurt. But, I do have a very large painful lipoma that stretches across my stomach, just around my diaphragm, which would swell and tighten after each round. Made my life miserable. I'll need surgery later to get that removed (again), after I deal with a few other things.

Best of luck to ya and hope you are doing well!

ThisisLife's picture
ThisisLife
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks for sharing your info Ange. It's interesting to hear the various things that people go through. I have no real expectations and am just going with the flow. I expect that things will get much worse before they get better, but having said that, I will deal with it. Yes, I think there will be a party here too when I hit complete remission!!!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1011
Joined: May 2012

Let's all just meet in Hays, Kansas -- midpoint USA, and about 20 miles from where my father grew up, the son of a big wheat farmer.

They knew how to drink, having Coors decades before it was sold east of the Mississippi.

max

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

I'm in on that max, I can stop in next spring on my way to Dallas and Wichita falls around late may.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1011
Joined: May 2012

I looked up some trivia, and actually Lebanon, KS, is the official, geographic center of the US. Not sure exactly where Lebanon is, but I do know that it is central in the state, and it can't be too far from Hays, which is on I-70

After enough Coors, the difference between Lebanon and Hays won't matter...

More trivia: Our boat was rigged as an "under ice" platform. We did mostly under ice deployments. I got my Dolphin Pin standing on the ice at the North Pole.

It was August, which is the WARMEST month up north. Bright sunshine. The air temp (not wind chill) was 35 below zero.

She you in the Sunflower state !

max

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