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Should I go to the ER ?

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2014

Originally I had posted here: http://csn.cancer.org/node/286744

This is probably not the correct forum as if this is cancer, it could be many different kinds, but I'm posting here since swollen lymph nodes all over the body seem to be a major symptom for me. 

I really apologize for this long post. I'm so frustrated and literally have been crying for hours. Had a major panic attack. I'm so upset I have no idea what to do. I normally do NOT freak out about symptoms of anything. But these ones seem pretty serious to me. 


With the first set of (new) symptoms that popped up I figured vulvar cancer for sure. Now I don't know. I'm having no luck. After (and during) my doctor's appointment today I had a complete breakdown and major anxiety attack. I'm so discouraged and feel hopeless and alone. So far three doctors don't seem to give a damn at all. 

My first problems started over a year ago. I saw a doctor for random issues (low back pain and stomach issues mostly) and he would blame it all on anxiety. The most troubling being major stomach issues. Terrible pain in my upper right abdomen, sort of under the ribs but still close to the center, as well as very localized pain in two spots very low on my abdomen. This also came with digestive issues including nausea, upset stomach, and stomach pains.

Anyway, my doctor said it was anxiety and put me on Paxil and Zanax. It didn't help my stomach, but he said he'd have to look at my gallbladder if it didn't so I lied and told him the pain went away. This part was definitely MY mistake, but I did not want my gallbladder out. I'd much rather eat a super-bland diet than that.

Recently I started bleeding (sometimes heavily) after intercourse and also have some spotting at random times. I have two new small hard lumps on my labia minora. They are under the skin and are not painful unless they get squeezed or irritated. One is about as big around as a pencil eraser and growing slowly. The other is much smaller. They are close together.

I also have swollen lymph nodes on the right side in my groin (also growing very slowly and the same side as the lumps). They are very hard and feel about the size of peas, but longer and a little skinnier. I have very very hard (stuck in place) lymph nodes under both ears and a small one on the  the mastoid bone on the right side. 

Over the past week I have gained 7 pounds and it's ALL in my stomach. I suddenly look like I'm pregnant. (no chance of actually pregnancy - the gyno did a test and I'm fixed)


I went to a gyno when I first noticed the symptoms below the belt. He refused to look at the lumps under the skin (down there) stating that there is no way they could be related to internal bleeding. He did an ultra sound and said everything looked good in my ovaries (although one was twice the size of the other - cause for concern?) He said to come back in a few weeks to discuss. I don't have that kind of patience and he obviously wasn't taking it serious by his refusal to even look at the lumps. I scheduled for a second opinion for a different gyno but once I told him about the neck nodes, he said I needed to also see my PCP and that it would not be related to whatever is going on down below. So I decided to start over at a whole new practice.


The worst experience ever:

Today I went to a new doctor, hoping he would actually listen to me. He soo didn't. He dismissed my 12month+ stomach issues as heartburn. Said that the extreme fatigue was due to anxiety. Told me the lymph nodes ALL OVER MY BODY were likely from various illnesses and not related to each other at all (even though he could not find any indication of sickness). He did NOT check for more swollen lymph nodes. Only looked at the swollen ones that I found myself and pointed out.

He did NOT look at the lumps I found and suggested I take antibiotics for those. He said the weight gain was due to me "getting older" and said at my age (35) my body isn't going to look like it used to. REALLY? 7 pounds in a week and I seriously look pregnant?? And he said the abdomal pain could be from irritable bowel syndrome. 

I had a complete meltdown in his office. Told him I was tired of not being taken seriously. Every single relative I have except my siblings have DIED from cancer and heart problems. No one has lasted past their 60's and even that is high. My mom died from cancer when I was a teenager at the age of 41. My entire family on my father's side was dead before I was born. 

He said that only mattered if they have certain kinds of cancer and was probably no reason for me to be worried. I demanded he schedule me for a biopsy of all the swollen lymph nodes. I'd like to get the lumps biopsied as well but he said I'd need to go somewehre else for that since he feels I might just need antibiotics. You know, cause he can tell that from NOT LOOKING AT THEM. 

His final Primary diagnosis: DEPRESSION. Seriously?? He acts like I'm making this stuff up. I have many many things protruding from my body. I feel I have a HUGE right to be concerned and get the care I deserve. I'm paying thse doctors a crap-load of money to do NOTHING for me. So what if my chances of having cancer are low at the age of 35??? Don't I deserve to have some tests done for peace of mind?


My main question:

My teenage daughter is freaking out (she found out by accident). She is pushing me to go to the ER with the abdominal pain hoping they can run some tests on me right there. Do they actually do this at the ER? Would it be worth my time or am I just making a mountain out of a mole hill? 

Please, I really could use some advice. Has anyone had any good experiences at the ER actually taking them more seriuously than a doctor? 

Honestly I feel ready to give up and let whatever happens to my body happen. My husband says he doesn't care how long it takes and how much money this costs, but I need to continue on. I just don't know if I can continue. I'm so tired. 

What would you do? 


Rocquie's picture
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2013

Go ahead and go to the ER. . .

Good luck,



Posts: 107
Joined: Feb 2007

As to doctors, have you ever thought of going to a teaching/reserach hospital?

I went around "so called specialists to so-called specialists" for 3 years before I went to a teaching/research hospital. They are the ones that diagnosed me with the Sjogrens. I always get the main dr and 2-3 learning ones and the main asks questions of the learing ones and makes them THINK! So many drs I went to in the past only doctor out of a textbook. If it don't fit the textbook, they are totally lost.

Then they come up with the excuses like depression or "my favorite" the cat's fault.

I would check into a teaching/research hospital.

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2014

Folks24, what a great idea! I'll have to look into the closest teaching hospital to me in case I need it. My guess it there are some in Pittsburgh (about 2 hours from me). 


I did end up going to the local ER after my daughter reminded me that I'm not the only one this affects and that I should be thinking about her and her brother as well. The ER doctor did a bunch of blood tests, head CT, and a chest xray. I forget why he wanted to do the xray, but he said I had to have the CT because I failed some "dizziness" test by how my arm moved when he made me close my eyes. It was weird and a waste of money but I let him do what he wanted. 

He did a comp metabolic panel, urine analysis, and cbc. Most of it came out ok. Many values were on the border of normal and some were abnormal but not by much. I feel a lot better about that part. He gave me copies of everything to take to the doctor and show him. 


I got my doctor to order the biopsy of the lymph nodes. Thinking I should just canel that one. I also got him order do an abdominal CT. Not sure if I should go ahead with that or not either. I'm thinking if I had any sort of cancer at all my blood tests would probably be crazy out of whack. Maybe I really am making a mountain out of a mole hill.

amanda_christy's picture
Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2014


I was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system - which did not, and shouldn't, show up in blood tests.

If you're worried then please dont dismiss just because your bloodwork was fine. From all you've said, something is up. Don't freak out yet! Can be any number of things.

Praying for you. Not knowing and not being listenend to must be just terrible for u and ur family!

Stay strong!! Please!!! Just when u feel like uve had enough the clouds will begin to part......


Mary N.
Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2013

I would certainly continue on with a biopsy of your nodes.  It is often the only way that some things are found.  I always have completely normal blood work but have NHL.  Find out because the panic you are experiencing is just not good for you. You might also see a counselor.  Sometimes we need help dealing with things that are happening with our bodies.  I know that with my diagnosis I found it very helpful to see a psychologist.  Take some deep breaths andd continue on with your quest.  Hugs.

givingrace's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012


I'm sure your head is spinning with tons of questions and even "what if's". Well I can tell you one thing for sure.You have to become your best health advocate these days. Don't NOT do a CT or other tests that are going to answer those questions and ultimately help with the "what if's". I always look at my health issues and the more tests I do, the more stuff I can rule out.Sometimes I just don't want to do them but I will because I know it will help. Besides not knowing is no fun.

Just my opinion.

Take care of yourself.

Keep us posted.

Keep strong. 


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