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To trust or not to trust

Adupuis
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2014

Two and a half weeks ago I found a lump underneath my armpit. I went in for an ultrasound yesterday. The Dr said that she found "something" and her conversations started as such "I'm not worried. Most lymph nodes are horseshoe shaped, yours is abnormally shaped right now. I think you're fine. I wouldn't even tell you to come back but just for your peace of mind come back in 6 months so I can prove to you that I'm right". So I said "ok... Well I have other symptoms of lymphoma so is there something else I should watch for?" Her response, "no, lymphoma lymph nodes are abnormally shaped, again I know you're fine." (Let me remind you Doc you started by telling me mine was abnormally shaped). After that I felt as if I couldn't ask any more questions and the appointment was over.
My question is, what do I do now? Do I trust the US and the imaging center doc? Here is the list of other symptoms that I have:

Difficulty breathing (recent symptom approx 4-5 weeks. I find it particularly disturbing when I am laying down. Many nights woken myself up because I am having trouble breathing). Within the last two days I have noticed a dry cough. Almost like a scratching feeling in in my chest that I have to cough to try to "scratch" it.
Extreme Fatigue. Unable to get through the day without napping or extra caffeine.
Hot at night though do not soak the sheets to the point of needing to change them/clothes.
When I take the first few sips of red wine/alcohol my upper body gets extremely tight and aches. After 5-10 minutes the pain goes away.
I have recent back and joint pain and extreme pain in my shins. My two year old will hardly brush against them and I can't help but yell because it hurts so bad. My hips ache (particularly at night) and my back hurts every morning.
Bruise easily (though not in odd places)

With all that being said, do I wait 6 months and go back "so she can prove to me that she's right" or do I go for a second opinion? How accurate are Ultrasounds in diagnosing lymphoma. I was looking at the screen during the US and there were two dark areas. One was an oval shaped are and a dime sized circle next to it. I'm just lost and felt leaving uneasy and more confused than when I started.

Sten's picture
Sten
Posts: 162
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Adupuis,

You are worried, and that is enough cause to get a second opinion. You may be right to worry, too. 

I wish you luck!

Sten

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Adupuis,

Sten is right. 2nd opinions are a good idea. Please let us posted. 

~GG~

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3309
Joined: May 2012

With Sten and GG I agree I would see another doc.

In years of reading about lymphoma and speaking with my docs, I have never heard anyone suggest that the shape of a node means anything. I have never heard of a "horseshoe" shaped node. Quite frankly, the term sounds a bit ridiculous to me. Also, no doctor would presume to diagnose any form of cancer without a biopsy. And thirdly, ultrasound is of little use in analyzing nodes to begin with. I have never had an ultrasound for lymphoma in years of treatment and followup. The doctor saying she "knows" it is "ok" is irresponsible. Saying "I suspect it is ok" is as far as a knowledgeable doc would go. The only differnce in appearance that a cancerous node has from a benign one is SIZE, when it swells due to either infection or the growth of cancerous cells.

Among your other symptoms, two are classic to lymphoma: night sweats and extreme fatigue. The breathing and leg issues could be lymphoma-related, II f you have it, but there are so many things that can cause those problems that it would be a reach to think they suggest the disease.

Did your doc order blood tests ? If not, that would be an even stronger reason for me to find someone else. I would see another doctor this week, and specifically ask for comprehensive blood panels to be run as well. Blood tests are a beginning point for most doctors who are concerned about lymphoma, and are also about the least expensive way to get medical information about your health -- much cheaper than scans.

It would be helpful if you provided other information, such as your approximate age and any other heath problems you have or have had.

max

Adupuis
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2014

I am a 32 year old female. I have/had hypothyroidism. (I was Dx w hypo in 2006. Always been told that I would have to take medication for it. always felt more symptomatic taking the meds than when I didn't. So for the last 6 mo I haven't been taking it. Realizing that this is bad for my health, my hypo and the lump was the reason I went in to (a new) Dr.). The Dr referred me to an imaging center (where the dr that told me she's "sure I'm ok"). The PCP also called and said that my thyroid levels were in normal range so to continue not taking my medications. I was shocked to hear this. I was unaware the thyroid condition would ever heal itself.

 

that being said, aside from preeclampsia in pregnancy I have never had any other health concerns. the only blood work she (PCP) ordered was the TSH panel. (Surprised and disappointed that I went in to the Dr w a lump in my breast and blood work for thyroid levels and they would not think to run a complete panel. But what do I know.) I am a very active mom, and participate in HIIT training 3-4x a week. This has progressively been getting more difficult for me for whatever reason. This am about half way thru I had heart palpitations that didn't seem to return to normal until nearly 2 hours later. 

 

i will be finding a new Dr this week to go back. Better safe than sorry. I have to know if nothing else than for my kids sake. I just did not want to come off as a hypochondriac or overreacting. But what do I care if I do. They're getting paid and I will have peace of mind if nothing else. 

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