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Hodgkins Lymphoma Symptoms??

fingerscrosseddear
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2016

Hi there, so I am really nervous about posting this because the last question sight I was on (Yahoo Answers) I got called every name in the book and all i'm really looking for is some insight. I'm not claiming to have HL and I know it's both rare and unlikely but I would like to hopefully still get some input.

To make a long story short, three months ago I went to the doctor feeling sick. The diagnosed me with a sinus infection and prescribed be two medications. After finishing the meds I didn't feel better and instead had developed a horedous cough. Like can't go to work, wakes you up in the middle of the night kind of cough. I went to the doctor again and was diagnosed with Acute Bronchitus and was put on the Z pack. 

After about two days on that my cough subsided hugely but I broke out in an itchy burning rash from head to toe. I went backt to the clinic they told me to stop taking the z pack as i could have been allergic to it and instead put me on a steroid. The steroid after about three days helped kill the inflamation and swelling but I was still left itchy. A week or so late it happened again. I flared up. Blew up. Burned up. And went back worse than before and got a second steroid. Again it helped with everything but the intense itching. After a 3rd flare up and having been fed up with being momentarily treated by doctors who said it was an allergic reaction but really did nothing else (as well as having spent a bucket load on meds and copays ) I decided to go to dermatologist. 

The dermatologist upon looking at my skin told me he didn't think it was allergies and looked more like a rash and prescibed me a lotion but said if i would have liked I could come back for allergies tests. I was fed up at this point with all the doctors visits and knowing my insurance would not cover allergies tests I decided to stop going to doctors.

Instead I changed everything I possibly owned to hypoallergenic. My sheets. My pillow cases. My soaps. My detergents. My sprays. Everything. Yet here I am three months later still constantly itchy from head to toe with no explaination only more symptoms. These last few months i have felt SO incredibly weak. Like every bone in my body is weak and i have no energy. I sleep all the time. I'm always tired. I have trouble simply getting up these days. I get sharp pains under my arms. I constantly have neck pain. I sometimes feel like my throat is constricted and I ocassionally swell around the neck (no lumps). And I am super sensitive to alcohol sometimes getting pain and muscle spasms from it. I finally scheduled a doctors appointment with a new GP as I am tired of feeling super sick and like something is honestly wrong. it's also worth mentioning when I was 16 I felt a lump in my throat and they did a ultrasound on it and they found slightly enlarged lymph nodes that at the time were unproblamatic but told me i should come back in six months and check on. (I never did and I don't know if it's worth mentioning but yeah)

Despite having put this visit off for three months (because I'm afraid it's just going to be a repeat of multiple doctors with no answers) I really want to walk into this appointment and have an idea of what I want out of it. What i don't want is another medication. What I do want is some tests done to rule out larger concerns. Like I mentioned above I know cancer is a long shot but it still scares me especially after knowing someone close to me who shares many similarities to what i am feeling and Is dealing with newly diagnosed HL. I know these are common symptoms for other things but I guess what I'm looking for in this thread is your experience leading up to your diagnosis specifically with symptoms. And what i can do upon going to my GP and ensuring i get some tests done that will if at least not rule out major issues give insight to smaller ones! (For instance can I ask for blood tests? What kind?)

 

Any insight would be so incredibly appreciated.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3505
Joined: May 2012

Fingers-crossed,

We are not doctors, we are not medical professionals. We give our opinions or take on things, based on a lot of personal experience and self-study. Regardless of what anyone here says, it will not "prove" that you have anything, or don't have anything.

It is curious that you received "hostility " at Yahoo Answers, but that is not a place I would go for any form of medical information anyway.  Most "medical" forums and medical information on the Internet is nonesense, more harmful than good.  The exceptions are sites run my medical centers (universities, hospitals) and, to some extent, sites like WebMD.  This site (CSN) is good, in that it is run by the ACS, with monitoring and numerous ACS links.  The best sites are places like Sloan-Kittering Cancer Center (NYC), MD Anderson CC (Houston, TX), Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), The Cleveland Clinic, etc.    The WORST are "Alternative Medicine/Holistic" sites.

My strongest first impression is that your tone is "frantic." There is no need to be frantic, even IF you have Lymphoma, since lymphoma is virtually always treatable and managable.  Panic and extreme anxiety in writers here is usually indicative that their issues are something other than lymphoma, especially if they have been seen a few times already by a doctor, such as you have.  While a few of the things you mentioned are somewhat associated with lymphoma, so are dozens of other things (fatigue, the itching).   Your overall presentation (description of symptoms) does NOT scream "Lymphoma!" to me.  Could be, but I suspect not.

You ask for stories on how we were diagnosed.   That is of little use for someone else, since no two of us were diagnosed the same way. Most people begin with a large, palpable nodes felt somewhere.  These nodes are mostly not like the throat episode you described.  Someone no doubt presented that way here, but hundreds of thousands of people get lymphoma.  I have been through advanced, Stage III lymphoma, and I have never felt a palpable node anywhere, ever -- before or after treatment. This is despite large nodes all over, from my lower neck to my pelvic area. My biopsy node was golf ball sized, but it was not palpable. My doctors said my that, at random, my nodes were too deep to be palpable.  But my case was very unusual in that regard.  My point is: No two cases is identical. How someone here had an experience similiar to your current one would NOT mean that "you have lymphoma."

Your first sentence in your last paragraps is intriguing: You don't want to go to an appointment and it be a "repeat of multiple doctors with no answers."  You have been doctor shopping, seeing a lot of them. Second opinions are always OK, even smart. It is the thrid, fourth, fifth opinions that are less reasonable to seek out.  The doctors apparantly do not see you as at risk of lymphoma. While a doctor occasionally will miss something, at some point they are right, especially if two or more are telling you the same things.

The cheapest and earliest tests for lymphoma are ordinarily blood panels: CBC, a few specialty tests.  Some doctor might order these, since it won't break the bank or your insurance.  But your case does not sound like lymphoma to me.

Bless your efforts and peace of mind to you,

max

 

fingerscrosseddear
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2016

Thanks for your reply but trust me I have not gone Doctor shlopping. Far from actually. Let me explain more. I didn't want to go in depth because I didn't want to make the post too long and lose out on advice. I guess first is like to say I'm not frantic just annoyed that I still feel so sick (it's been about three months of feeling like something is wrong with my body) and still not help. So I'm mores exhausted I think than anything haha. 

 

As far as my commentary with seeing multiple doctors go this is what essentially happened. Three monthsbago I had a very swollen throat and clogged up nose and went to the doctor. They said it was a sinus infection and gave me meds. A week or so later it was still there but had gotten worse and added a horeible cough to it so I went back and explained that and they said they thought it was acute bronchitis and provided me with some meds (one being the z pack). After about two days of taking that fhe cough died down but I began itchy from head to toe especially bad around my throat and on my arms and feet. I began burning up and went to an emergency walk in center and they told me to stop taking the new meds and provided me with a steroid thinking it was an allergic reaction. While the steroid meds helped the itchy was still bad and persistent. I had two other similar reactions rhe weeks following this which lead me to another doctor (who again prescribed me a steroid thinking it was an allergic reaction) and than finally to a dermatologist who said it was a rash and not allergy related. He prescribed me something. And it didn't work. At this point over a span of a few weeks I spent about 400 dollars (which im a young 20 something with very little money to spend and very little credit due to school debt) so being fed up with all the visits and all the money spent only to still feel horribly itchy I decided to just stop going and deal with it. Here I am three months later still itchy only now I feel like I have no energy (can't even screw a cap on without feeling exhausted) incredibly week, with a few other symotims I think I listed above. So in my doctors appointment Tuesday what I'm really nervous about is that they're going to prescribe me some steroid or some other symptomatic fix and send me on my way and I'm another 60 dollars down and still feeling sick and itchy. I just want to feel okay again and I guess what I was really hoping from this thread was to find out how others finally got their doctors to listen and test for more concerning things. 

fingerscrosseddear
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2016

Also didn't realize I kind of just repeated myself haha sorry. Not used to this format and I couldn't seen not could remember if I wrote all that already. But yeah haha i guess it's a bit of Doctor shopping but it's not because I don't like what they say. It's that everything they've said and done hasn't helped or panned out and I just want an answe and a solution and to  feeling bad and sick and mostly to stop itching Because that's become unbearable. I want to peel my skin off lol for a better lack of words. 

po18guy
Posts: 1083
Joined: Nov 2011

The World Health Organization officially recognizes 68,069 human illnesses and conditions. Your body is capable of producing 150+/- symptoms. Over-simplifying, that is 450+ potential conditions per symptom. What has occurred is a natural, if not exactly logical, human response. You find something, then suspect something sinister. Anxiety increases exponentially. Google metastacises. But, this is all backward! Medical science has to examine you first for signs, while listening to your symptoms, as they are two different things. Far better to do your research after diagnosis, as pre-diagnosis research has lead you to cancer. Here is a rule to live by:

You do not have cancer until a pathology report says you have cancer. 

Lymphoma - Hodgkin's or otherwise, is very rare in 20 year olds. Anxiety, not so much. Lymphoma does not hide for long. It will be easily detectable, symptoms or not. There is an "even if" here. Even if it is lymphoma, it is either a treatable/"curable" form or it is not. If it is treatable, then it is just as treatable if it is only a single cell, or trillions. Lymphoma is rarely an emergency, and so far, you do not have it. You are at an anxious time of life in an extremely anxious culture. The stress of school life, poor sleeping habits, detachment from family and friends at school, insecurity, poor diet, questionable physical activities - all can contribute to stress and anxiety, which are the main symptoms that you are displaying.

Could you have some form of cancer? Doubtful, but possible. Having said that, you do not have to continually look for it. If you ever have it, it will let you know when it has arrived. One doctor could be an idiot. But not several in a row.

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