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My Turn

Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2017

As you can see from my profile and posts, I found CSN and started posting when my wife first discovered an enlarged lymph node and it turned out to be Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage II. It's been 3 months since her last chemo and so far, so good.


About a week ago I noticed an enlarged lymph node behind my left ear. It's location is about near the middle of my ear itself (not too often, but sometimes when I'm sick, it swells behind one of my ears but usually a bit lower, near the indentation behind the ear, borderline upper neck.  It's relatively painful when pushing on it (which is supposed to be a "good" sign that it's just an infection). However, 2 other "good signs" would be that it's relatively soft, and can be moved around a little. Unfortunately, it is relatively hard and doesn't really move.


I went to my GP and she said it could still be an infection even though I don't feel sick at all. She gave me methylprednisolone which is a steriod to help with infections (although she desribed it as an antibiotic) and said if it's an infection the bump should reduce in 24-48 hours. She definitely kept feeling the bump and surrounding area including my neck and clavicle, seeming a little perplexed. She did say that if it doesn't go down, next step is a radiologist.  Obviously, being familiar with this world already, I'm quite nervous. But in my research I rarely see it starting in this location. Doesn't mean there aren't other problem areas deeper, but still a strange first sign. A second sign would be for the past 2 nights, I've woken up with cold sweats. Not drenched, but still...


It's been 24 hours since I started taking the meds. So really I can start judging by tomorrow AM but it doesn't feel like it's reduced yet.


Does anyone know of cancerous nodes starting in this area?

Thank you, and apologies for any typos, I'm on a very small laptop screen.

Posts: 687
Joined: Jan 2017

The painfulness of the swelling is a good sign As is the fact it is hard. I am betting on infection. My first and only palpable node was on my right shoulder blade and was completely painless. It was misdiagnosed. I got up one morning in a hotel and went to shave and saw it. It was huge, about like half a golf ball, and if I had not seen it I would have never known it was there. Completely painless. Also it was soft not hard. Here is wishing you well. Your’s is in a very convenient place to biopsy if it comes to that. Best of luck!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3666
Joined: May 2012


Near the end of your post you ask if people are familiar with cancers beginning "up there."

Your observation is a good one. That is a rare spot for a cancer to begin at, and extremely rare for lympphoma, so much so that I doubt it could be a lymphoma.  Most occurences of lymhoma in the neck occur at or below the jaw/mandible. Just for completeness I will mention that there is a very rare form of lymphoma that is ocular, or in the eye socket, but of course that is not your issue here. Ocular lymphoma is usually linked to CNS (nervous system) involvement.

Cancer can begin virtually anywhere. Take heart that is seems unlikely that it is cancer, but follow up and make the determination.  I had a friend at work years ago discover a lump inside a nostril. I  saw a report on my desk one morning that he had called in due to "his nose bothering him."  It struck me as so ridiculous that I burst out laughing.  But within in a few weeks he was at Emory, fighting for his life.  A rare cancer, I don't even know the type.

So anything is possible.  But an inflammation seems most probable.  Please share what you learn, and I wish your wife well,


Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2017

Thanks Guys. As it turns out, the first medication I started taking (to potenitally reduce the swelling of the gland/node) was the wrong meidcation! It's a long story but no harm from the wrong med. I'm now taking Augmentum as doc still believes it's a result of an infection (somewhere). She said next step would be an ENT before a radiologist, but I now have about 24-36 more hours to see if it reduces in size.

It's not as painful anymore. Not sure If I've just gotten used to it, or even that I'm just trying not to play with it. It doesn't feel like it has reduced.  I'll check back in late next week with an update.  Thank you, again.



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