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Second opinion????

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2018

Alright. I’m a 23 year old female. I’ve had some weird symptoms over the last year or so. General fatigue, some weight loss mostly due to lack of appetite and some weird fevers at night mostly. I chalked it up to my bipolar disorder and just carried on. Fast forward about 2 months ago. I went in to the doctor for a lump in my armpit. While I was there he found an enlarged lymph node on the left side of my collarbone that was like 2 cm. He wasn’t concerned about my armpit lump, said it was a cyst or a limpoma(sp?). I had a CT with and without contrast to check the one on my neck and various blood tests. Week later everything came back normal. My doctor wasn’t even going to schedule a follow up with me about it. I insisted because I was concerned and he left me feeling completely stupid after the appointment, blaming all my symtoms on my Bipolar disorder and telling me I was going to have to see a psych doctor regularly (I can’t right now due to money) before anyone would take me seriously. He’s now sending me to a gastro doctor for the weight los, a sleep specialist for the fatigue only because I wanted to get to the bottom of this. Here’s the thing, I’m not due to see these specialists for another FOUR MONTHS. I’ve still got both of these lumps, the one in my neck is super hard and gross feeling and the one in my armpit is soft but is getting bigger! Now I try not to let all of the internet stuff cloud my judgement, but I’m worried! Should I get a second opinon? And if I do what kind of questions should I ask? What kind of tests? I’m so worried. Thank you for reading and I’m sorry for the book. I’m just trying to include as much information as possible.

Posts: 315
Joined: Jul 2016


Sorry your concern has brought you to a cancer patient forum.

Just a few remarks on reading your post:

- everything that causes some fatigue, moderate weight loss, and enlarged lymph nodes is not necessarily cancer. In fact, the odds are generally more in favor of infection or autoimmune disorders;

- I assume you were handed a copy of the report from the CT as well as the blood tests. If the report does not state any abnormalities in the structure of your nodes or any other findings, there is a pretty good chance that they are enlarged for some other reason. I imagine the blood tests included tests to rule out signs of infection;

- after an inconclusive CT and blood tests, and in the absence of any spectacular symptoms, there does not seem to be any emergency - therefore, a four-month wait to see those specialists is not an issue;

- in fact, you may well see those lymph nodes go back to their normal size during that while.

Now, enlarged lymph nodes are objectively measurable, whatever your other conditions. Since you mention having a bipolar disorder and that your doctor has directed you to a psychiatrist, it could be that your doctor may have found you overly agitated or anxious in this instance. This may or may not be a result of your disorder, but still needs to be assessed and possibly treated, as it can only accentuate any discomfort or symptoms you are having.

I am sure there must be ways for a patient with a known bipolar disorder to see a psychiatrist, even when money is an issue, and would suggest that you do follow that piece of advice from your doctor and seek help to address this - if only for your own peace of mind. It may also give more credibility to your other health claims if your anxiety is properly controlled.

I hope this helps.

Do keep us posted.


po18guy's picture
Posts: 1192
Joined: Nov 2011

Wherever you live, there are public health angencies that work hand-in-hand with mental health providers. If you have a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder, you certainly qualify for public help if you cannot pay. That being said, I suspect that some level of anxiety is driving your worries. 1 in 5 suffers from some level of anxiety. Your bi-polar disorder may or may not have anything to do with the anxiety, as they could well be two separate issues.

Feeling that no one takes you seriously (doctors are some of the most serious persons that I know) also, IMO, tends to point to a certain level of anxiety. Especoially if diagnostic testing has revealed no physical eviendce ("signs") of a disease process. This is only magnified if paranoia is part of your diagnosis.

Since first things first, I can only suggest that you seek and locate local mental health services. Then, qualified individuals may review your case and treat you as appropriate. 

If you are not in active treatment, with on-going evaluation of your treatment plan, cancer may have slipped onto your radar simply because you are not being treated for other conditions.

Sten's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi MackMackAttack,

You have received good answers from PBL and from po18guy.

I wish you well and good luck!


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