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#147602 - 03/30/12 05:45 PM lymph nodes
SuzyS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 6
Loc: United Kingdom
Hello
I am frantic tonight: a couple of days ago I became aware of a palpable lymph node in my neck. I am not sure how long it has been there as it is not very big but found it when rubbing some massage oil, it is LHS of my neck (my tumour was on tonsil with mets in the right side lymph nodes) so this is the opposite side. I can feel one lymph node and cannot see an ENT surgeon until next Tuesday. I have not had a cold, nor any infection or virus in my throat, so I am very worried about this./ please can anyone advise. I am now 18 months post RT, and 16 months post neck dissection, and my white blood count remains very low, it has not recovered - i wonder how long it is normal for it to remain so low after treatment ?
wouild be grateful for comments and advise
Suzy
_________________________
Stage IV tonsil cancer T3N2bM0. diagnosed in April 2010, had tonsillectomy and some of soft palate removed May. June introductory chemo (Cisplatin/5FU) followed by 6 weeks RT with 4 cycles Cisplatin from mid July to end August. early October modified radical neck dissection RHS.

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#147604 - 03/30/12 09:04 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: SuzyS]
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 8387
Loc: PA
Suzy, it can take several years for your body to recover and get back to normal after going thru radiation and chemo. I am 4 1/2 years post radiation/chemo and my numbers are still low. Cancer treatments have a way of really messing up your body.

A lymph node can swell up for an infection or any minor illness which might not be showing other symptoms yet. Try not to panic about this. Seeing your doctor Tuesday is ok. Try to stay busy to keep your mind off of worrying.

Good luck!
_________________________
Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile

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#147606 - 03/30/12 10:02 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: ChristineB]
braziliangirl82 Offline
Senior Member (100+ posts)

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 110
Loc: br
_________________________
December, 2011 - T1N0M0 SSC Oral Tongue sugery (Dec 07, 2011). Partial glossectomy, primary closure. Selective Neck dissection, all 57 nodes free. 29 at diagnosis, no risk factors at all. No smoking, drinking and HPV negative. Can you explain? I can't.

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#147614 - 03/30/12 11:35 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: braziliangirl82]
Cheryld Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 4893
Loc: Toronto canada
Agreeing with everything here... it could be something small you haven't noticed yet maybe a bit of an infection or something. Definitely have it checked out but try not to freak. hugs.
_________________________
Cheryl : Irritation - 2004 BX: 6/2008 : Inflam. BX: 12/10, DX: 12/10 : SCC - LS tongue well dif. T2N1M0. 2/11 hemigloss + recon. : PND - 40 nodes - 39 clear. 3/11 - 5/11 IMRT 33 + cis x2, PEG 3/28/11 - 5/19/11 3 head, 2 chest scans - clear(fingers crossed) HPV-, No smoke, drink, or drugs, Vegan

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#147615 - 03/30/12 11:41 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: SuzyS]
klo Offline
"OCF Down Under"
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 638
Loc: Sydney Australia
Hi Suzy
Your doctors have given you the works to treat your illness so it is no suprise you body is still recovering as evidenced by the low WBC. I am not clear if the cisplatin/5FU was just one dose to "soften you up" for radiation or if it was a full induction course (3 cycles). Either way, a combination 5FU/cisplatin even one dose is a miserable treatment and in conjunction with more cisplatin concurrent with radiation, could easily be affecting your WBC 18 months later. I do not know how long they take to recover fully but if Christine says years then she should know.

Similar to you, my Alex was diagnosed in March 2010 and finished chemorads at the end of August 2010 and still has abnormal blood counts.

Sorry to hear about your swollen glands and hope it is nothing but take comfort in the fact that you have been diligent and will take care of whatever it is quickly. I know that seeing your ENT surgeon so quickly is great for your physical health, but feels like forever for your stress levels. If you catch yourself churning about the "what ifs", try to shut them down remembering you have already done everything in your power to take care of yourself. Everyone has different ways of keeping the background chatter from invading - some keep busy, do gardening etc. I personally, am a "churner" so try to do things that require my full concentration on the task at hand and which shuts the back chatter out. I am not so successful at night immediately after going to bed. My best effort is to let the concerns in, and try to turn them into positive scenarios. I inevitably fall asleep just before the doctor tells me that we won't need the million dollars we won on the lotto to pay Alex's medical bills as there is nothing there that needs treating smile.

If you can't shut your thoughts down by keeping occupied at something else, at least try replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones - and you have some good ones. You have a very timely appointment with an expert who will take care of you, you have done everything in your power to protect yourself so outcomes are in your favour, most swollen glands are the body's reaction to infection (even ones you can't feel) and your immune system is not up to par so it should not be unexpected, this bump is on the opposite side of your neck to your original problem so that is good too.

Whatever your mechanism for coping, you also have all of us - good luck
Karen
_________________________
Karen
Love of Life to Alex T4N2M0 SCC Tonsil, BOT, R lymph nodes
Dx March 2010 51yrs. Unresectable. HPV+ve
Tx Chemo x 3+1 cycles(cisplatin,docetaxel,5FU)- complete May 31
Chemoradiation (IMRTx35 + weekly cisplatin)
Finish Aug 27
Return to work 2 years on
3 years out Aug 27 2013 NED smile
Still underweight

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#147696 - 04/02/12 02:50 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: klo]
slim Offline
Platinum Member (300+ posts)

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 475
Loc: PA
Hi Suzy. I know it's hard not to hit the panic button but it could just be an enlarged lymph node, nothing more, nothing less. John will be 3 years out of treatments April 15th and his WBC is still below normal. He has found a couple of bumps and lumps over the past couple of years but after a week they went away. Try not to drive yourself crazy waiting to see the doctor. Hugs.
_________________________
Wanda (47) caregiver to husband John (56) age at diag.
1-13-09 diagnosed Stage IV BOT SCC (HPV+)
2-12-09 PEG placed, 7-6-09 removed
Cisplatin 7 weeks, 7 weeks (35) IMRT
4-15-09 - treatment completed
8-09,12-09-CT Scans clear, 4-10,6-11-PET Scans clear
4-13 - HBO (30 dives) tooth extraction

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#147699 - 04/02/12 04:13 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: slim]
Pandora99 Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 09/14/06
Posts: 1319
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Hi Suzy: I am the Queen of "sometimes a lump is just a lump!". I have had a number of scares and subsequent biopsies and I am happy to say that I do not regret being vigilant but am always happy when I get an "all clear" result. I am working on not having a major panic attack when I accidentally feel a lump. Gawd, I hate that feeling - my stomach clenches, cue cold sweat, etc. I am learning - but I'm not sure that feeling ever completely goes away.

My long suffering oncologist surgeon once said to me "even people who haven't had cancer get swollen glands and lymph nodes"! By the way, every time I thought I had a swollen lymph node, I was corrected in that the swollen area wasn't actually a lymph node. Turns out I have no idea where those little devils are!

Hugs, work on staying calm. We are here for you.

Donna
_________________________
Donna,60,SCC L Tongue T2N1MO Stg IV 4/04 w/partial gloss;32 radtx; T2N2M0 Stg IV.New primary R tongue-2nd partial gloss w/graft 10/07; 30 radtx/2 cispl 2/08. 10 yrs from 1st dx, 6 yrs since 2nd dx. Surviving isn't easy,but grateful for EVERY day.Proudly Canadian - YES, UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IS WONDERFUL! Cancer does not eliminate vanity - I would still rather be 59!

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#148879 - 04/30/12 11:43 AM Re: lymph nodes [Re: Pandora99]
SuzyS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 6
Loc: United Kingdom
Many thanks to all who replied to my post at the start of the month, yes, already at the end of the month ! strange how our relationship with time changes after we have looked this in the eye ... My ENT doc thinks that this small lump I became aware of on my neck is, in fact, a thickened tendon, she says that as my neck is very slender, I can indeed feel things very acutely, but most importantly she didnt feel any need to be worried, just for good measure I was sent for ultrasound and the radiologist confirmed he saw no sign of enlarged lymph nodes. I feel much better about that and reallly appreciate your responses and indeed that much needed support one gets from a group liek this one. thanks Suzy
_________________________
Stage IV tonsil cancer T3N2bM0. diagnosed in April 2010, had tonsillectomy and some of soft palate removed May. June introductory chemo (Cisplatin/5FU) followed by 6 weeks RT with 4 cycles Cisplatin from mid July to end August. early October modified radical neck dissection RHS.

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#148886 - 04/30/12 02:40 PM Re: lymph nodes [Re: SuzyS]
Cheryld Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 4893
Loc: Toronto canada
Yeah!!!!! And yes it may also be a snazzy clamp! I have an awesome one that is rounded and solid and feels like a pea... It's a left over from surgery lucky me! Surgeon and his assistant told me it was a clamp! smile I know it wasn't a node since its been there since my surgery... But still it's kinda odd when it touch it smile


Edited by Cheryld (04/30/12 02:41 PM)
_________________________
Cheryl : Irritation - 2004 BX: 6/2008 : Inflam. BX: 12/10, DX: 12/10 : SCC - LS tongue well dif. T2N1M0. 2/11 hemigloss + recon. : PND - 40 nodes - 39 clear. 3/11 - 5/11 IMRT 33 + cis x2, PEG 3/28/11 - 5/19/11 3 head, 2 chest scans - clear(fingers crossed) HPV-, No smoke, drink, or drugs, Vegan

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