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Enlarged Occipital Lymph Nodes- Scared, please help.

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Enlarged Occipital Lymph Nodes- Scared, please help.

by DBR1982 on Thu Jan 18, 2018 02:00 PM

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Hello all, I am new here. I posted this in the Cancer Diagnosis forums last night, but perhaps it belongs here.

 I am not sure where else to turn. My family is sick of listening to my concerns and dismisses me at every turn, but I can't shake the feeling that I am on the verge of a cancer diagnosis and the anxiety is keeping me up at night.

I am a 35 year old mother of three. A few months back (maybe 8 months ago or so), I noticed that I had a slightly enlarged occipital lymph node, only on the right side of the back of my head.  I had *not* been sick at the time, and the lump really bothered me. I went to see my general practitioner. She ordered blood work (although she wasn't concerned).  It came back showing a tiny amount of neucleated cells (I know that any amount is a concern).  After a manual differential, they found zero, and also none came back when I repeated the bloodwork a few days later.

I mostly ignored the lymph node after that and tried not to think about it.  Every once in a while I would feel it, and it was still palpable, but didn't seem to grow. I don't think it ever returned completely to "normal".

Last week, I started to have fevers, body aches, chills, and soaking night sweats (but zero respiratory symptoms).  I went to urgent care and was told I most likely had the flu.  My nasal swab was faintly positive for influenza, and I was sent home with Tamiflu.  

The fevers went away, but I continued to have some night sweats to a lesser degree, which eventually stopped.  Two days after my diagnosis of flu, when I was on the mend already, I felt the nodes in the back of my head.   The previously enlarged one felt like a marble- much larger than it had been.  The left one was not palpable. A few days later, I started to feel pain in my neck and shoulders, and now in my whole body, especially my legs and knees.  I feel 100 years old.  The right occipital node is still marble-like (I think it grew, my husband doesn't think so), and the left one is now palpable but smaller than the right one. I do not have a fever, but I am extremely tired and achy. The nodes are ever-so-slightly tender when touched... just a tiny bit, barely enough to be noted or to bother me.

It is also worth noting that this was the third episode of an illness with fever in a row: I was sick with a fever and respiratory illness in November, December, and the flu in January. All three perfectly coincided with my menstrual cycle, which had never happened to me before.  I contracted the flu after being in the house all week due to inclement weather ( I am currently a stay-at-home mom) with no visitors and my children (6, 4 1/2, almost 3) home from school. No one else in my house caught the flu from me (my kids are vaccinated, my husband is not). Cancer is extremely prevelant in my family history: Maternal grandmother-colon cancer,  died in 2001, Paternal grandfather- died of non-hodgkins lymphoma in '04, my mother had DCIS, and almost all of my older cousins, aunts, and uncles passed away from one from of cancer or another- some in their 40's and 50's. 

No one wants to take the swelling of my lymph nodes seriously, but I am terrified.  I am waiting for my blood test results, but I know that will not tell the whole story.  Does it seem likely that I have Lymphoma or another type of cancer?  Any help/advice, etc. would be helpful.  Thank you.

RE: Enlarged Occipital Lymph Nodes- Scared, please help.

by StenE on Sun Jan 21, 2018 05:31 AM

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Hi DBR1982,

Most often such symptoms Indicate something other than cancer, like infections/inflammations.

When your blood test results arrive, talk to your doctor. If needed, see a specialist.

Go on consulting doctors until they find what your problem is.

Good luck!


RE: Enlarged Occipital Lymph Nodes- Scared, please help.

by Lesley88 on Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:06 AM

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Ho did your blood tests go?

RE: Enlarged Occipital Lymph Nodes- Scared, please help.

by wamboz2002 on Sun Nov 04, 2018 08:49 PM

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Have you been checked for mono?

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