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Thread: Lymph node excisional biopsy.. anxious for results!

  1. #1
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    Lymph node excisional biopsy.. anxious for results!

    Hi!
    I'm Sarah. I'm a 22 year old female from the Vancouver area in BC, Canada. I am waiting for results from an excisional lymph node biopsy (from the neck) in regards to lymphoma. I have an appointment to discuss the results tomorrow and I am quite anxious! I have found this website to be full of encouragement and kind words.. keep up the good work!

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Hi Sarah, I am sorry to here about your health concerns. I hope and pray that it is not lymphoma. I did go ahead and copy your post to the lymphoma forum.

    Keep us informed.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

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    Alright. Since I originally posted this in the new member forum, I didn't elaborate much.. perhaps I'll do that now since this topic is open now anyway!

    I had a swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck (cervical) for quite a while. I originally thought it was nothing to be concerned about since it had been there for a while, but my friend's mom is a lab tech and told me that I needed to get it checked out ASAP since it was so big. I went to the first doctor, who seemed to think it wasn't a problem, but after we drilled him a little, he booked me for a fine needle aspiration with a general surgeon. I saw her a month or two later, expecting the FNA. Instead, when I got there, she examined me and said that the only way to determine for sure whether or not I have lymphoma is to do a full excisional biopsy of the lymph node. She booked me for surgery immediately - only 12 days later. It was my first general and I was a little nervous - but more so about the results! The surgery ended up going very well. I was fine with the general, ended up quite nauseous (perhaps from the T3's), but felt better after the first couple of days and am feeling pretty much fine (despite some tiredness) 2 weeks later. The scar is way bigger than she indicated it would be, so I guess it was deeper/bigger than she thought! I'm glad that part is over with.. and want the next part to be over with too!

    That was two weeks ago today, and I was told that I would likely get preliminary results back last week, but haven't heard anything yet. Hopefully no news is good news? I have an appointment tomorrow morning to get the full results, and am quite nervous.

    Luckily, she said I don't appear to have any other enlarged nodes in my head/neck/upper back/chest region, which is good. And I haven't had any noticeable symptoms (other than slight skin itches now and then, but i'm an itchy/rashy sort of person anyway.. i don't think it's out of the ordinary). I'm totally paranoid and monitoring closely for night sweats and everything else after reading up on all this stuff.. hah. The power of suggestion is not my friend! Anyway, the surgeon said the lymph node was really large, so we definitely needed to test it. It seems like some people who appear perfectly healthy (with no symptoms) end up having lymphoma after all.. so I am taking the threat seriously.

    It seems like most of my friends and family just assume that I'm totally fine (now that I'm recovered from the biopsy) and forget that I'm anxiously waiting for results that could indicate lymphoma. That is really frustrating to me. They keep telling me to just think positively, which I try to do (but it's difficult!), but I don't think it's right to ignore the possibility of lymphoma! They also say that I'm healthy and act like I couldn't possibly have lymphoma. Obviously there's a chance or we wouldn't be testing. I'm thankful for the few who seem to be in it with me taking it seriously and hopefully waiting for good results!

    I had no bloodwork or CT scans or xrays or anything done before the biopsy, and in the forums it looks like a lot of other people have had this type of testing beforehand.. so I'm kind of wondering about why my doctors didn't choose to do that first? But at the same time I'm glad that my surgeon wanted to do the surgery right away without dilly dallying since we can get started with treatment right away if there IS something going on.

    I had mono about 4-5 years ago, and read that mono can increase the risk of getting lymphoma later? My nervousness increased a little after reading that.

    Anyway, my results come back tomorrow and hopefully they are positive! I'm trying to stay hopeful and remember that there is a good chance it is NOT lymphoma (considering the lack of other nodes and symptoms).. but there is always the chance and will be glad to find out the results tomorrow either way!

    Good luck to everyone else who is also anxious about their results!

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    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi sarah

    First off don't worry everything will be alright. You have a great doctor and you can trust what she says. She was right in taking the whole node as FNB's are basically a waste of time. Bloodwork is not much use in lymphoma diagnosis, it hinges on that biopsy. if the results are positive then you will have a whole bunch of scans. Included will be a gated blood pool to test your heart ( if you need vincristine/vinblastine) and a CT scan and a PET scan, and maybe an MRI although this is not necessary. The important one is the PET scan. None of them are particularly nasty but the PET scan takes ages( about 4 hours in all).

    Lymphoma is rare but enlarged nodes are fairly common so I wouldn't worry to much. The treatments for lymphoma are amongst the most successful cancer treatments, so even if you do have some sort of lymphoma, you can be confident of being in remission at the end of it. The trick is to stay in remission but the figures are very good at around 90% survival at ten years. I had Diffuse large B cell lymphoma and the treatment came as a nice surprise as I was expecting so much worse than I got

    I hope your scans are negative Sarah and you have no need to come back here, but if by chance you do have something come back by all means, we may be able to put your mind at ease.

    Good luck and here's hoping it's nothing serious
    Age 58
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  5. #5
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    Good news!

    I just saw the doctor, and she said what happened in my neck was actually quite uncommon in adults. It's a branchial cleft cyst. Wasn't even a swollen lymph node to begin with! She had originally thought it was a swollen node due to infection because there was some white fluid stuff around when she removed it, but apparently it was fluid from the cyst. The pathologist talked to my surgeon and asked if she had taken some skin cells, because there were epithelial cells in the tissue. My surgeon didn't, and they eventually figured out that the cells were there because it was a cyst and not a swollen lymph node after all. She originally did not think of this as a possibility and had told me it was either due to lymphoma or an infection of some kind.

    My surgeon said these cysts are usually seen in children aged 2-6 years old ish. She hadn't even considered this as a possibility because I'm an adult. It's a pediatric condition, usually seen to by pediatricians, so she is not actually that familiar with this type of cyst and was suprised. She has actually only seen 2-3 of them in her career as a general surgeon. This type of cyst is made up of leftover remnants from embryonic development.. it's a birth defect. In development, branchial clefts usually involute. Branchial cleft cysts occur when the clefts do not fully involute.

    The lymph nodes surrounding the cyst appeared a little inflamed, so my surgeon did take some cells to test for lymphoma anyway. Results were negative.

    Anyway, I am much relieved by these results. The only follow-up involved is monitoring for re-occurrences and any cysts on the other side, as some people experience a bilateral pattern of cysts. Thanks so much for your support though - Chemoman, your post made me feel much better in waiting for my results!

    I wish everyone the best of luck with their test results.. and the ability to feel peace during anxious times of waiting! Don't immediately assume it's lymphoma! I was definitely pleasantly surprised by my results, and i'm relieved to be able to leave these forums so soon. Thanks again and good luck to everyone

  6. #6
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Sarah

    That's fantastic news ....like I said most enlarged nodes are not lymphoma, thanks for confirming that for the reader, it should give some solace to anyone worrying about a swollen node.

    Cheers and good luck in the future
    Age 58
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

 
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