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Thread: Choking/strangling feeling in throat

  1. #1
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    Choking/strangling feeling in throat

    Hi All,
    I have never done this but I wanted to share what's going on and get some feedback. I'm 33 yo female. I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2013. It was caught randomly on an X-ray for something completely separate and was located around my heart.
    I did 6 months of ABVD chemo but no radiation. I've had a ctscan of my chest every year since and all clear.
    I developed lymphademia swelling in my legs this summer and have to start wearing compression stockings (sexy). This is an unusual side effect of chemo alone but it's very noticeable and started 3 years after treatment ended.
    In September is started to feel an on again off again finger tip sized pressure in my throat, centred at the base. I kept moving my shirt as it felt like a tight collar. It came and went and I didn't think much of it. From September until now (January) I have been noticing some pretty significant hormonal changes in my cycle from ovulation until my period starts. I can track it like clock work.
    In November, my whole family came down with a virus...a few weeks of fever, cough, typical virus stuff...but my voice changed (disappeared for a while) and still isn't the same (I'm a singer so it's been frustrating) and the throat discomfort has significantly worsened to feel like a light choking all the time. Like someone is gently strangling me. It's hard to get comfortable to sleep and makes me gag if anything actually presses against my neck.
    My doctor did TSH and LD bloodwork and both came back fine. My inflammation markers are high though, but doc said that's due to the virus.
    The virus itself is gone but the throat strangling feeling is awful and I've recently developed headaches everyday.
    I requested an ultrasound of my throat and to see an ENT but it's Canada so it's going to take a few weeks, especially because my family doc doesn't see any urgency.
    The choking feeling is hindering my sleep and is so uncomfortable.
    If anyone has experience with this post-Lymphoma/ABVD chemo, I'd love to hear any solutions. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi

    You need to be able to discount a relapse...the fact your inflammatory markers are high does not rule out a relapse at all.

    Your plan to have an ENT look at your throat is however a sound one but you could also consider revisiting the team that originally treated your HL. To be honest with you that lymphedema is concerning if you never had any nodes removed in the affected part of the body. I totally understand your concern with your throat symptoms as well !

    Don't panic as your doctor seems quite relaxed... however it is not his body or his life and he can afford to be relaxed. Follow this up and make sure a relapse is conclusively ruled out

    Good luck and let us know how you get on
    Age 60
    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 AND DECLARED CURED 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.

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much for your quick reply!
    Thankfully I had a clean CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis in October but my neck has not been scanned since 2013.
    The fluid in my legs has been quite annoying. It's in both legs but one more so than the other. A quick X-ray revealed that the knee on that leg has a fracture! I have no idea how that happened...but both legs had edema and the docs seem perplexed as to why but are content with having me wear the compression socks to fix the problem.
    I've honestly been surprised by their lack of interest/concern and how I seem to be the one steering this ship in the midst of blatantly obvious symptoms, as well as unseen ones (the choking feeling that is driving me mad) but I'm glad they are respectfully willing to do what I request and suggest.
    I notified my hematologist about everything and she seems equally convinced that the throat issue is due to the virus and my blood work should be enough to put my mind at ease. She hasn't offered to actually see me in person so she hasn't seen or felt the affected area.
    Honestly, blood work doesn't do anything for my peace of mind. I was the picture of health when I was diagnosed the first time, by accident.
    I look forward to the ultrasound. I think it will be my most definitive test going forward.
    Thanks again for your quick response. It's comforting to talk this out.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
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    One thing to avoid is the lumping of all side effects together, as they may be completely unrelated. I grant you that all might be some odd late effect of the treatment, but as we age, things begin to happen. As to your throat, I have felt a similar sensation around the base of my neck. For some reason, I seem to have developed a sensitivity to any tightness of my collars, as loosening them, or stretching the elastic collars relieves it.

    The treatment was an assault, not only on the cancer, but also on the innocent bystander in all of this - your body. Various effects may be noted, with random inflammation being one of them. The recent virus is an identifiable and reasonable explanation for both your inflammation numbers as well as the throat issue. Be thankful in this case that you did indeed have a recent virus. Lacking that, the symptom would be more worrisome.

    As to the late effects, Adriamycin (Doxorubicin) can have some late cardiac toxicity, so it might be prudent to inquire about an EKG or consult with a cardiologist. I did after 5 years and was relieved to hear that no adverse effects were found. The same with Bleomycin and lung toxicity. Here is hoping that the US will put your mind at ease.
    07/08 Age 56 DX 1) Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma-Not Otherwise Specified. >50 tumors, marrow involvement.
    08/08-12/08 Four cycles CHOEP14 + four cycles GND (Cyclofosfamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine, Etoposide, Prednisone & Gemcitabine, Navelbine, Doxil)
    02/09 2) Relapse.
    03/09-06/13 Clinical trial of Romidepsin > long-term study. NED for 64 twenty-eight day cycles, dose tapered.
    07/13 3) Relapse, 4) Suspected Mutation.
    08/13-02/14 Romidepsin increased, stopped for lack of response. Watch & Wait.
    09/14 Relapse/Progression. Visible cervical nodes appear within 4 days of being checked clear.
    10/06/14 One cycle Belinostat. Discontinued to enter second clinical trial.
    10/25/14 Clinical trial of Alisertib/Failed - Progression.
    01/12/15 Belinostat resumed/Failed - Progression. 02/23/15
    02/24/15 Pralatrexate/Failed - Progression. 04/17/15
    04/15 Genomic profiling reveals mutation into PTCL-NOS + AngioImmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. Two dozen tumors + small intestine (Ileum) involvement.
    04/22/15 TREC (Bendamustine, Etoposide, Carboplatin). Full response in two cycles. PET/CT both clear. Third cycle followed.
    06/15-07/15 Transplant preparation (X-rays, spinal taps, BMB, blood test, MUGA scan, lung function, CMV screening, C-Diff testing etc. etc. etc.) Intrathecal Methotrexate during spinal tap.
    BMB reveals 5) Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow cancer.
    07/11-12/15 Cyclofosfamide + Fludarabine conditioning regimen.
    07/16/15 Total Body Irradiation.
    07/17/15 Haploidentical Allogeneic Transplant receiving my son's peripheral blood stem cells.
    07/21-22/15 Triple dose Cyclofosfamide + Mesna, followed by immunosuppressants Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil.
    07/23-08/03/15 Blood nose dive. Fever. Hospitalized two weeks.
    08/04/15 Engraftment official - released from hospital.
    08/13/15 Marrow is 100% donor cells. Platelets climbing steadily, red cells follow.
    09/21/15 Acute skin GvHD arrives. DEXA scan reveals Osteoporosis.
    09/26/-11/03/15 Prednisone to control skin GvHD.
    05/2016 Tacrolimus stopped. Prednisone from 30-90mg daily tried. Sirolimus begun.
    09/16/16 Three skin punch biopsies.
    11/04/16 GvHD clinical trial of Ofatumumab (Arzerra) + Prednisone + Methylprednisolone begun.
    To date: 18 chemotherapeutic drugs in 9 regimens (4 of them at least twice), + 4 immunosuppressant drugs.

    I have been chosen to suffer, therefore, I am blessed. Knowing the redemptive value of suffering makes all the difference.

    "What is faith? It is that which gives substance to our hopes, which convinces us of things we cannot see"
    - Hebrews 11:1

  5. #5
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Thankfully I had a clean CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis in October
    Well that is very encouraging and makes a relapse very unlikely...also the fact your haematologist is not concerned speaks volumes to me. By all means have that ultrasound but I reckon you can breathe easier now.

    Cheers
    Age 60
    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 AND DECLARED CURED 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.

  6. #6
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    All very good points. Thanks so much.
    The ultrasound will definitely be the best diagnostic tool at this point to rule out anything new or developing. My blood work has always been pristine, even when first diagnosed and I had no symptoms of active disease when it was originally found so I find my body tricky to read.
    Thankfully, I'm not overly concerned and know I'm on the right path to getting answers...the strangling sensation itself has been making sleeping difficult as it's hard to lay in a position that is comfortable. I've gotten about 8 hours in the last 3 days and am hoping to get some rest tonight.
    Thanks again. I'll update after the ultrasound, whenever that will be.
    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Well I am pretty sure you have had an attack of what we call "The Noise". This is that nagging fear that the beast has returned. It takes a while for it to get to the point you can ignore it. It is a normal reaction that everyone has.

    You will have an answer soon and after that you can relax.
    Age 60
    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 AND DECLARED CURED 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.

  8. #8
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    5
    I saw an ENT today. He said that my thyroid is bulky and enlarged from what he can feel. He has ordered an ultrasound for February 16th and I'll see him again on the 20th. Hopefully I'll get the news I am expecting, which is that my thyroid is fine, just a little chubby, like the rest of me
    I've begun wearing compression stockings and seeing a lymphatic massage therapist and my leg swelling is responding well.
    I'll update when I know more.
    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Excited to report my thyroid has only a cyst! It will need to be monitored annually, and may be the cause of some irritation but it is evidently not cancerous.
    Thrilled!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pacific NW, USA
    Posts
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    Great news! DW has a thyroid cyst, and it is a case if simply checking from time to time to see if it has resolved or not.
    07/08 Age 56 DX 1) Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma-Not Otherwise Specified. >50 tumors, marrow involvement.
    08/08-12/08 Four cycles CHOEP14 + four cycles GND (Cyclofosfamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine, Etoposide, Prednisone & Gemcitabine, Navelbine, Doxil)
    02/09 2) Relapse.
    03/09-06/13 Clinical trial of Romidepsin > long-term study. NED for 64 twenty-eight day cycles, dose tapered.
    07/13 3) Relapse, 4) Suspected Mutation.
    08/13-02/14 Romidepsin increased, stopped for lack of response. Watch & Wait.
    09/14 Relapse/Progression. Visible cervical nodes appear within 4 days of being checked clear.
    10/06/14 One cycle Belinostat. Discontinued to enter second clinical trial.
    10/25/14 Clinical trial of Alisertib/Failed - Progression.
    01/12/15 Belinostat resumed/Failed - Progression. 02/23/15
    02/24/15 Pralatrexate/Failed - Progression. 04/17/15
    04/15 Genomic profiling reveals mutation into PTCL-NOS + AngioImmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. Two dozen tumors + small intestine (Ileum) involvement.
    04/22/15 TREC (Bendamustine, Etoposide, Carboplatin). Full response in two cycles. PET/CT both clear. Third cycle followed.
    06/15-07/15 Transplant preparation (X-rays, spinal taps, BMB, blood test, MUGA scan, lung function, CMV screening, C-Diff testing etc. etc. etc.) Intrathecal Methotrexate during spinal tap.
    BMB reveals 5) Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow cancer.
    07/11-12/15 Cyclofosfamide + Fludarabine conditioning regimen.
    07/16/15 Total Body Irradiation.
    07/17/15 Haploidentical Allogeneic Transplant receiving my son's peripheral blood stem cells.
    07/21-22/15 Triple dose Cyclofosfamide + Mesna, followed by immunosuppressants Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil.
    07/23-08/03/15 Blood nose dive. Fever. Hospitalized two weeks.
    08/04/15 Engraftment official - released from hospital.
    08/13/15 Marrow is 100% donor cells. Platelets climbing steadily, red cells follow.
    09/21/15 Acute skin GvHD arrives. DEXA scan reveals Osteoporosis.
    09/26/-11/03/15 Prednisone to control skin GvHD.
    05/2016 Tacrolimus stopped. Prednisone from 30-90mg daily tried. Sirolimus begun.
    09/16/16 Three skin punch biopsies.
    11/04/16 GvHD clinical trial of Ofatumumab (Arzerra) + Prednisone + Methylprednisolone begun.
    To date: 18 chemotherapeutic drugs in 9 regimens (4 of them at least twice), + 4 immunosuppressant drugs.

    I have been chosen to suffer, therefore, I am blessed. Knowing the redemptive value of suffering makes all the difference.

    "What is faith? It is that which gives substance to our hopes, which convinces us of things we cannot see"
    - Hebrews 11:1

 

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