In January of 2005 I was working in the middle of the night and rubbed my collar bone - a habit I have. I was surprised when I felt a couple small lumps just behind my collar bone. I called and made an appt to see my doc and he said they were swollen lymph nodes and should go away or be greatly reduced within three weeks. I've got a good doc and he even said, "If you're worried I can schedule an ultrasound." But I wasn't worried and figured he was right and went on my merry way. Three weeks and one day later I happened to rub my collar bone again and felt them again so I looked on my calendar to see when I'd been at the doc. Hmm, just over three weeks. I called and left a message. He called me back and we decided to go with an ultrasound and, depending on how that came back, a biopsy to confirm might be needed. At this point, I'm still not really worried. The day after the ultrasound, I decided to look online. I put in "swollen lymph nodes in neck" and Googled. Very scary since most of my symptoms leaned towards lymphoma rather than an infection. But I surfed some more and came up with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. That really scared me because one of the symptoms was "deep itching". I'd been scratching for a few weeks - mostly my thighs but also my joints. I called his office on Monday, explained I'd looked online and was probably being silly but wanted to tell him about one thing I'd forgotten to mention. He called me back and I told him, adding "but it's winter so it's probably just dry skin". Then he told me what the head of radiology had called to tell him that Friday after I left...that they suspected Hodgkin's.
I was lucky. It WAS Hodgkin's. But I caught it early - stage 1A. Hodgkin's Lymphoma generally starts in the lymph nodes behind the collar bone, in the arm pits or in the groin area. I joked with my oncologist about how lucky it was that I rubbed my collar bone when I was tired and that it chose to start there...wouldn't have found it until much later otherwise since I don't rub my pits or groin. :-)
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