I am a 19 year old male and I am seriously concerned and worried about possible lymphoma or hodgkins. Earlier this year, in late February, I came down with a severe cold and sore throat. After it went on for about three days and it felt like it was getting worse I went to see a doctor. As I was being checked, my doctor noticed an enlarged painless lymph node above my left collarbone, (about 2 cm in diameter) which was news to me. She told me to come in 4 weeks later to have it checked. As for the cold, I tested positive for mononucleosis. The doctor told me nothing else about my lymph node. Stupidly, I went home and looked up possible reasons for this enlarged lymph node. Realistically, I realized that the most apparent and logical reason for it was the mono. However, I was worried as I saw a lot of cases of lymphoma related to such a lymph node. Since then, the anxiety about my possible cancer has plagued me off and on.
4 weeks later I went back to the doctor. She checked me again, and told me that my lymph node had shrunk to 1 cm, which was a good sign. Again, she told me to come back again in 4 weeks. which would have been the beginning of may.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, I missed that appointment and was subsequently checked in late July by a different doctor. The node was still there. I myself had checked it repeatedly. As I told my doctor, I could (and can) guarantee that the node had and has not gotten any bigger. However, I am and was unsure if it has or had gotten any smaller. He checked my neck and armpits, and both collarbones, and said nothing of it but referred me to a general surgeon at a local hospital.
2 weeks later I went to see the general surgeon, incidentally the day before I got my wisdom teeth out. The general surgeon saw me for less than ten minutes. He asked me to take my shirt off, told me to put my finger on the node (which i did), he felt it and dismissed it jokingly as an inflammatory or reactive node. He asked me no other questions except for simply inquiring if I was in generally good health. Which I believed I was, and told him so.
After this diagnosis, or the lack thereof, I was pretty happy.
Unfortunately now, there are various and asundry reasons that I am beginning to worry. Things that stay at the back of my head and periodically plague my thoughts. These things I have not told the doctors, which may be the reason they cause me to worry so much.
1. I think, but am not exactly sure of the timeframe, that I lost 20 pounds between the beggining of the summer of 2007 and the end of winter break in 2008 (Jan. 2008, before I had mono). I gained 5 pounds of it back after I had mono, and I have maintained my weight since. The anxiety for this one comes from not being able to know for sure whether this weight loss can be explained or not. I have a tendency to completely lose my appetite when I am nervous. I knew this from unfinished prom dinners and whatnot. The beggining of freshman year was terribly stressful, and I lost my appetite quite frequently. For example, I remember getting 12 inch subway sandwiches and taking one bite and not being able to eat any more, also, I remember leaving thanksgiving dinner with my plate mostly full. Also, I do not remember any other symptoms coexisting with this weight loss. Simply the nervousness. I guess I'm just not sure that nervousness can have such a profound effect.
2. I have had night sweats two nights in a row, and one earlier this week. (I also have somewhat of a sore throat and a cough).
3. I had 3-4 nights of mild night sweats before my wisdom tooth operation in late July. I have never had a string of them for an entire week or two weeks, but I can remember having them in possibly two more spans of 1-2 nights.
4. Upon returning to college this semester, I have felt fatigued from the morning ( I wake up at 8 for 9 a.m. class) until early afternoon, when i seem to regain my energy. This has happened for about 5-days now. I can't say I've been getting the best and longest sleep, but I can't remember feeling tired in this way before,
Thus, the questions I have at the end of this interminable post are: should I trust the judgement of the general surgeon? Is my anxiety simply jumping at shadows? Should I go see a doctor yet again?
Thank you for your time