Lymph Nodes To Lymphoma: My Slippery Slope To Becoming A Hypochondriac

I noticed the enlarged lymph node back in April. Very small, yet still there, a pea sized lump on the left side of my neck. As with anything health related, I have a “wait a week” approach. If it was still there next week, I’d decide on what needed to be done at that point.

Next week came and went, and the lump was still there. I dismissed it.

After two weeks, I got a little wary, and made an appointment with my doctor.

She felt the small bump and told me she didn’t think much of it, but to be on the safe side she’d order up a blood count test for me, and also an ultrasound at the nearby hospital. The blood test came back fine. The ultrasound, an inconclusive lymph node measuring at .9 millimeters. Nothing to freak out over.

Yet, I started to freak out.

I made the tragic mistake of opening up my Netbook and typing into Google Chrome: “Enlarged Lymph Nodes”. I read horror stories of innocent people of all ages who had an innocent lump on the side of their necks, just like mine, and found out they had Lymphoma. Often, there were no other symptoms, although the classic tell tale signs that accompanied lymph node enlargement was typically night sweats, fevers, loss of weight, fatigue. I had none of these, yet I was intrigued. And hooked onto Google Chrome and it’s masses.

Then, a few weeks later when my innocent node decided to be naughty and get a little bigger, all hell broke loose, and I made an urgent call to my doctor. Once again, she inspected the node and told me I was fine. Lymph nodes usually react to an infection, and often times they don’t reduce back to their normal size. Or, it may take months for that to occur. She said if I was still concerned, she’d refer me to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in order to give me the peace of mind I needed, and I could tell she was a little bothered by my attitude and anxiety. She didn’t appreciate my sleuthing skills online. And who could blame her?

I was a wreck. After going weeks with barely any sleep, deprivation was creeping up on me, causing a sore, achy body. Headaches. Nausea. Dizziness. I was there, but I wasn’t there, if that makes any sense, and I wouldn’t want to be around me either, given the choice.

I told my doctor I would be fine, that she made me feel better, but I still didn’t. I don’t really know what I was searching for, only that I had become hooked to the countless stories I read online of people who only had an enlarged node as the symptom of Lymphoma. Now, I’m not crazy, well, I don’t consider myself to be an insane person. I have good mental health, and have never had to endure something like this before. I’ve never been prone to panic attacks or anxiety issues, yet here I was, having serious anxiety over this.

It got to where a good friend of mine (whose husband is a doctor) corralled me into her house and had her husband examine me. And he said I was OK and there was nothing to worry about.

I would have believed that too, had I not noticed more lymph nodes cropping up on the right side of my neck, as well as some pain and tenderness in my right breast. After feeling around a bit, I noticed there was a difference in the way my right breast felt in comparison to the left one, and by this point I was FREAKING OUT.

I was scheduled for my annual with my OB/GYN, so I decided to bring my concerns up to him. This happened this morning. The drive there was excruciating. By the time I saw him, I was crying my eyes out. It’s been a month of not sleeping well. Having anxiety. Worry. And now this? It was just too much. I filled him in on everything, and he checked me out and said he didn’t notice anything too abnormal, but he wanted to help with easing my mind. Apparently, one of his good buddies is an Oncology doctor, located a floor below. They go fishing together every year, and have for the past 10 years. He called down to his buddy Jim, and got me in right away. As in, I grabbed my purse and headed down to get checked into the Oncology office seconds after saying my goodbyes with my by OB doc.

A woman was sitting in the waiting room with me, and she was eyeing me. I’d glance up, and there she was, looking right through me. A few moments later, she walked up to me and said, “Can I please give you a hug? You look like you need a hug.” And that did it, and my flood gates opened again as she engulfed me with a reassurance that I’d be fine. They would take good care of me here.

Her name is Bev. Bev Mom to All, as the receptionist calls her. Bev has cancer, an inoperable kind. She is in remission right now, but her cancer will come back. They told her she didn’t have much time, but she’s been going for 9 months now and going strong. This made me cry even more. This beautifully spirited woman is fighting for her life, and is taking time out to console me?!? She said she really hoped I had nothing to worry about, but if there was, I had to think positively. That there was hope, and not to ever give up. She told the receptionist, “I’ll see you next month”. And with that, she walked out of the clinic.

Jim is an older gentlemen, and you can tell he’s been doing Oncology for quite some time. He has all the questions lined up, and writes them down on paper while I respond. I learned a lot from Jim, today. He made sure I had blood work drawn yet again (what turned out fine), and then he proceeds to feel my lymph nodes. He tells me: “In my profession, these are called DINKY. They are the smallest nodes I’ve ever seen!” I’m not sure if he was saying that to make me feel better, but it worked. He checked all my lymph nodes for swelling. In the groin area, my arms, my neck, above my collarbone. He also felt into my stomach, and had me turn on each side to feel for anything out of the ordinary. He re-checked my right breast, and said there was nothing that alarmed him.

After the exam, he sat with me and EXPLAINED to me what he was looking for, and what I needed to know. The first thing was:

1. NO MORE INTERNET. Stop looking things up online. It’s useless, and pointless. It will only scare me more, and of course I will find the worst of the worst on there.

2. Breast cancer usually presents with a swollen lymph node under the armpit. He said when that occurs, it’s cause for concern. Also, it can travel up to the nodes above the collar bone, but he’s never seen where breast cancer will affect the nodes high in the neck. He said he understood my concern. Breast issues, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck on the same side of the body, yet it wasn’t connected.

3. Enlarged lymph nodes (when small) ARE NORMAL. If they are less than 2 centimeters. If it gets larger than 2 centimeters, it’s time to get it checked out but even that may not be cause for concern. Most of the time, nodes enlarge due to infection. A nasty virus. Bacterial. Even allergies can trigger those nodes to work double time to defend your body, and this can make them swell up. Often, they won’t go back to the original size they were. From all the research I’ve done online, I’ve seen those referred to as “shotty” nodes.

He told me that from what he had seen, I was going to be fine, but if I needed more peace of mind, he could order up an x-ray, or scans. I declined that. I told him I had a feeling I was going to sleep a lot better tonight than I have in weeks, and I thanked him for his time and his willingness to help me out on such short notice.

On the drive home, I cried. I couldn’t help it. First, it was tears of relief. I felt as though I’d been in some vicious cycle I couldn’t quite get out of. All the stress and panic had made me feel sick, depressed, and horrible. Then seeing the nodes get bigger and everything else just fed into the crazy mess.

The tears turned to sorrow as I thought about Bev, Mom to All. I felt like such an asshole, getting myself so worked up while Bev was actually living through what I feared most. She wasn’t letting her psychosis get the best of her.

I’m going to send a thank you card to Bev. I really hope I can connect with her. I have no last name, but I know I can send it to the Oncology clinic, addressed to “BEV- MOM TO ALL” and I am sure the receptionist will give it to her. I want to know that she’s OK, and possibly be someone she can talk to, when she needs someone.

I’m also going to send a thank you to my OB/GYN doctor, for not dismissing me. He went above and beyond for me today to help me, and I very much appreciate it.

I also hope to express more gratitude to my family, for having to deal with me this past month. I’m sure I haven’t been easy to live with.

Like Bev said, you can’t give up. That being said, I want to say that you really shouldn’t give up. I’m not one for being a hypochondriac, but I really needed the peace of mind. If you are feeling as though something isn’t right with your health, don’t be embarrassed or feel stupid to get it checked out. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it will help your mental and emotional state in the long run. I know from this experience just how damaging stress and anxiety can be to your health, physically. Don’t be ashamed.

Never, ever have I felt the “count your blessings” montrage ring more true than today.

248 thoughts on “Lymph Nodes To Lymphoma: My Slippery Slope To Becoming A Hypochondriac”

  1. Im a little late in answering back to you on this. Sorry. I said a little bit of what happened to me on your story. After seeing your story Helene said the apple does not fall from the tree. Here is my full story. For my birthday last year some of the family put some money in along with Helene to get a polar heat monitor. I went to Sports Authority and got one for 230 dollars. It had the wrist watch and the Transmitter belt that you wear around your chest. Also it had a foot pod that you tied on to your shoe with the shoe lace for running. The Spin bikes in my class have a monitor that picks up your heat beat if you wear the strap. It was working great. Then one Tuesday night in April when i had a full class the monitor started showed my heart beat going from 118 to 239 and then to zero and then back to 239. It kept doing this. I said to myself am I dying. I got off my bike and tried another bike. Same thing showed on the Monitor. I was terrified Sara. A few of the people in my class noticed and said am i ok. I lied and said I am fine. I calmed down when Helene told me I would faint if I had a heart rate of 239. 2 days later I did a 104 mile bike ride. I wore my heart strap and the watch. One time when I looked to check my heat rate it said 239. I went frantic. When I came home i called the gym and told my boss barbie what was going on. I was due for a doctors Appt in 3 days. Funny how this happened a few days before my appt. I told Barbie about the appt and she told me I have to have a release from the doctor. She had somebody else take my class”s until then. I went to the doctor and told him what was happening. He checked my heart and said it was clear and fine. I got the release and came back to work. Because of this I miss a whole week of teaching spin class. I started teaching again and I wore my heart strap and again it showed my heart jumping from 104,118239 and back. Suddenly i had a idea. The next day after my class I was at home. I put om my chest strap and I put my Polar watch on. It started bouncing again and read 239 BPM. I have a blood pressure monitor which besides telling your blood pressure also shows if you have a Irregular heart beat. I put my blood pressure cuff on and turned on the machine. It read 118 over 69. Meanwhile my Polar watch said 239 beats. My blood pressure was just fine. My chest strap is the problem. I have stopped wearing it and am sending the whole unit back to polar. I went crazy , lost a week of teaching because I panicked and would not listen to anybody.Both Helene and the Doctor told me that if i had a heart beat of 239 i would faint. I depended to much on that Polar system. Like you I panicked. I could not sleep for days because of this. On that crazy week each night i would listen to my heart too scared to go to sleep. We were in the same boat but we got out. Sara , you are an athlete. You are in great shape. You have worked hard for it. I know its been no party. Next year I will be leading a group of people on A Death Ride. This will be me and Helene”s 5 one. This is the 2nd hardest bike ride in the U.S. I have now lost 20 pounds. If I watch my weight and work out good on the bike we should be ready. Sara, keep on running ahead and don”t look back. You are a winner and a champion..We love you and are very proud of you. The Daddy”s And Helene.

    1. It’s not 2 milliliters, it’s 2 centimeters, that’s a huge difference… And it’s not shoddy nodes, they called shotty nodes. I have a 1cm node under my jaw for over 15 years, if it was lymphoma I’d be dead by now…

      1. You are absolutely correct. I wrote this post nearly 4 years ago, and hadn’t noticed the errors. I’ve corrected them, to reflect centimeters, not millimeters. And, shotty, not shoddy. Thank you.

  2. sorry i didn’t see this one earlier. i can imagine how scared you must have been. thanks for the health tips too.
    bev sounds like an incredible woman.
    i once freaked out over my daughter having a lymph node on the back of her head when she was a baby. i thought it was something worse. the pediatrician probably thought i was insane. i was crying from relief in her office when she told me what it was. I know how easy it is to get paranoid over something like that!

    1. I had the same thing happen! Nolan had one behind his ear, and I was nervous about it. I still have my bump on the side of my neck, LOL. But after all the tests, etc. I have to just accept the fact that that this bump is a part of me and I am OK. LOL

    1. Everyone is different. Nodes can range in size from a few millimeters to about 1–2 cm in their normal state. I’d say if you have a change in nodes that isn’t normal for you, it’s best to get it looked at. For me, I never had enlarged nodes, even during periods of illness. It wasn’t normal for me.

  3. Thank you so much! You have no idea how much of a blessing you are to me right now. My good friend Sarah died of breast cancer at the age of 31. I had pain in both breasts and armpits and had a mammogram and ultrasound done. They came back fine, but in the process of all of this, I found a swollen lymph node in my neck. My doctor checked it out last Friday and he assured me they were normal size unde 1 cm. However, I am still poking at them and feel like a crazy mess, asking my family if I should get a second opinion and searching the Internet like crazy. It is affecting my family too. I am glad I found your blog. People need to hear this! I am only 32 and a mother of my wonderful son Tyler. I hate how my craziness is affecting that.

    1. Kim, thank you so much for your response and your kind words. First off, I want you to know that you are NOT crazy. You have every right to be worried and concerned about your health. I know exactly, EXACTLY how you are feeling right now! It seems to me after having the mammogram, an ultrasound, and I am guessing blood work done to check for your CBC, and if that has come back normal that all is OK. But I understand the nervousness still. I had an MRI done on my neck due to that lump, as well as some issues with my tonsils. My ENT doc wanted it done- and although I have a ton of tonsil stones in my tonsil, I am OK. However, he still has suggested I come in every 6 months for a check up, and I recommend you do the same. I think it really helps, because it makes you feel as though you are taking control of your health, and keeping up on everything. You could go in for a check up, have a breast exam, etc. Just to make sure that all is well, but also, this will give you peace of mind. I get a physical every year, too. And I make my husband do it, too. I still have the lump in my neck- I doubt it will go away, but I don’t obsess over it at all anymore. I feel like I am being proactive with my health, so I don’t need to. I hope this helps, and I wish you much peace and happiness for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing with me!

  4. Wow this is great. I have been worried sick for a month because I had a lymph node right under my jaw that was 4cm and even when it decreased to almost under 1cm I was worried sick. Felt my throat constantly I even sat in front of my mirror for 2 hours a night for a couple weeks. Swallowing and feeling my throat and just checking it and holding my throat so much to the point of gagging. I found another one right on the side of my throat alittle above my Adam’s apple but this one was far smaller about 4mm at the most. Yet I was scared I found 2 of them especially since one of then was clearly visible. I was worried sick. I didn’t do anything for a month almost failed my classes and loss my job. I stayed in bed all day. The problem was an abscess on the tooth on the left side which would explain why the nodes on the left are swollen. Thank you for this it really helped a lot.

    1. Hi just stumbled across this post. Thank you for sharing.i am waiting to see the doctor. I do haven history of Lhmphoma so slightly different but still the same . I have no idea what the lump in my neck is. I don’t feel that it is malignant but what would I know. the anxiety feels worse than the lump .

  5. You made me feel soooo much better!! I also
    Gave a very small lymph node and went to see the ent twice. He keeps telling me he doesn’t feel it’s anything and to come back for a follow up. I keep asking for tests to be done but he insists not to put me through it. I made another appointment with my primary for this Monday to make sure I shouldn’t do Any tests . Lets c. Thank u

    1. I hope all is well at your follow up with the primary doc. I am glad you are being proactive about your health and checking into things! I am also glad that my post helped you. I wish I had more to read re: this when I was in a state of panic, worried about my own lump. Please keep me posted and let me know how you are doing.

  6. Hey I want to thank you for this. I am an anxiety sufferer and I have glands up in my neck they have been the same size since I tackled tonsellitis 3 times in 2 months. I went to the doctors about 5 months after and they told me all was fine. They may be up due to poor mental health. I have worried about them more recently due to my anxiety being really bad. Im trying to think positive and some days are a struggle. But this has eased my mind I have been begging my mum to take me to the doctors and she says im fine. I do feel selfish for my constant worry they are serious. I met a woman last saturday night who was throwing a party for her husband. Just the monday before she had told me she had a stroke. Only mild but it made me think. I fear small things are big yet theres people out there who suffer worse. Since then I have learnt to dismiss bad thoughts. Sometimes it takes minutes others hours. But I do it. Thank you again for this its calmed me down. 🙂

    1. I have heard that it takes some time for swelling to go down after having an infection like you had, with tonsilitis. Don’t consider yourself selfish for wanting to take care of yourself or your health. I am a big believer in being proactive! If you are still worried, go and get your glands looked at, just for the peace of mind at least. It finally took an MRI of my neck for me to be at peace with everything, and my nodes are still enlarged. I plan on getting a physical every year (something else I’m a big believer in) and I will have my neck looked at too, just so I can continue to be proactive. I am glad I was able to help you, and to help you to calm down. 🙂

      1. I really think you need to see a doctor. I don’t know if it’s anything serious, or not, but to be on the safe side, I’d check it out, to give you some peace of mind.

  7. Wow! I have been struggling with anxiety over lymph nodes for nearly 2 years now. It all started in September 2011 when I woke up and found a small node at the base of my neck on the left side. I then started feeling all over to see if I could find more and sure enough I found smaller nodes, 2 more up on the left side and one on my right. I panicked and went straight to the doctor who felt them and said he would give me a round of antibiotics for 10 days and to come back after if it hasn’t disappeared. It didn’t. So I went back and saw a different doc this time who seemed uninterested in the nodes, said they were not big enough to even consider an ultrasound. I have a friend who is a radiologist and he offered to have one of his interns run an ultrasound to check the biggest node. I went to see another doctor who felt it and said “doesn’t feel cancerous” but I will order a ct scan just to be safe. I got the ct scan in January 2012 and it came back with multiple nodes swollen but not suspicious of cancer or lymphoma. Biggest node was 8mm. At the time I had a lot of cavities in my teeth and needed wisdom teeth to be pulled, I had thought that perhaps the dental issues were the cause of the nodes…had all of my dental work done by the end of May 2012. But the nodes remained. I went back to the doctor who had ordered the CT and he felt them again, ran bloodwork CBC and Epstein Barr panel and all came back normal. He said if I was still nervous about then he would send me to an ent but he felt that the nodes were simply scarred from reacting to an infection in the past. I truste him and didn’t take the ent appt. but a few months later I decided to see if I could get that referral because the nodes were still there! I finally saw the Ent in August and he said that the nodes were palpable and that they were there without question but that a biopsy wouldn’t even be worth it. I went in there with biopsy demands on my mind but he said it would not even be worth the struggle with it. So, I left satisfied and told
    Myself I wouldn’t touch my nodes which had become an obsession. I poke and prod and feel around all the time, which drives my wife nuts….my mom passed away from ovarian cancer 2 years ago and I know that this anxiety stems from that loss. I am only 31 with a set of 3 year old twins and I just want to be around for them. This is also why I am so anxious about these nodes that have been around as far as I can tell for almost two years. I don’t have any other classic symptoms except that I am a little tired but I chase around my kids throughout the day which probably has something to do with it. So, all told I have had antibiotics, four doctors and an ENT check the nodes, a Ct scan, an ultrasound, multiple CBC blood tests…yet here I am with the nodes still there, I’m not sure if they have really grown but I feel like they are about 1 cm and movable. I hate this feeling of “I know it’s lymphoma” despite all of the experts who have said it is not. Ugh! So frustrating. Thanks for your article…makes me feel a little better that I am not the only one…how is your lymph node these days?

    1. I know exactly where you are coming from- I felt the same way, even after CBC tests, an ultrasound, going to an ENT specialist, going to the ER, etc. I ended up with panic attacks and was suffering from severe sleep deprivation, convinced something was wrong. I also thought I had Lymphoma. The CT scan of my neck is what finally put my fears to rest. Along with the node enlargement, I had a swollen tonsil on the right side, red, but with no pain. That also freaked me out. Turns out I have a right tonsil full of tonsil stones! Who knows if there is any connection with that and my enlarged nodes, but from what I am understanding, it’s normal for people to have enlarged nodes and so many of us have it. I am a huge believer in being proactive with your health. I get physicals once a year, and this year I’m going to get my vitamin levels checked out (I work out so much and do a lot of running, want to make sure I’m not deficient in anything). I think what will give you peace of mind is also being proactive. Don’t be like other men out there- get a physical EVERY YEAR. My husband’s father passed away in 2011 from stage 4 esophageal cancer. He had symptoms for years but chose to ignore it until it was too late. So many men don’t feel it’s necessary to get looked at, and it’s such a simple thing, and doesn’t take much time at all. I really think that’s the way to go, taking charge of your own health and well being. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I am so glad that you are OK! As for my nodes, they are still enlarged. If I tilt my head slightly to the right, you can’t miss them, but I don’t even think about it anymore. It will get easier.

      1. Hi, I also suffer from slightly englarded nodes/glands in the left side of my neck and I also have tonsil stones here and there. I was wondering how you found out your tonsil was full of tonsil stones? I feel like I might have a lot more in there then I can see or come out. Was there something they did to remove your tonsil stones?

      2. I had an MRI done last year on my neck; the ENT specialist requested I get it done- along with my enlarged node, I had some other strange things occurring in the back of my throat (white patches and swelling but no pain). Apparently I had a ton of tonsil stones in my tonsils. I had strep a lot as a kid/teen/young adult, so my tonsils have a ton of nook and crannies, perfect for stones. I didn’t have any removed; the doc said unless they bother me, there’s no need to, but there have been times I’ve felt them, and causes discomfort in my throat. I’ve found coughing has helped to dislodge them. Sometimes opening my mouth wide, yawning and then coughing does it.

    2. I’ve had lymphoma and was googling to see if people could have nods..and for it not to be Lhmphoma. I googled..and have just scared myself silly. It’s so good to be able to read stories about people who haven even in the same boat. I keep touching mine too. Sigh.

  8. Can I just say a huge thank you for this post? I’m so glad I found it. I’m going through a very similar experience. About two years ago I noticed a pea sized lump in my neck just under my jawline. I had it checked out and my doctor dismissed it as a normal, if not slightly prominent lymph node. I was fine with that, and went on with life. Then, about a week ago I noticed another one behind my ear, which I’m sure wasn’t there prior to that. Naturally, I turned to google to try to figure out why this had happened again. Bad idea! I’m convinced they’re related and deathly terrified that it’s going to turn out to be lymphoma. I’m going to give it a month or so and if there’s no change or it disappears, I’ll try not to worry, but I’ll be sure to mention it to the doc at my next regular checkup!

    Sorry for the long (and late) response. But I really do appreciate hearing about your experiences. It makes me feel so much better!

    1. Kelly, I completely understand how you are feeling right now! Although I don’t stress about it near as much anymore, my lump is still there on my neck, always a constant reminder. I am so glad you plan on mentioning it to your doc at the next check up! Being proactive is so important when it comes to your health! Thank you for reading my post, and for leaving a reply.

      1. Like so many others, I wish to pass on a HUGE thank you for taking the time to explain your experience. I am currently going through a ‘manic anxiety’ period of stress with my lymph nodes and itchy skin. Upon reading some articles on ‘Google’ BIG mistake!! I learned that some of my symptoms are related to ‘skin lymphoma’. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29 and I am now 41. During the years of living with the uncertainty of a reccurance I now have a extremely low tolerance of anything ‘medical’. My poor husband has had to live through many episodes of me dying of some incurable disease. I have yet to see a doctor about my condition but just readying the posts here have settled my nerves a bit and take comfort that I have not yet been ‘diagnosed’ with anything and that I could possibly have a skin allergy!! If anyone here who has seen a doctor or specialist happen to know if electric shock feelings going through nodes, but I can’t actually feel any nodes enlarged! (I have this feeling through armpits and groin and behind knees) is related to any conditions that are NOT cancer related!!? Here’s to ‘piece of mind to us ALL!’

      2. Yes- I think doing a lot of online searching only gets you more scared and confused! I would be on there for HOURS trying to find something!

  9. I make it a rule to never look things up, but I know how one little detail can wage war against your mind. I think your theories of not giving up and not letting stress destroy applies to more than just health issues. Huge lessons to learn, but better to know than be sorry.

    1. You are absolutely right. I’ve seen tragedies the past few years that has made me even more vigilant to put my health 1st, because it’s so important. And, no one else will if I don’t, lol.

  10. Sara, thanks for sharing this. You told it so beautifully — I was with you along the way, in the tears and the humor. I had a scare of my own a few years back, where I had lumps in one breast that they kept telling me “we’re 95% sure they’re not cancer”… but they put me through all the drills as if it were cancer, until the biopsy came back. I was a young mom and it was particularly emotional as my toddler boys were tagging along with me on all the medical trips. I know we all realize how awful it is to have cancer, but I also learned, going through my little experience (which lasted 8 months) to understand the stress a person goes through in all those visits and tests and processes, even if it turns out to be “nothing.” Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. Now: no more hypochondria and stay away from the internet, right? 🙂 It was nice to connect with you through the Liv Love Laugh Blog challenge.

    1. I am so glad you are healthy, and everything turned out fine! It is so scary- I turned 35 this year, and my doc has recommended I go in for a mammogram in order to set up a baseline. It’s the new thing, and I can see the reasons behind it. But I’m a little nervous about it. Still, I’d rather go in and make sure everything is OK, vs. not.

  11. My 4 year old has a chain of swollen lymph nodes running down his neck. We’re going to meet with a hematologist tomorrow to get some blood work done.

    As a hypochondriac, myself, I can easily get carried away with any symptom out there. Thanks for giving me a moment of peace with this post.

  12. thank you so much for your story, I have KILLED myself reading through Google.. truly KILLED myself! I found a lump near my collar bone on the left hand side of my neck.. I live in Switzerland and they can be very cautious here.. I saw a doctor a few weeks ago and he said it was fine, ordered some blood tests which came back normal.. however I went back today and saw another doctor who is sending me for an ultrasound. The word scared does not even come close to how I feel, I can’t stop shaking and I don’t want to eat.. I am a mess. I just want it to happen NOW, I am not sure how long I have to wait for the ultrasound but I am petrified.. I just wish it could all happen right now so I knew. It is my birthday tomorrow and normally I get really excited, even though I am quite old! But i can’t enjoy anything, I truly am petrified.. Reading your post helped and I am grateful. I am so pleased you are ok.

    1. I know it’s hard, but try to remain calm. I know that’s really hard (I tried, and I went with no sleep for a good month). A positive is the blood tests that came back normal. I’d say that’s a very good sign, indeed. The ultrasound is a very good precaution, too, and will give you even more piece of mind when it comes back as benign. Recently after a physical, the doctor told me that lumps and bumps are normal. He even let me feel one he has at the base of his neck, and it was pretty big, just to emphasize for me that it’s a normal thing. Please keep me posted, and let me know how you are doing.

      1. Thank you for your kind reply. I have the appointment on Monday but i am just in pieces. So scared i can’t tell you.. How can i stop thinking about it until MONDAY! So sad and worried

      2. Sorry i wanted to ask you if you don’t mind.. What is the difference between “good” lymph node nodes and “bad” and can an ultrasound show that or will they have to take a biopsy?

  13. From everything I’ve been told (and read), lymph nodes do well for our bodies. They help us when we are sick, fighting off infections. Often times, the nodes can swell up in response to that. And still other times, they won’t go back down to their original size after that initial swell up. Also, a lot of times we have lumps and bumps in our body that aren’t even the lymph nodes, but things like fatty tumors. My husband had a few of those removed. When you go in for the ultrasound, the biggest thing they will look for is the size of your lump. They will take images of the diameter of the lump, as well as the circumference. Based on those equations, they can go from there on whether they feel you need a biopsy, or an MRI (I had an MRI done, because my lump was coinciding with some white patchy stuff in the back of my throat that wasn’t painful. The ENT specialist I was seeing recommended we cut to the chase, and get an MRI).

    Here is what I truly think, Alex. First off, you are being very proactive. Blood work has been drawn, and those results were good. You are getting an ultrasound. If (and this is a very tiny if) it turns out that with an ultrasound and whatever other testing you may receive, you have some form of cancer, it will be in the very early stages of it. Your blood results wouldn’t have come back as “good” if that weren’t the case (a good friend of mine recently passed away from stage IV, and her blood work results were a mess when she first found out. She hadn’t gone to a doc in YEARS). If your body is fighting off anything, there will be signs. So, if you find out that you have cancer, it will be at stage 0, maybe 1. This means the lump itself is the only form of cancer, no spreading involved. A simple lop off of the lump will remedy the issue. Now, I’m no doctor, but I am imagining that this would be the case, worse case scenario. Maybe treatments just to seal the deal, but I don’t think it would even come to that.

    I am a firm believer of being proactive with your health, and this situation further instills that belief in me. You are handling this the right way, and because of that, you are going to live a long, healthy life- regardless of the results from Monday’s ultrasound (which by the way, I think will be negative). I can’t tell you to stop thinking about it, because I did the same thing and it wasn’t until the MRI that I felt at peace, finally. I completely understand. Maybe for you, it will be the ultrasound. I think if the ultrasound doesn’t give you peace of mind, get a biopsy. That will give you an accurate diagnosis, hands down. The one thing you can take comfort in right now, is the fact that you care enough about your health to make this happen, and that you are taking all the steps needed/necessary to protect yourself. Let that give you strength and power. Please let me know how Monday goes! And, sorry for writing so much back. lol.

    1. Hi, I’m 25 years old.. And I found your blog while googling. My pea size lymph node on my neck is freaking me out so much.. It’s really tiring to lead a life worrying.. It’s really alright to have 1 node larger than the other?

      1. I have that going on right now. On the left side of my neck, it’s bigger than the node on the right side of my neck. I just had a physical earlier this month, and the doc said it was totally normal. However, if you are worried about it, go see a doc, just to be on the safe side (and to give you peace of mind!)

      2. Thanks Sara! Glad that you replied 🙂 is yours in the posterior cervical region too? And pea size?

        I can feel mine on the left side.. But cannot feel the right side..

        Sometimes it’s comforting to know that we are all not alone! 🙂

      3. Yep, it sure is! It’s about pea-size, and right in the middle on the left-side of my neck. It’s gotten slightly bigger since last year, but all is well. I recently had a physical done/blood work, etc. and everything was normal.

        you are right, it is comforting to know there are others who are going through something similar!

    2. Forgot to update you! Ultrasound went well and I was told it was totally normal and not to panic! He said it will be there forever but it’s fine!

      1. Mine haven’t, but I’ve read/heard that they can fluctuate due to illness, or fighting off illness. Not to get too TMI, but I have that occurring in one of my breasts. I’ve seen a doc re: that, have had ultrasounds, turns out I’ve got a lot of nodes in my breast that tend to flare up, esp. with my hormone fluctuations. I imagine that would ring true for any other node in your body. They would fluctuate in size depending on the needs of your body. I also know mine would enlarge slightly if I messed with the nodes too much, poking/prodding.

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  15. I read this, and wanted to say thank you for posting it! I’m going through a similar thing and have worried myself sick, I went to a clinic today and couldn’t be seen. The dr at the er didn’t seem to concerned, getting blown off all of the time when all you want is a piece of mind. Going back tomorrow hoping to get an answer. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has felt this way. I hate when doctors act like you’re crazy when you know your own body!

  16. I actually had a question. I have one underneath my left armpit for about three years now. My doctor told me that it will eventually decrease in size and go away since it’s just swollen. It’ll get smaller but never completely go away. Is that normal?

    1. I’m not really sure. Do you have it checked every time you go in for a check up? Since you’ve had it for 3 years, if I were you, I would get a physical, maybe some blood work done, just to be on the safe side, if you haven’t done that already.

  17. Great post. I have suffered from google hypochondria for quite a few years and even though I do a good job of acknowledging those anxieties when they start popping up, sometimes they pop out of nowhere and catch me unprepared and then begins the tumble down the spiral! I guess most of us when we have these phases dont think about the fact that there are real people for whom these imagined symptoms are awfully real. I feel like an asshole too after reading your story.

    I have had panic attacks wake me up in the middle of the night. At first I couldn’t believe that all of this was more mental than physical because when I am not going crazy self diagnosing I am fully functional with all faculties intact. Now I put it down to an over active imagination which I have always had and probably lack of control. Being a control freak you want to stay on top of everything so I end up self diagnosing every little change in my body. May be I should get a tattoo that says -dont google! Hahaha but its really a one day at a time process.

    Thanks for the nice read. Its good to hear stories from people who have undergone the same mental misery.

    1. lol I like that! “maybe I should get a tattoo that says- don’t google”. Maybe I should, as well! I was very surprised by the amount of readers and comments re: this particular post, because I felt so alone and didn’t want to let anyone know how vulnerable or crazy I’d felt with worry, but decided to share. I agree, it’s nice to know we aren’t alone, and as you can see, there are a lot of other people going through it, too.

  18. This post has saved my week. I have some bumps and a weird soft mass on the front of my neck. Blood work was good. Ultrasound showed mass. Now I am off to the biopsy next week. I recently lost my mother to Colon Cancer a few months ago. I’ve been so hysterical, but inwardly. It is good to read a positive story and curse the web for freaking me out! I shall be positive going forward.

    1. I am so sorry you are going through this! I’m no doctor, but if it’s soft, it could be a cyst? My husband has had a few of those removed. I am glad you are being proactive, and getting the biopsy done right away. I am very sorry to hear about your mother. I can imagine that you are going through that- as well as dealing with your own health concerns- and this would certainly make anyone feel hysterical. Throw in the web, and you’ve got a big mess on your hands! Keep me posted, please. I want to hear how your biopsy went, and things are going ok for you.

  19. Finding this was a sweet little blessing in disguise! Thank you! I am a 33 (34 next month but hey, who’s counting?!!) year old wife & mommy to a 6 yr old son, 4 yr old daughter & 7 week old baby boy. #3 was unexpected (though he’s our sweet little blessing/bonus now!) but since the day I seen that + test, my nerves have been shot! Though I’ve always been a worrier in general, I’ve taken it to a whole new level in these past 11 months or so! I’ve panicked over ever little ache & pain. Going to numerous doctors for random things, seeking 2nd opinions (when the 1st should have been sufficient!) and flat out allowing the devil to rob me of my peace & joy! I’ve been so angry with myself! And then, I needed a surprise biopsy (turned out to not be needed, but I was in a frenzy for a week!), then my pap came back as abnormal (again!) and as of last night my 4 year old pointed out TWO “soft bumps” on the back of her head?!?! Going to dr today!!!! Of course I’m googling for hours last night and I’ve diagnosed her with a terminal cancer, of course! Though I’m trying to joke, I’m serious & worried to death… again! Ugh!! I know that God is working hard on me, He has been for months now and for whatever reason, I’m not learning my lesson?! But when I found your blog last night, I realized that I’m not alone in my craziness and I loved & needed the reality check of “Bev – Mom To All”. Thank you again!!

    1. My son had a soft bump in his armpit for what felt like forever! I had it examined at every check-up the 1st year of his life, and he had that thing well into his 2nd birthday. His doc said it was just a lymph node that was elevated, nothing to be alarmed at, and that a lot of kids get that. I’ve also had a couple of abnormal paps, and I think as long as you get in soon to get things checked out, I bet things will be fine. I know right after I had my babies, my hormones were crazy and it made me more susceptable to infections, like yeast, etc. which could very well cause an abnormal pap. You are being proactive, and that’s the best defense! Thank you for sharing your story, and congrats to you and your sweet family. 🙂 I hope all is well at your doc appt. today!

  20. Thank you so much for writing this! I actually found it by Google-ing about a swollen node on the left side of my neck. I actually did go to the Dr. in August when the node was swollen enough to be seen. She said it was fine, but if it was still there after 6 weeks to come back to get an ultrasound. Well, it’s been 3 months and now not only is that swollen node still there (though smaller then it was then) but there is another swollen node higher up on my neck and I still haven’t gone back to the Dr. because I’ve been worried that it will be bad news. Your post has really made me feel much better and a lot less freaked out. I’ll be calling to make that Dr. appointment today and will feel much more at ease about it because of you. Thank you so very much!

    1. You are so welcome! I am sure all will be well, and I know the ultrasound will help in giving you the peace of mind you need. I’d love to hear from you, and get an update on how you are doing!

  21. Hello dear. In april my parotid gland swoll up! I was scared went to dr gave me steriods it went away, but I discovered a small lymph node on my left side of neck. Dr ran blood test, chest xray, everything negative. Well its nov now. 2 more teeny nodes back of neck, under chin, 2 in groin. All teeny. Dr is sending me to hemotoligist. But told me there so teeny I shouldn’t worry. Well I’m now getting panic attacks because yes, I’ve been googling. Everyt hing is pointing to non hodgkins lymphoma. I just made 37 last week. Two beautiful boys 13 and 4, and a great hubby. But when I read this blog it put me at ease. I’m very tiny to begin with and I’ve lost 5 pds I believe from stress. I will keep u all updated as I go along. Thank you for this blog!!!!

    1. Thank you for reading, and for keeping us updated! I remember the panic attacks, and the stress. I am glad you are seeking medical attention, and getting in and getting things checked out! Let me know how it goes!

      1. Hi. I’ve read all of the above posts including your original one and all I can say to you and EVERYONE on here is thank you so much for your honesty. I’m really struggling right now. My 12 year old has had a lump the size of a dime pop up on the very front of her neck…just slightly right of her windpipe. Dr. ordered an ultrasound and although the radiologist (and all of us) could see and feel it, IT WOULDN’T SHOW UP ON THE ULTRASOUND! I am so baffled by this and it’s literally making me sick with anxiety. What kind of “palpable lump” that can be seen and felt NOT show up on ultrasound??? I’ve spoken with her doctor twice since this week and I just can’t seem to find any peace of mind. She’s a good friend of mine and has been very understanding and patient with me but still can’t tell me what it is. She said to give it two more weeks and if it’s still there she’d do blood work. I’m angry and scared because no one can tell me what it is! Supposedly lymph nodes are not found nearly directly on the mid line running straight down the neck. I’m trying so hard to just let this go but the control freak in me is angry and wants answers now! Not logical, or practical, I know. But I lose all sense of rational when it comes to my 3 kids. Any advice or experience with lumps along the mid line of neck that DON’T show up on ultrasound but are clearly visible?

      2. I don’t have personal experience with neck lumps in that region, but I know my doctor has one similar to that and he had me feel his, to try and put my mind at ease. His was down around the collar area on his neck. He said he’d had it for years, and it was just there, and they’d run tests on it but it wasn’t harmful. My husband has had cysts before, and had one removed that was near the base of his neck, on the back area. I know what you mean, esp. when it comes to your children. You want to do everything you can to ensure they are safe and doing well, and not being given concrete answers would drive me nuts too! Eventually with me, I had to have an MRI done on my neck. Is this something they can do for your daughter? From what I understand, that’s going to rule out anything and everything. For me, it cost roughly $2000 (I had pretty crappy insurance at the time) but the hospital I had the MRI done with has a plan out here where they will reduce fees if you “qualify”. We had to submit our paychecks, financials, etc. and the hospital reduced our bill to $1000! The woman I spoke to informed me that even for people with higher incomes, they will usually knock a little off the bill to help out. With that $1000, we had a payment plan where I paid a monthly amount. Anyway, I tell you all of this- because that $1000, no matter how expensive, was a HUGE peace of mind for me. And, if they still can’t find anything after the blood work, it might be an option for your daughter. And, it might be the peace of mind you need, and you’ll be able to see results. I am glad you are working with your friend on this, and I am hopeful that everything will turn out just fine for your daughter.

  22. Hi, great post. I have a small pea size, very soft lump on the left side of ny neck, feels almost like a swollen vein. Doctor gave me antibiotics 6weeks ago, as he said I had lots of swollen glands. Lump still there and can be quiet visable. Doc checked out my glands again a fortnight ago and said they were down, except the one where the lump was, he will recheck in a fortnight. Can you please describe what the lump in your neck felt/feels like? Was this too also visable? Anxiety levels sky high. Neck can also be a bit tender, but lump itself not sore at all, just very soft.

    1. My neck was never tender. I have a visible pea-sized lump on the left side of my neck, right smack in the center. If I turn my head to the right side, it’s even more visible. My lump feels hard but not super hard, if that makes any sense. If I press on it, it feels as though I can move it around. I was told I just have an enlarged node. The fact that you say your neck is a bit tender makes me wonder if it’s something else going on. From what I’ve read, lumps that are painful aren’t usually cancer. Swollen glands makes me think that your nodes have enlarged due to an infection, and often, nodes take time reducing in size after swelling up.

  23. I have enlarged lymph nodes everywhere about 15 of them..enlarged spleen and liver and now after two years Im itchy…I was tested for everything and seen a lot of doctors and they found nothing..So now Im a big hypocondriac…They dont want to do biopsy because puncion showed unspecific hyperplasia…so they think I was once scrached by cat and that messed me up…

  24. Hi!!! I’m relieved to know others are going through the same thing!! I found a lump under my chin, below my tongue in early May. I went for a physical in late May & brought it to my physicians attention. He thought it was either Cat Scratch Fever or an infected saliva gland and gave me a round of amoxicillan. He sent me for an ultrasound just to be cautious. I went for the ultrasound and the tech says, “This isn’t a saliva gland…whatever it is its in the lymph node”. I was immediately horrified and went home crying the whole way…all 45 min of it. I received a letter that the node was normal but he wanted to refer me to an ENT. Well the ENT said the results were normal as well and decided that it was more urgent to remove a mole on my forehead. He said he wouldn’t be alarmed unless other nodes swelled. Well 5 days later, more popped up in my neck and back of my head. I immediately break down in a panic attack. Went back to my PCP who did blood work as well as several viral tests for Lyme, mono, parvo, cmv & several more. All came back fine except a marker for parvo (5ths disease) which showed it wasn’t active but I’ve had it at some point in my life. I went back to the ENT and he said not to worry. Everything is average size & CBC is normal. Then my PCP referred me to a hematologist/oncologist who did nothing but palpate the nodes and send me on my way. I returned in a month for a follow up. And he insisted all was well. I called my PCP and asked for further tests and the nurse basically told me they had washed their hands of me and to refer to the oncologist. So I decided to get a 2nd opinion from another PCP and he said all is normal. After urginghim, he did another CBC and a SED rathe test, now almost 6 months later. Both were normal and upon comparison, both CBCs looked almost identical. I feel lumps in my stomach that are painful but all the doctors insist that you cannot feel mesenteric lymph nodes unless they are severely swollen. I have no other symptoms beyond severe anxiety (sleeplessness, nausea from nerves, tension headaches, depression). My 5 yr old son has the same thing that began 2 weeks after me. In August, we discovered there was a mold issue under the house and in our duct work. We cleaned it from under the house but can’t afford duct work replacement yet. I, too, googled and now my head is blowing up with thoughts of HIV, lymphoma and leukemia. What if my fiancé cheated? What if this is undetected cancer? What if me and my son have cancer? What if we have a bacteria slowly killing us and no one cares? These thoughts consume me. I have panic attacks over this and I don’t know what else to do. My son had an ear infection and I brought him to urgent care bc it was a weekend. The doctor there told me that, genetically, since I am from European descent, I am predisposed to an overactive immune system. That when most peoples immune system sends in the “police”, my and my son’s systems are sending in the military. I’m so frustrated and my anxiety is so high, I cannot function. Its driving a wedge between me and my fiancé bc I’m so upset. Sorry for the long reply, but I’m sure you understand!!

    1. I completely understand! That’s exactly how I felt!!! With all the tests that have been done on you, and it is consistently normal, you will have to find a way to make peace with that. I know, it’s so hard, and for me, I didn’t feel better until an MRI was done on my neck. Only then did I finally sleep better at night, because I figured anything would be found with an MRI. If both you and your son are having his occur, that tells me it most likely isn’t cancer, since cancer isn’t contagious, you know? It could very well be the mold. But, I’m no doctor and I can’t say for sure. I do know the stress and anxiety is going to eat away at you. Do you feel like there’s another test (like maybe an MRI) that would put your mind at ease?

      1. So its been almost a year since I found the first node. I went back to the oncologist and demanded more test be done. He did another CBC, C-reactive protein test, antinuclear antibody (ANA) test, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjordgen’s and many other Autoimmune tests. Everything was absolutely normal. My son had an ear infection and it was on a Saturday so I brought him to our local urgent care. The doctor there was actually a geriatric doctor but he told me that people of European descent, especially English, Irish, Swedish, Finnish, Welsh & Norwegian have immune system issues where their body will over react and the lymph nodes will stay large enough to be palpable. He said that he had done extensive research on it. My grandfather was from England. I’m wondering if others on this thread are from or descendants from those areas. I still worry about it daily, but not as badly as before.

      2. That is very interesting! I’ve never heard that, but I’d imagine certain lineages could have a physical reaction like that when they immune systems are compromised. I noticed recently while fighting off a cold that a node on the right side of my neck had enlarged, and on quick inspection just now, it’s gone back down to it’s normal size. I appreciate you sharing this- it very well could be a connection. And, I’m glad to hear that you are doing well and that all your tests came back normal! Thank you for following up and letting me (us) all know!

    2. Gingersnap0….. my daughter had a swollen gland under her chin like under her tongue since 12/24/I picked up landis, so dont keep bryson, I’ll be waiting for him at back gate, u can send kalel too if he wants.14. If you feel or look under her tongue all looks normal. But under her chin below her tongue she has a swollen node or gland. It is big little less than an inch wide. It moves when she swallows. You can’t see it only feel it. If I move it a lot it produces saliva in her mouth. Is yours anything like that??

  25. Hi, thank you for your post. I’m going through something similar right now. I have a lump behind my left ear which I presume is a gland. I am worried as it’s quite hard, but not painful at all. I’m making an appointment at the doctors tomorrow to hopefully get some piece of mind. I have driven myself crazy looking in google. I have convinced myself that I have cancer and my anxiety levels are through the roof. I can’t eat and I feel so sick. Really hoping I have a happy result.

    1. How did the doc visit go? I know, Googling only seems to make things worse, because it’s always the worse case scenario. I really hope all went well with your doc appointment, and you received good news!

  26. Hi there!

    Glad to read your storie!

    Im a 32 old female from Holland and suffering from the same problem.

    I found a large node in september ’13, maybe had been there for a while. I went to the gp and she said its nothing to worry about, come back in 4 weeks. One week later anothet one came up and another! I freaked out went back to gp and she did blood work. All was fine.

    Then i start visit dr google. I seriously red all the artikels about swollen nodes,
    Especially the ones about lymphoma. I cryd so many night. Then i went to an Ent. He did an fine needle biopsy of 2 nodes. And did bloodwork all came black fine. He send me away and said it will me oke.
    But is doesnt! I feel depressed, scared and i have the feeling that nobody understands me!
    I also have a sore throat on one side. More like nagging when i swollow. I went to an ear-nose-thoat doc and ahe looked with a camera in the nose to the troat and it was fine.
    What the hell is wrong with me?!

    Sorry for the long story buy i needed to write it of me.

    Ps: sorry my english is not very good

    1. I remember many a night crying, thinking I had cancer. I know exactly how you are feeling right now. I want to tell you, that if the doc biopsied both nodes, and the results from that came back fine, then I think you are okay. When I have pain on one side of my throat, it’s usually tonsil stone related for me. one of my tonsils collects them, and it can cause pain. Have they looked into whether your tonsils might be collecting stones?

  27. Finding this story today probably saved me. I am an anxiety sufferer and I have been worrying about large glands in my neck for about 3 months now. I am a nurse and you would think that I would know not to worry about things like this. The trouble is I have become obsessed with feeling my neck for swollen glands. I went to the doctor in December 2013 for the lumps in my neck and he felt all of them and he said they are a little large but nothing to be concerned about. The had all the characteristics of normal glands. The side I feel them more on I also had a cartilage piercing that became horribly infected in the summer and I had to go in antibiotics. I’m not sure if that’s related or not. He didn’t do any testing because he didn’t feel it was necessary. I told myself I wouldn’t google anymore. Well, anxiety took over again and here I am a few months later googling and crying daily. I feel my neck so much it has become painful to the touch. I found another pea sized gland on the other side of my neck and that just sent me into a spiral. Friends and family tell me that “normal” people don’t feel around on their necks looking for problems or lumps, but reading this story a long with all the commenters stories it has really helped. I also suffer from chronic neck muscle pain related to stress, so that doesn’t help my neck fixation. I’m a healthy 25 year old. I don’t have any other symptoms and my lumps have remained unchanged since my initial visit. Thank you for this post it has brightened my day and made me not feel so alone. I will come back and read this any time I feel my anxiety creeping up again and an urge to feel my neck.

    1. I am so sorry for my late reply to this!
      I know how you feel. People also told me it wasn’t “normal” to be so concerned, but it’s your health, and health is a very important thing. I am so glad that you are being proactive on this, and getting it checked out, and keeping tabs. I used to also touch my neck a lot, and feel around for any changes, but with time, it’s lessened and I don’t do it anymore. I’ve also gone and had a physical since all of this, and I was cleared for health and had all my levels checked, which gave me peace of mind. I recommend you keep up on this, know that you are doing all you can to be proactive, and in the meantime, let the stress and tension go. Maybe you can go in again in a few months and have your neck checked out again, test to make sure nothing has enlarged. I bet seeing that everything has stayed the same will make you feel a whole lot better!

  28. I found your story by googling lymph nodes, as I’ve had a run in with a couple of them recently, and can I just say thank you.

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only person out there with health anxieties. Of course, when googling you find nothing but horror stories and unfortunate souls dealing with things they should never have to go through.

    But you’ve calmed my anxieties and helped me feel better.
    Unfortunately for me, my swollen lymph node is in my lower back so that raises red flags automatically. But I’ve had it looked at twice and both ER physicians said it was completely normal and nothing to worry about.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You are right, there is a lot of negativity on the web when it comes to enlarged nodes, and always indicating the worst possible outcome. I am so glad that after you’d been checked out, you were given a clean bill of health. From the other comments, it appears others have had the same outcome, and I am so glad for that! Thank you again for commenting!

      1. Hi.. This is exactly how I feel now.. Glad to find many others who is concerned too..pray hard that we will all be fine !
        I have multiple enlarged lymph nodes at front neck area..the biggest being 1.5-2cm and it tends to get big and small within the day. I have had these lumps with me since Jan 2016(or maybe earlier..I did not notice earlier)..
        Went to 2 doctors and both of them have different opinion. One of them want me to do biopsy to clear off the guess 😔 Clearly, I have not done the biopsy after 8 months..
        Did you do biopsy? Or do you think CT or MRI scan is enough ? Btw, I’m 26 years old this year..
        Hope to hear from you soon.
        Regards, Erin

      2. Oh, I think about all of you nearly every day! I agree, lots of prayers for all of us. It’s amazing to me how many of us are going through this. I never had a biopsy done. I had an ultrasound of the node done, and I did have an MRI done. I was having some other issues going on inside my mouth (throat was coated with white, red/swollen, but no pain). The ENT specialist I’d been seeing recommended the MRI, he was concerned. I felt the MRI scan was enough. He was able to see everything, turns out my tonsils are riddled with tonsil stones, from all the years of sore throats/strep. My tonsils are craterous, he felt the stones caused the irritation in my throat. If I were you, personally, I’d get the biopsy. Unless they’ve also suggested you do an MRI. But, the biopsy can tell you if there’s anything abnormal going on. Also, I’d request a CBC, just to make sure your blood counts are normal. You could even request an ultrasound, if the biopsy feels too invasive right now. They’ll be able to tell if the nodes are healthy by ultrasound.

  29. I know this is an old post, but I’m really at my wits end. I have two swollen lymph nodes on either side of my groin(pretty much the same node on both sides). One is about the size of a bb or small pea and the other is the size of I don’t know what, much smaller then the other. Both sprang up with the same week . My concern is that over the last 2.5 months the left node, the one smaller then the right, grew slightly. I’ve been to my doctor who said it’s really no concern until it reaches a certain size but I’m unbelievably stressed about it. He says I’m extremely healthy and have nothing to worry about but I feel like I’m just waiting for it to grow and be taken seriously. I know I have health anxiety(more then most) and I’m a hypochondriac but I just don’t know what else to think in this case.. The doctors think I’m nuts! Maybe I am and honestly the thing is still so small but you said your lymph node grew a little right? Is that normal for nodes to change size? Sorry im bugging you but once you google “swollen lymph nodes”.. There’s really no going back haha

    1. You’re not bugging me! I’ve heard that it’s normal for nodes to grow, like when there’s an infection in the body. They react to that and in doing so, they can increase in size. Is there any way that your doc can order an ultrasound of the area? I bet that would help to ease your mind. As for as hypochondria goes, I think there’s a big difference between fearing everything health-related with your body, and wanting to be proactive. When something isn’t normal, I want to take care of it and fix it! I don’t like to “wait and see” what happens, either. I’d ask for an ultrasound, or even an xray of the area.

    2. I agree with her. My nodes will enlarge slightly from day to day. Sometimes they’re really small and sometimes larger. I even had one at the base of my skull get really big and painful. I iced it and made an appt and in 3 days time it went back down to normal
      He said it means my immune system is working as it should. I still worry daily though.

  30. Hello, hope you are well. I understand if you don’t respond as l know this is an old site. I’ve just spent the morning again searching for answers, and as usual making myself more stressed and ill. Anyway, I’ve got on the right side of my neck a lymph node which is enlarged to the size of a jelly bean. It has been there for at least 15years but is still scaring me. I have never been to the doctors with this because im terrified they will say its cancer or HIV. Im generally well and am very active, butthis has been stressing me out for over a decade and really need help. Sorry for bothering you, worried lady, uk

    1. First off, you are not at all a bother!
      I think it’s time you go in and see a doctor. The thing is, if it turns out to be something, the sooner you go in, the better your outcome will be. I think if you’ve been feeling well for the last 15 years and are very active, those are signs that it’s most likely not cancer or HIV. Usually with cancer, there are other symptoms that go along with finding a mass. People who didn’t know at the time will often say, “wow, there were other signs and I didn’t notice them at the time.” Fatigue, night sweats, unexplained weight loss or gain, etc. I don’t know much about HIV, but again, you’ve had this lump for 15 years. My husband often gets lumps- he has one right now on his back. It’s a cyst. You very well could have a cyst or something like that which is easily removed or drained and is not life-threatening. You won’t know unless you get looked at, and you can go from there. You may also have enlarged nodes, which is very common. A friend of mine, her husband is a doctor and he just told me the other day how common it is to have enlarged nodes. If you go see the doc, they most likely will want to ultrasound the node and might even do a complete blood count on you, checking your levels. I think in the end, this will give you the peace of mine you are looking for. Please keep me posted!!!

  31. I’ve had a hard pea size lymph node behind my left ear, googled, freaked out, convinced I had cancer. I went to an ent who did a fine needle biopsy. came back negative. then I googled again and read that needle biopsies aren’t accurate and have false negatives. so then I got an MRI, showed no other mass except the swollen node. I still wasn’t convinced so I just had an excisional biopsy done yesterday. results won’t be ready til after the weekend and I’m freaking out. thanks for this site I’m a little bit more reassured. please cross your fingers for me.

  32. Thank you! I just have to tell you that made me feel so much better! Very inspiring and I have a nausea, headaches, and panic attacks, about my swollen lymph nodes under my ears and on my groin. I ALSO have sleep deprivation and I believe that it too is a contributing factor to my hypochondria. We need more stories on here. I also recently had fears in having stomach or colon cancer, but my doctor ruled it out as IBS. I quit drugs, smoking, and drinking all together, and I hope that I will heal from the damage I have created for myself due to my recklessness as a youth. I really want to take my time regroup and fulfill my life goal of becoming a forest ranger in Washington. Thank you for your help and words of wisdom 🙂

      1. How are you doing? I hope that things are well for you, and after quitting your “vices” lol that you are feeling better. I really think we all have a vice of some sort or another, everyone I know does anyway. It’s so hard not to!

  33. I have had a pea sized lymph node behind my right ear since May 30th. Last week I went to see my doctor. She said there’s nothing to worry about. She also felt my stomach and looked for other swollen lymph nodes. She asked me a bunch of questions as well.
    It’s only 5 mm and painless. And I haven’t had any symptoms of illness at all. She told me that as long as it doesn’t grow any bigger than 2 cm, it’s completely harmless.
    I went home that day….and I wasn’t relaxed at all! I asked everyone I know, if they have had any experiences…..and whether I should consult another doctor. However, I have known my doc. for many years, and I believe she’s very competent.

    I have also asked an old friend of mine, who is doctor, if she thinks there’s anything for me to worry about. She says I need to relax. There are so many reasons for swollen lymph nodes, and the size of mine is nothing to talk about. It’s rarely cancer. Sometimes you have a swollen lymph node for no obvious reason.

    Both doctors have told me not to touch it all the time, because then it will never go away! But it’s really hard not to touch it….I have to feel all the time if it gets smaller or bigger. I feel like I’m in a waiting position, like……There’s s minimum risk that it might be cancer – but it’s probably not…….Wait and see…”. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy!

    1. I know how you feel. Even after all this time, I still check my lump periodically, and I’ve noticed I have another one now in pretty much the same spot on the other side of my neck. Have you had a CBC done to see that there are no infections?

      1. My doctor didn’t think it was necessary….. However, I had a blood work done mid May because I’m on medication (I suffer from mild anxiety). And the results turned out fine. I just don’t know if this means anything – maybe they seach for some other things than they do when searching for infections?

        I’m Danish…..and there is not much information to find in Danish web sites. So I’m looking for some informative international sites. I just found a web service called HealthTap. It’s a network of 50.000 doctors who will answer your question within an hour or so. Do you know that service? I just wrote to them and got this answer:

        It calms me a little. Perhaps, it calms you too? …..But only a little. Because what if it suddenly enlarges or hurts? My god, I wish it disappers soon….!

      2. I have looked on healthtap before. I know that my husband has had cysts before, like on the back of his neck and on his lower back. He has another one on the inside of his right thigh. I wonder if this might be a cyst? Does it feel hard, or is it soft?

      3. Sorry for the late answer – I’ve been on vacation 🙂

        The doctor was convinced that it’s a swollen lymph node. It’s still there…and still the same size. I can’t really tell whether it’s hard or soft. Well, more likely soft and only a little hard. I’ve been told not to touch it all the time…but it is so difficult not to! So now my boyfriend feels it like every second or third day…..just once. That way I won’t rub off the skin behind my ear completely.
        Also, I know that night sweats can be a sign of cancer, and I’ve had night sweats the last two nights, so ask me if I was starting to freak out?! But I’ve had those some times before due to my medicine….and there is a heat wave in Denmark these days/night which might explain it! Oh, I wish it would go away before I go crazy!

      4. I’ve had night sweats before, like when I’m PMSing. I had them really bad after my 2nd kid was born, due to all the hormonal shifts. I think you should for sure report it if it gets bigger or changes up on you. Have you been sick recently? Sometimes they can flare up too if your body has been fighting an infection and they can stay enlarged for quite some time. If your boyfriend’s persistent checks help to ease your worry, I saw keep on doing that! But I know what you mean, these strange oddities with our bodies drive s nuts!

      5. Hi again,

        I will, for sure, report it to the doctor, if the lymph nodes changes size or shape.
        I haven’t been sick for a loong time. Not that I know of. Well, the last week I’ve had a little sore throat and a little ear pain. I feel warm but I have no fever.

        I have read a lot about Toxoplasmosis….and I wonder, if this could be it?! The symptoms are very similar to mine. And we have a cat (I just found out that she uses our kitchen garden as giant litter box)! I don’t know….I just need an answer.

        On Monday morning I’m going to the dentist to see if it could be impacted wisdom teeth which are causing all of this. I have sort of like 3 lumps in the back of my gums, and I never had my wisdom teeth.

        Hope to get an answer soon….if there is an answer 🙂

  34. Thank you for your write up. I had a similar experience after checking “Doctor Google”. About 4 months ago, I noticed a swollen lump on the right side of my neck. It was large enough that my wife noticed it without pointing it out. We were busy moving at the time though (leaving military), so I hadn’t bothered seeing a doctor or googling at the time.

    A few weeks ago, I noticed that the lump was still there but it had decreased in size. Now it was about the size of a pea. It could be moved around but still felt a little swollen (but not solid). I didn’t know what this lump could be so I googled it and found lots of people saying they had a similar lump in the neck and later found that they had lymphoma. I am 29 years old but I read of men of similar age getting the diagnosis. I was now panicking and made an appointment with my new doctor straight away!

    After my doctor felt the lump, he said it could be a cyst or a little lymph node. And, then he asked a bunch of health questions such as “Do I have night sweats? Do I feel tired all the time? Do I have any unexplained weight loss?” At the time, I didn’t have any symptoms other than the lump on my neck. My doctor ordered a thyroid/neck area ultrasound to ease some of my concern (he thought it was probably nothing).

    During the ultrasound, they didn’t find anything wrong with my thyroid and they found that the bump was absolutely a lymph node. Classic almond shape. The doctors told me that the bump was nothing to worry about but if it increases in size, to come back.

    What I’ve learned from all this is, when in doubt, see the doctor! It has saved me so much worry.

    1. Yes! Same thing over here with the enlarged nodes. I have them on each side of my neck, now, since writing this post back in 2012. I try hard to ignore Dr. Google as much as I can, because all it’s done for me is get me all riled up! I am glad you’re doing okay! 🙂

  35. I know this is an older blog but I want to thank you for writing this. I am going through the same thing. My under arm and chest wall are inflamed but I freaked out thinking nodes, even though I didn’t feel anything. Same with my neck. I’m constantly feeling around my neck and jaw as my neck has been hurting. I am fighting off something nasty, doctor thinks it is a virus but it is still frustrating. I had major health anxiety a year ago and it has not gone away, it has only gotten worse. And yes Googling is the worst thing to do but I keep telling myself I am “researching”. I read that if you have Lymphoma that you will be itchy and now all of a sudden I’m itchy everywhere. I can not take my mind off of it. I wish I had the doctors that you had as they are very reassuring and kind. The doctors I have had brush me off like I’m a crazy person.

    1. Has anyone gotten a CBC from you, or recommended an ultrasound of the area? I think it’s better to be safe than sorry, and even if you request that and it turns out to be nothing, I really think it will help you to sleep better at night!

  36. biopsy showed it wasn’t a lymph node after all. it was a pleomorphic adenoma (benign parotid gland tumor) I’m just glad it’s not cancer.

      1. Hi Sara I almost cried reading your post. I was just googling to confirm my fear of the lymph node on the left side of my neck and saw your brief. Apparently I had this node since I was a child and it never bothered me until about a month ago when it got swollen, then I felt feverish. It happened while on vacation so I immediately called my doctor, he told its probably a slight virus my body was fighting off. This didn’t make me any happier as my cousin right now has lymphoma and a very rare form, so I went into panic mode. I met with my Doctor recently but the node got so small it took us a while to find it and of course he dismissed me and warned me not to go fishing on the internet. Blood work including CRP came back normal but I am still nervous and kept touching and not sure if it’s in my head but it feels like the whole left side of my neck hurts — maybe from the constant prodding. However thank you so very much for sharing!

      2. I know how you’re feeling- even to this day, on occasion I prod at my lump and worry a little bit about it. It sounds though with blood work and what not coming back as normal, that you are doing all right and it’s not cancer. I always tell people it never hurts to go in for a physical once/year. You can always get things checked out every year, to make sure things are still on the up and up. I’m glad you were proactive and went in to get things checked out!

  37. stumbled upon your post…. I have been in a frantic panic all day after a week of right sided swollen lymph nodes and now itching, how much of this is my hyper sensitization? still unsure, but that you for sharing your story, the part of you and the women in the waiting room made me cry, hypochondria can be such a lonely and debilitating experience.

    1. I know that my skin has been very itchy lately, due to the colder/drier weather. Are you getting over an illness? Many people have told me their lymph nodes swell in response to illness. And, that it can take some time for it to go back to normal. I would go and get checked out, for at least some peace of mind.

  38. So glad I came across this blog! I’m 41, and found a posterior cervical node.
    Ultrasound was normal- but because I can feel it , and because of my age- I was convinced it was lymphoma. Had a FNA biosy- which was negative – however FNA will only rule out non Hodgkin lymphoma, it cannot rule out classic Hodgkin lymphoma. Now, four weeks after the FNA – I feel another node in the same location. Deciding if I should push for excisional biopsy, which would 100 percent diagnose lymphoma. Ughhhh damn lumps 😦

    1. That was going to be my next step, to get an excisional biopsy to know once and for all what was going on. I actually ended up having an MRI done of my neck, after getting a referral to the ENT specialist. He was concerned about some stuff going on in my throat. Turns out I have a tonsil that’s full of tonsil stones, and while doing the MRI he was able to look at the lump on my neck, and he said it’s just a lymph node. Sure, the procedure was expensive, but man, I felt so much better and slept so much better that night! I’ve always believed being proactive is the way to go, so if you feel in your gut you will get the answer you need (and be able to sleep better at night) getting the excisional biopsy, then I think you should.

  39. Hi my name is Krystal and I am 27 years old with three children. I found a lump back in June in my neck and I have been to three different doctors to tell me not to be worried because my blood work has been great. I have really bad anxiety and have a doctors appointment on Thursday for a check up and I hope this time that they will give me a biopsy or xray or something to easy my mind. The last doctor I seen was my family doctor who treats my whole family and he told me that in all his years he has never seen anything come bad of those unless there were other symptoms. He knows I’m scared to get cancer because he was my grandfather’s doctor as well who died of lung cancer 3 years ago. I don’t know why I still don’t have any relief from him telling me that I am ok, I know if he was worried it was something he would do something about it. Still struggling with stress though.

    1. I think going in again and requesting an ultrasound of the area wouldn’t be a bad thing, if for anything to get that peace of mind that you need. I went through the same thing, had those same anxious feelings, I know exactly where you are coming from this!

  40. Sorryfor posting further up. So many useful comments. I am in they same position as everyone else here. I’ve only had the lump for two days am I am a mess. I have had lymphoma before and so that is why my doctor is sending me for a scan ASAP. I went onto doc Google and in looking for benign reasons…only came up with worst case scenarios. Thanks for leaving your post and other comments up. No doubt in years to come more ppl will stumble across this. Just 24 hours till myscan.

    1. When you had lymphoma before, did you have any lumps or anything that would have pointed to you having it? Please keep us posted on your scan, and the outcome, and how you are doing. I will be praying for you today!

  41. WOW! This is very similar to myself! I’m 26 years old and I have had swollen lymph nodes in my groin and under my arms for EIGHT YEARS! I’m still worried.
    I’ve seen many doctors, hematologist (Three times!), had CT scans way back in 2007 and numerous ultrasounds, last one 3 years ago. Everyone and every test has said it’s normal.
    Throughout the years I’ve had severe pain in my legs, feet, toes, arms and fingers. I’ve felt dizzy, lightheaded, woozy….you name it. It’s all gone now though, I started to feel less anxious about it.
    However Right now I’m convinced that I have slow growing lymphoma cause I’ve had them for all this time and I have discomfort in my left side. The spleen side. Of course Dr. Google pretty much confirmed that I have this. Dr Google, by far the worst thing to ever happen for people with anxiety.
    I know this is an old post so I’m not expecting any responses. But what did happen to your nodes in the end? Did they go down or are they still there?

    1. Mine are still there. I still have that one on my left side of my neck, and I have one that’s even bigger on the right. Have you had a CBC done recently, to rule out any infections or to see how your blood count looks? I would think a test like that could determine if you’ve got lymphoma or not. Keep me posted, and yep, it’s an old post, but I’m still here! 🙂

      1. Hey thanks for the reply! I’ve had many many blood tests throughout the years. Not had any for about three years now. I had a big blood test done in October 2007 and it revealed some traces of a viral infection, possibly Epstein Barr. The ones I had in 2012 were apparently normal enough.
        As for my current lymph nodes, the good news are that the nodes in my right groin seem to have mostly gone down, and they actually work like they should! I got an infection about 4 years ago and they swelled up and went down, like they should. The nodes in the armpits are still like they were. In my left armpit I probably have around 3 or 4 swollen with the biggest being around 2cm. In the right one there’s only one big one, around 2cm too.
        Do you know how big your nodes are?

  42. Hi,

    I am so glad I found this blog post. Like everyone else here I immediately went to google and came across the worst case scenarios. Google has been the greatest invention but it definitiely has its down falls. I recently found a small bump on my left side above my collar bone so I went to my doc today. He checked it out and said everything is normal – that it’s small and not hard and that because I am very petite these things show up more on my body and I can feel them more. When I left his office I felt better, but then I started googling and of course all these horror stories come up! But then I found your article, which thoroughly explains these things and I really appreciated reading that. I like to know why things are the way they are, and when a professional takes the time out of his day to explain it to you in detail so that you get peace of mind, that’s the great as thing. Thank you for taking the time to do the same for all of us. I will definitely monitor it over the weeks. Sometimes I think we forget to trust our docs because of the horror stories we hear – so I think I will need to trust in him, but at the same time monitor and be proactive if I notice any changes. I haven’t experienced any other symptoms and I actuslly feel healthier than I’ve ever felt due to recent changes. But of course that’s what makes me wonder, if I feel fine why is this thing swollen??

    1. I know how you feel. I still have enlarged nodes on the side of my neck, and it’s still enlarged even when I’m not sick. From every doc I’ve talked to, they tell me I’m just built this way, with enlarged nodes. I’ve had ultrasounds and nothing looks malignant. Tests were fine. I think the best thing is to stay on top of things, be proactive, and continue getting checked out. Right now, I’m going through something re: one of my breasts- I’ve had to get an ultrasound every six months for the past year and a half. I’ve got enlarged nodes in my breast, but nothing malignant, and the radiologist has been comparing my past ultrasound pics with the recent ones, nothing has changed. They don’t tell me I’m okay, and don’t come back until I’m 40 (I’m nearing 37). They say, “let’s have you come back again in 6 months. If things are all right, let’s shoot for a year, and go from there.” Being proactive is key!

    2. Hi happilyeverfit!

      Did anything ever come out of your palpable collar bone node? I have one similar to yours and it’s on my mind everyday :/

      1. Hi! I’m so sorry I’m just replying to you now. The node I have was deemed too small to be a major concern. This was after having an ultrasound and an MRI of the area done. I’ve kept tabs on it on occasion over the years, and it hasn’t gotten bigger or had any changes. I’d say at your next physical, or even before that if you’re nervous about it, I’d get it checked out. If anything, it will give you peace of mind knowing that it’s okay and there’s nothing to be concerned about. Usually if there’s any concern, the first step would be an ultrasound of the node- it’s a super easy procedure, and the radiologist can often tell just by looking at the node whether it’s something to be worried about. The radiologist I spoke with said they can tell by what the node looks like internally, as well as the shape of it- if it has irregular borders, or anything like that- it’s more worrisome.

  43. Thanks for the read. Seem to be a lot of encouraging stories out there even though we convince ourselves to think the worst.

    I randomly discovered a small pea sized node (somewhat firm) on the lower left side of my neck (believe it’s a lower jugular node). Could not really see it but felt it while rubbing my neck one afternoon and had an absolute panic attack and assumed the worst.

    Made an appointment with my PCP who cast it off as nothing although he was willing to perform a CBC (which all came back normal).

    Still freaking out and telling myself something that it may not actually be based on the firmness of the node and comparing it to what I’m reading on the internet.

    Considering making an appointment with an ENT for further evaluation.

    Being that you have experienced a similar situation, do you have any suggestions on my next step or questions to ask my medical professionals?

    Thanks for the blog!

    1. Sorry for the late reply to your question. If you’re still concerned, I’d get an ultrasound done. I had that done, and after seeing it, and having a radiologist point out what my node looks like, how it was healthy, etc. (I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in NE the docs are really great about showing you the results, explaining it, etc.) Because I ended up having other issues going on along with the enlarged node, I did end up having an MRI of my neck done, but that was def a last resort test, something my ENT recommended. I always say being proactive is best, so if you’re still concerned, ask what else can be done, and ask to have the results explained to you. Having the radiologist show me the healthy lining of the node and explain all of that to me really made me feel a lot better.

  44. Thank you sooooo much for this post! I’ve dealt with this before and it’s terrifying! I’ve been to the ENT about pea size lymph nodes just above my collar bone and he said it was fine and just watch it and make sure it doesn’t get any larger that it’s likely just enlarged from fighting an infection and never went down. I found two more yesterday and have been freaking out about them, one is the size of a pea and the other is small about the size of a bb. I plan to call the nurse this week just to be sure but your post made me feel so much better! You would think I’d learn by now not to google this stuff but in this case it turned up good!

    1. I still google stuff! Even when I’ve told myself not to! Did you have an infection in recent months, to make your nodes enlarge? If you get to worrying, I’d go in for a CBC and maybe even an ultrasound, just to put your mind at ease. Ultrasounds can really pick up a lot, and can tell if the node is just an enlarged node, or if there’s anything else going on.

  45. I’m so happy I found your post. I ended up here after the 10th google search of my symptoms… I’m in a panic mode for the past month wanting to burst into tears all the time. I’ve felt the enlarged lymph node for the first time a bit less than a year ago. At first I ignored it for a few months waiting for it to go away and when it didn’t I got really worried and went to the doctor. That was back in October (2014). He felt my lymph nodes and checked if it was the only one swollen. That seem to be the case back then. I had a blood test and abdominal ultrasound and both came back normal. I was very worried after reading all those google pages about lymphoma so these tests were a relief at than point.

    My doctor advised I should get my ears checked for an infection. I visited an ear specialist who didn’t find anything wrong with them (apart from the fact that my nasal aperture seems to be crooked leading to me my not breathing properly and adding pressure to my ears). He then suggested I visit an orthopaedic in case it was a tendon bothering me and not the actual lymph node. In the meantime I moved to the UK. Relieved that my blood test came out fine I relaxed and waited for my lymph node to disappear but here I am in June freaking out about it as it is still here and hasn’t reduced in size. After freaking out for weeks I visited a GP (General Practitioner) here and explained to her my worries. She felt my lymph nodes (only on the neck) and said that it’s very close to my ear to be anything else. She though it had to do with some external infection of the ear (as I have pierced earlobes) and advised me not to wear earrings for some time and to go back for a second blood test if it persists so we can compare my results.

    A week and a half has passed since my appointment and the lymph node is still here! I am literally touching it every half hour and freak out. Sometimes I think it has become smaller and others that is is getting bigger and bigger. I feel pains in my ears from time to time and pains on the lymph node as well. I have these pure panic moments I’m so tired of all this back and forth and stress that comes with it…

    1. I am so sorry you’re going through this! I know how stressful the worry can be, esp. when the node won’t go down in size, and it’s just… there. Mine is still there, too, on the left side of my neck. It hasn’t changed in size, shape, but I notice it whenever I tilt my head slightly to the right. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my node is just an odd node, something I’ve got on my body. Like you, I had various tests done, and everything has turned out OK. Did you have that second test done, to compare your results and see what the tests have to say? I say, if the 2nd test comes back fine, that you are like me- where, we have this odd node that is larger than the rest, and it’s just the way your body is built.

      1. I’ve went back to the doctor last week and had a second blood test and an ultrasound. Everything came back normal (pheww, I cried a lot in the waiting room). Three different doctors looked at my lymph node and tests and agreed that it’s nothing to worry about. They seem to think that it got swollen at some point when I had the flu and never got back to normal. The ultrasound also showed that I have two more swollen ones on my neck but are not a cause of worry either. I feel so relieved! Until I start stressing about it again…

  46. Hello i have a lymph node on my right side of my neck . The posterior cervical for about two and a half years now. I first noticed it after fighting off a bad stomach virus . Im a 19 year old female. When i first discovered it i freaked out and went to the ER to find out it was a lymph node at that time i didnt know anything about all of this. Of corse i googled and had the fear of cancer i eventually let it go from what everyone told me . Just recently i started to freak out again and went researching i know now almost everything there is to know about lymphoma and nodes in general. I never really looked into it like this before when i had my first cancer scare. Ive basically convinced myself i had a slow growing lympnoma. The node has not gotten any bigger in two and a half years but yet im terrified i finally seen a doctor about it who sent me for an ultrasound . The results came back inconclusive i asked what that meant and they said they couldnt tell what it was and scheduled a ct scan. I now wish i would of asked more about the ultrasound after all ive read cuz now im freaking out like what did they see? What didnt they see? I dont understand why it was inconslusive is that bad? When i get sick my lymph node swells alittle but always goes back down. It is small about pea size however it is not shaped like a pea or bb, more like a tiny kidney bean? So im concerned as could it be a shoddy node although it isn shaped like a pea ? Im trying to have hope but am worried that it isnt a little pea shape like most describe their harmless nodes.

    1. From what I’ve heard/read, lymph nodes are shaped more like kidney beans. And, I think when I had my ultrasound of the lump on my neck, mine was also inconclusive due to it’s size. The radiologist told me it was so small, it wasn’t a concern. And that usually, a lump has to be a certain size to be a concern, to be considered something to biopsy and worry about. How did the CT scan go? Did you get any information from that?

  47. Well after a long wait i finally got a call back monday morning about my ct scan. Everything came back normal. I had a doctors appt. Later on tht day . He explained tht it was 7to8 millimeters and showed no cause for concern. Well i asked for some lamisil for my toenails and he made me get another cbc so he could monitor my liver before and after the medication. I got a call bak this morning telling me my platelets are very low and he wants to send me to a specialist or come in in a week for another cbc to make sure it wasnt an abnormal lab but he said it didnt look abnormal he told me not to take my meds and b very inactive. Now im very worries again after looking it up and finding out it could once again b lympboma. What do you think it could b from ? I was very dehydrated wen i got the cbc but he said tht had nothing to do with it

    1. I don’t get the impression that the doc felt there was anything to be concerned about. I’ve known people to have normal CBC’s and to still have cancer, yet people who have had abnormal CBC’s and they are totally fine, it wasn’t cancer but something else, like something with their thyroid or something along those lines. Please let me know how your next CBC goes!

  48. My platelet level was at 28 . When the lady took my blood she had alot of trouble and took a really long time not sure if tht could have do with it, i just got a cbc alittle over a month ago and everything was normal so i dnt understand . Apparently my red blood count was also slightly low at 3. Im really freaked out . Tomorrow ill be making an appt. With a specialist to get another cbc im really hoping its nothing but that is really low.

  49. I had to make an appoimtment with a hematologist-oncologist this morning i go in two hrs. Im absolutely terrified at this point considering the doctor specializes in lymphoma and other blood desieses and cancers atleast ill finally kno the truth before long

  50. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I noticed an enlarged lymph node while rubbing my neck during a road trip awhile ago, which led me to inspect the rest of my neck where I found plenty more! The biggest being right around 1 cm. When we got to our destination, I asked my mother in law about it and my brother in law, who overheard the conversation, said “oh, yeah, I’ve got those!.” And, sure enough, upon inspection we had very similar lumps. That was enough to make me forget about it until randomly just this past week when my anxiety surged with a vengeance! My husband was out of town and I just let the late night google searches get the best of me. By the time I saw the doctor yesterday I was a puddle of tears. He felt my neck and said he was 99% sure that it was nothing, but ordered a blood test, chest x-ray and ultrasound “just to be thorough.” Which I appreciate, but somehow it also made me more anxious. I sobbed the whole way to the chest x-ray thinking “if it were normal, they wouldn’t need to do these tests, right?!” Obviously I’m still waiting for my results, but I’m feeling a lot better about my anxiety. I had gotten to the point where I felt nauseous and dizzy because of anxiety too. I teach a cycling class and I could barely get through it the morning before my doctor’s appointment. My first experience with hypochondria too!

    1. Have you received your results yet? Yes, Googling is no one’s friend, and like you, I always end up so much more anxious, even though I go on Google to try and find answers! It seems no matter what you put into Google, the results are “cancer”.

  51. Me again.
    It’s now been 8 years since I discovered a node in my left groin, I was 18 turning 19. Then a larger one in my right groin, which went up and down and got very painful at times. Then a bit later in the year I found more nodes in my armpits, one in the right and one in the left. Needlessly I was sure I had cancer and sometimes I still am.
    Then 4 years ago I discovered few more in my left armpit which put me in a spiral of anxiety and depression.
    Right now I’m worried cause I’ve lost a bit of weight, 3 kg in about 3 weeks Haven’t been eating much cause I started a diet, sort of, eating less. Except last week I was very bad cause I was on holiday only ate crap. Still lost a kilo. This has had me a bit worried.
    But it’s been 8 years, a sensible person would let it go. I’ve had every test imaginable except for a biopsy.
    Only one node has gone down, the painful one in the right groin.

    1. Do you think you’ve lost some weight due to the anxiety? I remember when I went through my cancer scare, I lost a few pounds due to not eating as much, due to the high stress and anxiety.

      1. I did lose a bit when I went through the big anxieties back in 2012, but Ive not been like that since then really.
        I’ve always had a big appetite and that’s why I’m trying to cut back now. Cause I’ve gained probably around 8-9 kg in the last few years.
        Are your nodes still the same size as they were when you first noticed them? And how do you react when you feel something that could be a symptom of lymphoma, even though it probably isnt?

      2. So sorry it’s taken me this long to respond. We moved recently, and we’re still trying to get settled. My node is still the same size, but I’ve noticed more now, on the right side of my neck. What helps me, is knowing that I’m getting regular check ups, I go in and see a doctor when something unusual occurs that I’m worried about, and I’m trying to remain proactive about my health. I figure now, if something were to happen, it will be in the early stages, which gives me a much better chance.

  52. while the internet is an amazing thing, it has a dark side that takes paranoid people and increases their paranoia 10x. any medical site you go on and search symptoms you have, it will tell you that you have cancer and will die. heading to any forum and asking for help/advice and youll end up with 30 people calling you all sorts of names. the net has gone from an amazing entity to a house of horrors.

  53. Two days after i found out my platelets were at 28 i went to a hematalogist and the doctor asked me why i thought this was i told him a mistake and he assured me it was . Because of how much trouble the nurse had taking my blood and sure enough he was rite they were at 290. So ive tried to just let it go and same goes for regular check ups as long as u check it occasionally thats all u really can do. Cant let ur whole life revolve around a lymph node lol thanks so much for the support

    1. I haven’t noticed that, but I know when I was pressing a lot on my node, it seemed to feel larger. One of the doctors I’d seen said if I kept messing with the node it could swell some, get irritated, agitated.

  54. Hi! I’m not sure if you’re still reading comments on this post but I just wanted to let you know what a relief it was to know that someone had been right where I am now and lived to tell the tale. I’m 43 and have an amazing 5 year old daughter. About a year ago I found a lump in my right armpit. A few minutes with Dr.Google convinced me I had lymphoma. I saw two doctors and a nurse practitioner who told me not only was it not lymphoma but wasn’t even a lymph gland. I was told it was probably a cyst. It’s still there and still the same size and I pretty much let it go but now there’s a similar lump above my collarbone. Small, soft, very movable. My doctor says she isn’t worried but ordered blood work and told me to come back in 2 months. I went back to Google and gave myself an anxiety induced crying fit and overall meltdown. I’m so scared, I’m beyond scared. I’m terrified. I don’t know how I’ll get through the days waiting for the blood work results. Your post is the only thing that has made me feel remotely better. Thank you for sharing it and reminding me that good news or bad worrying won’t help and may actually make things worse. Best wishes for your continued good health!

    1. Did you receive your results yet? I’ve tried hard not to consult Google for my ailments. Like you, I tend to really get stressed out and anxious, and it turns out there’s nothing wrong. I hope and pray your results are good ones, and I also wish you continued good health!

      1. Hi, I received the results of my bloodwork – all good except for having iron deficiency anemia. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of Googling anemia and discovered that it is associated with some types of leukaemia – which of course sent me into another panic attack. I got a second opinion and was again told not to worry, that the size and movability of my bump indicated a cyst or a slightly enlarged lymph gland and my bloodwork was fine save for the anemia. I’m just now getting back to normal. For a few weeks it was like I just couldn’t stop making myself insane, my anxiety was totally at the reins, indulging itself at every opportunity. Even as the rational part of my brain was screaming, “Stop Googling! Do not click on that link! Put down the iPad!”, the out of control part was obsessively reading lymphoma and leukaemia stories, poring over symptoms, wondering if I was little more tired today than I was yesterday, etc… It was such a terrible state of mind to be in. I feel stupid for putting myself through so much turmoil and even worse for making my family live with a miserable, anxiety ridden individual. I’m definitely going to remind myself of this terrible episode the next time I’m tempted to consult Dr.Google. Thank you again for your kind words and taking the time to write about your own experiences. Your blog was a lifeline in turbulent seas! Best wishes!

  55. Hi I came across your blog after Googling lymph nodes and what a relief. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March and had a lumpectomy in April. Thankfully as it had not spread I only needed radiotherapy. About 4 weeks ago a found a lump in my neck and was fine about it at that time. I got it seen by the breast clinic who said it was just as a result of a bite and the node should go down and again I was fine. Then on Sunday I noticed another lump albeit different it was more like a swollen vein about half cm long BANG totally meltdown (first one since being diagnosed) name it I convinced myself I had it and the cancer had come back. Google has a lot to answer for. Going to Dr’s tomorrow so going to get her to check other lump and to check the rest of my neck so my creative imagination can calm down. You are right just get it checked out no matter how often you do it. Your mental state is more important and it is mad what stress and worry can do to the body. I also think we are angry with ourselves for feeling the way we are feeling. Best wishes everyone xx

    1. Did you go in to see the doc? What was the outcome? My lump on my neck also resembles a swollen vein, a bit. It’s an enlarged node, but it looks as though it’s longer than normal. I am hoping you are healthy, and that you’re doing well!

  56. Hi everyone. I am at a and e in the uk hospital now after having mild pains under my armpit for a a few months and then suddenly finding a swollen lymph node there. I am out of my mind with worry. It’s about 4 mm and roundish. ..bobbles about under my fingers. I’m sure it wasn’t there before as I check regular. I’ve just had bloods taken and waiting to see doc. Not sure if they’ll do anything at a and e but don’t know what else to do as I’m in panic. I’m 49.

  57. Thank u so much for this thread and for keeping on responding! I’m like all of u. Swollen node behind my ear. Ultrasound showed benign but of course I still worried. It was 12mmx11mmx.5mm hard unmovable. No other symptoms except some fatigue. I’m a naturally sweaty guy lol ent said he’d rather take it t out to make sure. I’m in Canada so lucky for me these things cost me nothing. He did excision all biopsy last Friday and now I’m trying not to obsess as I wait for result. But I don’t feel alone anymore. Nice to see something that says no need to worry. I’ll try to remember to reply once I get results. I think I’ll feel 100% relieved if it’s negative. Thanks again for this 🙂

    1. Thank you, for sharing your story! I hope the results come back negative, and I’m really glad you’re in a place where medical care costs nothing. That’s a good position to be in, that’s for sure!

      1. Thanks! Yeah it is pretty great. We often take it for granted up here.
        The result of the biopsy was a benign lipoma. Fairly common apparently been t not according to google. I wish the ult a sound or google could’ve showed that. Could’ve saved a lot of worry. Feel very relieved. Thank for again for your blog!

  58. This story has helped me a lot as I relate! One night I had swollen lymph nodes on both sides of my neck with no other symptoms and wasn’t even sick recently. A few days later I noticed one under my armpit. Went to the doctor and she said she thought everything was fine but would do an ultrasound to ease my mind. Finally had the ultrasound after three weeks. The right side of my neck still feels like a lump or swollen node. The results. My armpit ended up showing nothing but just excess muscle. When I raise my arm and look at my armpit it looks like a large lump. My lymph node in neck was inconclusive which is making me freak out. The doctor said because it’s so small on the ultrasound and inconclusive I should schedule with ear nose and throat doctor to have peace of mind. I have to wait a week for that appointment but still reading the Internet thinking it’s going to turn out bad. :/

    1. With the node in my neck, I had the same thing happen. It was inconclusive, since it was pretty small, and after seeing an ENT specialist, that really helped to ease my mind. I also have a lump in one of my pits, I think it’s excess muscle, or fat. I’d love to hear how your appt. goes, what the results are with the ENT!

  59. Hi. I’m really glad to have found your post because somehow it gives me relief and enlightenment. I am 27 years old and currently 10 weeks pregnant. A month ago, I felt that the left side of my neck is aching accompanied with a mild discomfort in my left throat but I didn’t feel any swollen lymph nodes. After a week, I went to an ENT and he said there’s nothing to worry about because I might just have acid reflux because of pregnancy. 2 weeks after I went to a second ENT doctor and complained about my throat, I told him I’m pregnant and he also said the throat discomfort must be due to acid reflux. Then another 2 weeks passed and the throat discomfort is still there, also I discovered a lump in the left side of my neck. I went to third ENT and she said it’s an inflamed neck pulse brought by hormonal changes in pregnancy. She also said she won’t order CT scan since it’s not something I should be worried about. She also said I should stay away from google and stop touching my neck. Right now, I am so depressed and disturbed I can’t even get a good night sleep. I worry that my anxiety and stress will affect my baby. As someone who managed to overcome anxiety, I would truly appreciate if you can give me some advice and tips on how to handle this. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Could you request an ultrasound of the area? I think having that done would at least give you peace of mind. An ultrasound isn’t invasive, not harmful to your baby, it’s easy and I believe it’s not a super expensive procedure. I think once you have something like that done, and get some results, it will be easier for you to overcome your anxiety. I am sure being pregnant, you are feeling even more stressed out. Doing yoga really helped me out and still does during stressful times. There are a lot of great prenatal yoga moves you can do, the breathing really can help to push that negative energy out. It’s hard to stay away from Google. I know it is, I still Google things when I’m worried about something. I really think an ultrasound of the area will help to give you the peace of mind you’re looking for. I am hoping the best for you, and for your baby. 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for your tips. I am now trying yoga exercises. I also plan to visit my ENT and will try to request if I could have ultrasound. God bless you.

  60. Thank you so much for this post- I completely relate to how quickly the panic can just spiral. I’ve always been a hypochondriac and losing my grandfather and a family friend to cancer this year has me convinced every tiny ache or pain is probably rampaging cancer. My doctor said she thinks my year-long fatigue and tiredness is related to my anxiety/depression but it’s hard to listen when EVERY article on cancer mentions fatigue first thing!! (which then makes me more anxious…which makes anxiety symptoms such as fatigue WORSE…which then makes me worry even more…) Then yesterday I felt a hard painful bump behind my ear at work and FREAKED OUT. Thank goodness it was the end of the day and I didn’t have too many customers because I instantly became a twitchy mess, feeling all over my scalp and pressing on the lump and trying to see if it would move. I must have looked like I was having a fit. xD I have a doctor’s app in four days and I keep reminding myself there’s a million reasons for swollen nodes. I accidentally hit my nose with my car door two weeks ago and it’s still sore and sinus pressure-y so logically I probably got a swollen node from either the trauma or an infection caused by it, but logic doesn’t stand up to Dr. Google’s doomsday possibilities. I found your post while googling and I’m glad to read it and all the comments from others who worried just like I am, only for everything to be okay. It makes me feel a little less crazy. Time to turn off Google and find something more calming to read until I can get a real doctor’s opinion!

    1. How did your appointment go? Usually if the node is sore like that, it’s not cancer, or so I’ve been told in the past. I wonder if it’s like you said, associated with what happened with the car door, or it could be something else. Google will declare every symptom to be cancer. I still Google for some things on occasion, it’s always the first thing that pops up! I hope all is well with you, and that your appointment went well!

  61. ive had swollen lymph nodes on the same spot on both sides of my neck since July.. One is almost completely gone the other isn’t it’s very tender to touch my doctor doesn’t seem to be concerned at all. I think since July I’ve gone to the doctors almost every week. He ran a Cbc everything was normal it’s just causing the worst anxiety I cry all the time

    1. I am really sorry you’re dealing with anxiety- I know how hard that can be. Have they taken a biopsy to see what is going on? I know one doctor told me often, if a node is slightly enlarged, it won’t go back to it’s “normal” size. Mine is still slightly enlarged. It hasn’t gotten any bigger, but it hasn’t gone down in size, either.

  62. Thank you for writing this. I know the doctor told you NO MORE INTERNET, and it’s good advice that I will continue to remind myself, but I must say that this article was a wonderful result of googling my symptoms. Thanks for such a positive and grounded reminder to be calm, get checked out and then trust the doctor when they say not to worry.

  63. Thank you so much for writing this. I have come back and read multiple times. I found small bump on right side of my neck in Sept. and did the worst thing possible – searched. I have all the classic symptoms of hypochondria already and this made things worse. I am 28 and married with an almost 2 year old and I think that once you see life at its beginning you start to contemplate death in a while other manner. I freaked out and had myself convinced I was dying and my wife and son would be alone. I went to a prompt care and was seen by an NP who prescribed me an antibiotic. Took it for 10 days and then called my PCP to be seen for a physical. He felt it and called it a “nubben” – didn’t seem concerned. Ran blood tests for CMP CBC Lipids and Urinalysis – all came back normal. However I still felt like something was wrong. I was convinced that with all the blessings I had in life, great family, job and home that something bad was bound to happen to me.
    By this time I was driving my wife crazy with my complaining and depression. She’s an NP herself and kept telling me I was fine. I got a sore throat that hurt on the outside of my throat and convinced myself I had thyroid issues or salivary gland tumor. It was a downward spiral. Ended up visiting a prompt care again when I thought that I had one side of my throat sticking out more when I swallowed than the other. The Dr. was nice and said to wait a month – but I read in her notes on my followmyhealth portal that she diagnosed me with hypochondria. That’s when it really hit home.

    So now I am just living with my bump. My neck is sore but its probably from prodding at it and leaning over to look at my phone too much during the day. My dad showed me where he has a bump on his neck that’s been there for 15 years and one in his groin as well that doctors told him not to worry about. My sister has a few on her neck as well. So maybe it just runs in the family.

    The main thing that I’ve done is rather to feel guilty about being blessed – give thanks to God for it. Prayer is an excellent medicine for anxiety.

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with this! I know how much stress and worry can wreak havoc on you physically, emotionally and mentally. If you’re still concerned about this, can you request an ultraosund? I know that really did help to put my mind more at ease. They looked at my node, and determined it was just slightly enlarged, nothing to worry about. That might give you a lot more peace of mind, especially combined with the blood work you’ve had done that shows you are healthy. My husband has a few lumps on his body, he is prone to getting cysts and has even had a few removed from the back of his neck. My node is still enlarged, I think sometimes with infection, when our nodes get enlarged to fight off infection, they don’t always go back down to the size they previously were. It could very well run in your family, too, if other members have these lumps. I really hope you get to feeling better, and your mind is put to rest.

      1. I am feeling much better. It’s a daily battle. I don’t think I need the ultrasound at this time. Maybe next year’s physical if things have changed. I have told myself that just because you feel a node doesn’t mean something is wrong. They are always there in every person and don’t spontaneously appear and mean the worst. Dr. Google can be just as harmful mentally as other addictions and should be avoided as such. I have small pinpoint node on other side of base of my neck that I found but I’m not worried at all. You can’t truly live life when you are living in fear of your life. If we are constantly waiting/anxioud for the end to arrive we can’t enjoy the journey there.

      2. I writing this as my husband and I are driving my son back to college. My son is 19 and in his second year. On Christmas Day we were playing a game and I was sitting next to him and noticed when he turned his head it looked like there was a tiny lump. It is on his neck halfway down closer to the back of his neck. It almost looks like it’s in the vein. He wouldn’t let me touch it and said he had no idea what I’m even talking about. I called his peditrician.. Yes he still sees him. He said he don’t even know how I saw it. He felt it and asked my son some questions and said it was nothing to worry about. But I noticed there is another on right behind the first one. Now my son is heading back to college and I’m worried sick. He won’t be home till the end of February. Should I wait that long to have it rechecked. My son won’t even let me touch it

      3. My husband had a similar lump, in the same place. It was a cyst, and he had to have it removed after a certain amount of time. He also has one on his back. It sounds as though that might be what your son has. Since he’s seen a doc and the doc wasn’t worried, I would wait until you see him in Feb. Check and see if it’s enlarged, changed shape, if there’s pain or tenderness. If there have been any changes, I’d suggest your son be seen again. I don’t know if they did this at the first check up, but they could even run a blood panel on him, just to make sure things are okay, and to put your mind at ease.

  64. I just want to first say thank you for starting this thread! I believe that God has lead me here to once again give me some reassurance. I have read thru every single post. And I am beginning to feel some much needed relief. It sucks that we have to go thru this, but it’s relieving to know I’m not alone. If you don’t mind, I need to tell you my story! And pray that you will respond! My anxiety ridden mess started 5 years ago. My neck felt a little stiff. So I rubbed it…. Oh no…. this can’t be happening! I felt a lump. I must have checked that thing a thousand times within 5 minutes. The tears were just streaming out of my eyes. I ran out of my bathroom & was running to my husband crying hysterically. He was in shock & was like omg…. what’s wrong? The 1st thing that came out of my mouth was I have cancer. He had no idea what I was even talking about. Of course I called my Dr asap. And then went straight to Dr Google. Huge mistake. I don’t have to tell you or anyone else what I read. You guys all already know. I get in to my Dr… He said felt like swollen lymph node. Probably nothing. See an ent. So I did. 2 of them actually. The 1st ent feels the lump & says as long as it stays that size or smaller, don’t worry about it and that it may never go away. And that’s it! He didn’t say or do anything else! The anxiety is thru the roof by this point. I finally get into to a different ent at the Cleveland clinic. This Dr gives me a thorough exam. Looks all down my throat with a light & mirror , checks my entire neck. Then explained everything to me in terms that I could actually understand! He told me and I will never forget, is this is not cancer, because….I can not remember what came after because. Hearing , this is not cancer….. Was all I needed to hear. He didn’t ultrasound or do blood work. He said they normally don’t ultrasound unless they are at least 2 cm. He said mine was about 1cm. He said that lymph node could’ve swelled from a cold virus or whatever and also my tattoo. I have a small tattoo right close to where the lymph node is. The tattoo had been there for years. He said the lump could’ve been too, just never noticed. Hmmm….So I get huge relief. This is one of the best clinics in the world & this guy has been a specialist for close to 40 years. So I’m OK for awhile even though I check that thing daily! Or should I say hourly? As time went on, I got better about not touching it although I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I haven’t checked it. So here I am 5 years later. Super healthy. Rarely get a cold or anything. I’m at work. I work in an automobile factory. So I always have some ache,pain or joint stiffness. I’m 42 but have been on this job 23 years now. I start rubbing my neck, it’s feeling sore. Ohhh no…. another one. Thank God it was at the end of my shift, because as soon as I got to my car I had the melt down of a lifetime. I’m in the parking lot in my car at work, crying, praying, pleading & even begging God ” not this again”! And ” please don’t let it be cancer!” I calm down enough to start making Dr appointments. I immediately call the specialist from Cleveland clinic. Oh boy…1st available appointment Jan 14th. I’m still waiting on that. 1 more week. Quo at that time there was no way I could wait a month. So I call another specialist they have an appointment in 2 weeks. The receptionist told me go ahead & see my family Dr 1st since I could get in sooner & that way maybe I could get a little piece of mind. So I did. Saw my family Dr the next day. He felt the lumps. Even the one from 4 years ago. He told me I think their swollen lymph nodes. I wouldn’t worry. He said if I went to a specialist they probably wouldn’t even ultrasound them because they weren’t that big. But if I wanted he would order the test & blood work. So he did. Well…. The ultrasound confirmed it 2 swollen lymph nodes. Nothing beyond that. Then they called with my blood work. She said my white blood cell count was a little elevated. Omg…I started crying on the phone. The nurse don’t freak out. It’s not that high, just wait to see what the Dr says. She said if it were cancer the level would be much higher. Well…. I diagnosed myself once again. I’m an insane mess. My drs office called again the next day. She told me my Dr said the level was elevated due to inflammation, no cancer. But repeat blood work in 6 months. Wheewww huge relief. So I’m feeling more positive. I had a week to go until I saw the specialist. In the meantime, I find another 1. Now I’m doomed. I finally get into the specialist. Not the one I wanted, that appointment is next week. But this specialist, looks at me & says stop all this worrying. He reviewed my ultrasound & blood test. I informed him i had a 3rd lump i found since my ultrasound.He told me we have about 500 lymph nodes in our neck. And even though mind are enlarged, clinically they’re not. He said cancer didn’t even come to his mind. It sure did come to mine. He didn’t say anything else about the 3rd lump though just that we have a lot of lymph nodes. He looked in my throat etc.. Gave me the a-ok. So I was going to cancel this last appointment at Cleveland clinic, something told me not to…. I don’t know why.. I kept feeling my neck but I did. And I found 2 more! Now I have 5! They’re pretty much in the same area. But the freak out is starting again! The last 3 lumps I have found are pretty small. So I’m trying not worry just for that reason. But I am going to this other specialist Jan 14th. Praying all is ok. My nerves are about once again. I keep rereading your original post, it’s the only thing keeping me sane right now. Thank you once again for posting. Anxiety makes a situation a million times worse.

    1. Thank you, for sharing your story! I think it’s a good idea that you’ve kept your appt. on the 14th. With 5 swollen nodes, I’d want more of an explanation for whatever’s going on. You said you rarely get sick. I know nodes can swell when they are fighting off infection. With your elevated white blood cell levels, I wonder if your body is trying to fight something off. You also mentioned a sore neck. Are there any other symptoms going on along with that? I think you are doing everything you can to ensure your health. You really trusted the doc you’re seeing on the 14th, I am sure he will give you a thorough check up and that will be even more peace of mind for you. I’ve found our bodies are all so different and at times, weird. Weird lumps and bumps. My husband has a cyst on his back that I freaked out about, but he reminded me that he’s had 2 removed before, he’s prone to getting cysts. Maybe for you, you’re prone to getting swollen nodes when fighting off infections. I know as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had a lot more weird lumps/bumps. Please keep me posted on your appt.!

      1. Omg…I have been on the roller coaster of a lifetime. I had to cancel my appointment with the Cleveland clinic specialist on the 14th! Im rescheduled but not until February. I have had the weekend from hell. After I noticed more lumps in my neck, I started thinking how I had some soreness, kind of under my arm/side of breast area. Oh no… I just had to check. Sure enough, a lump. Talk about hysterical, you have no idea. So I called the 1st ent, and my family Dr. I get into both yesterday. The ent felt all the lumps once again. He isnt sure why I am getting them. He even said sometimes an allergy could trigger them. The newer lumps he said are subcutaneous. Which is really right under the skin. He said they could be small nodes but again nothing of concern. He said my thyroid looked great from my ultrasound etc. SO again, he tells me, for piece of mind we will ultrasound again in 6-9 months, unless they got bigger. (Praying that doesn’t happen) I tole him about the lump under my arm area. He felt it, and said in no way is there a connection between that lump and my neck. He said he did not feel there was anything worrisome with my neck but to have my family dr check the other lump. So I go to my family dr last night. He agreed with the ent that these lumps were not connected, I think he may have been a little insulted that I went to a specialist. But then he felt the lump by my underarm. He said possibly a small lymph node but he kind of suspects a fatty tumor. Hmm…. I asked if the fatty tumors were hereditary, he says yes. Well… my dad had like a million of them. So he reassures me that he doesn’t feel I have lymphoma or anything cancerous going on. He told me if I wanted he could send me to a hematologist/oncologist, but he said I didn’t need that. So I said ok. He told me to stop all this worrying, And that we would do a mammogram. I am due next month for my annual anyways. So I have that scheduled for feb 19th. (which I also scheduled once again with that cleveland clinic specialist the same day) I can’t keep missing all this work! I asked about my cbc being elevated, he did tell me this….He said yes, it is a little elevated but I am looking at more than just that level. I look at the whole break down. And nothing is screaming lymphoma to him. (wheew) he said that stress can cause it to elevate and so can inflammation. And he said the more I keep poking & touching these things, the more inflammation I am causing! SO he tells me, he will recheck my blood work, in a few months, to give this inflammation & my stress a chance to settle down. So…. I have a little piece with some of this. Not entirely, but I’m better than I was. He has been my dr for about 20 years so I trust him. So now, I’m trying to stay positive & not worry. My rollercoaster is still going but at least its slowed down a bit. Still praying. A lot. Thank you for your reply and once again, I continue to reread your original post about the oncologist stressing the size of the nodes to you etc.Deep down, I know I’m going to be fine. It may sound crazy but it’s like a have a knowing feeling. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes the craziness creeps back in. My family all think I am being paranoid. They try also to reassure me, so far so good etc. But I don’t think they truly understand. Thanks again! Even though I don’t know you, I feel like you understand me better than anyone regarding all this.

  65. Thank you for this. Ever since I became a mother in 2012, I am constantly scared of any illness, bump, lump, etc I find on my body. I’m so worried I’ll leave my daughter motherless. I hate being this way. I found this post because I am anxiously searching about pea-sized lumps under the chin since I found one yesterday. I don’t know how to stop being worried all the time but this post helped.

    1. Hi! I’m really sorry you’re going through all of that. I know how it feels. I still worry about various health issues from time to time. You could go the doctor, and have them check it out, so you have some peace of mind that you’re okay.

  66. OK so I am a crazy Google freak right now. Last Thursday I noticed a small hard lump on my right cervical posterior. I can’t keep my hands off it. Went in to a gp and was told to just keep an eye on it and he could feel a smaller one on the left side too. I have had zero symptoms other than the lump except for just starting my cycle and an itchy scalp at times which I had brushed off as it was related to my short haircut. He told me to come back if it gets bigger or doesn’t go away. I’m 37 and a smoker so I’m just convinced its cancer related but he didn’t seem too concerned…ugh

    1. You could request a CBC, even an ultrasound, if that would help to put your mind at ease. I was also a crazy Google freak, as you’d said, for many months, and drove myself nuts! It wasn’t until I’d had some testing done, that I was able to settle down.

    2. I have one of my swollen lymph nodes for 5 years. I wasn’t sick at the time I found it either. They told me to just come back if it got bigger,. Thank God, it never did. I did get another one in my neck close to the 1st one, just this past December. Had it checked out. The drs aren’t worried about them. I did have an ultrasound, that my family dr ordered. Which just showed enlarged lymph nodes but appeared to be ok. The specialist told me that had I gone to him first, they wouldn’t have even done the ultrasound.He said they don’t start checking them unless they’re at least 2 cm. These lumps have caused me plenty of stress & worry over the years. I have so many in my neck now. 2 for sure are lymph nodes, but these other ones…. no idea. The dr wasnt even sure. They’re really small and feel close to the skin. I’m going to another specialist February 12th regarding all these tiny lumps. I have been reading a lot about possible allergies causing swollen lymph nodes. Some drs say yes they can cause them and some say no. So who knows. It’s enough to drive you crazy.

  67. Thought I would give an update on my situation. Well, I still have the 2 noticeable lymph nodes on the right side of my neck. One has been there for 5 years, the other since December of last year. Ultrasound showed them and dr said they were fine. I do have some other small lumps in my neck. I noticed those after the ultrasound, So no idea if they were there or not. I have gotten so many more of these tiny little lumps. I showed the ent these tiny lumps, he said could be subcutaneous lymph nodes but he wasn’t sure! They plan to re-ultrasound my neck in 6 months. In the meantime… it drives me crazy. I also had gotten a lump by my underarm/side of breast. Dr thought it was a fatty tumor or another lymph node. I ended up getting 2 more there! So I had 3 by the underarm area! They got me in the next day for a mammogram & ultrasound. Talk about freaking out, you have no idea. I pray a lot. And I mean a lot. I went to my church before my test, and had my pastor pray with me &he anointed me with oil. Well.. when I got there for my test, they had me show them where the lumps were. You could feel them, they were all there. got the mammogram done. While waiting for radiologist to read it, I was sitting in the waiting room. They came to get me and told me I had to get an ultrasound. The mammogram didn’t show the lumps. So… I went in for this test. The girl was digging that wand so deep into my chest, it was hurting. I said to her “do you see the lumps?” she says, “I don’t see anything”….so she wanted me to feel the area and show her exactly where the lumps were. So I started to feel for them, and I was like oh my God,,they’re gone! Now keep in mind, that they were just there an hour before. Then I heard that small still voice in my head, :”you can keep on looking ,but you won’t find anything.” I knew right then, that I was going to be fine. God healed me in that waiting room. Praise God those lumps by my underarm are gone. They even checked again. Nothing. There is no other answer, then God took those lumps away. I still have lumps in my neck, no idea what thats all about but trying to remain positive, and keep praying. Its hard. We worry. I know not evenyone out there believes in God, but I can honestly say, He healed me. As for my neck, I just don’t know. Those lumps are there but maybe thats Gods way of keeping me humble? Still drives me crazy… These tiny lumps, the dr isn’t even sure what they are.Guess were gonna play this guessing game & the waiting game. I’m going to see another specialist february 12th to address the small lumps, maybe he will have some answers. Thanks all for listening.

    1. Let me know how the 12th goes. I know how you feel, having to live with something that’s so foreign and different on your body. Like you, I have lumps that are unexplained, and I’m told that it’s totally fine, nothing to worry about. I take comfort in knowing I’m at least proactive and getting things checked out as best as I can, instead of doing nothing.

      1. The Cleveland clinic called me. They had a cancellation. Hallelujah , I’m going today. Praying that this dr has answers and all are nothing worrisome. I will keep all posted after my appointment.

      2. Well I went to my appointment with this specialist. He acknowledged the 2 swollen lymph nodes. He said they were ok. If they were to get any bigger then they would biopsy etc… Already knew all that. As for these tiny little lumps, the dr said he didn’t feel what I was talking about and felt nothing suspicious! I want to scream! Yes I’m happy he doesn’t think there’s anything suspicious but the fact that he couldn’t feel them makes me crazy! When I saw the other specialist he acknowledged these tiny lumps and was quite honest and told me he was unsure of what they were. He had said possibly subcutaneous nodes. Anyways, this dr ordered a ct scan just to give me a piece of mind and told me not to worry. That is scheduled for february 17th. Keep praying & wish me luck. Trying not to worry…. ya right. Who am i kidding

      3. I have finally got not only an ultrasound but a cat scan on my neck too. I went in for my results yesterday. The Dr confirmed , yes I have swollen lymph nodes. In addition to the 2 nodes that I know about and can feel, I have multiple other swollen lymph nodes on both sides of the neck and in a different area! Talk about going crazy…. The Dr told me that none of them look suspicious. As long as they are under 2 cm they are usually not of any concern. I have small little lumps in the front of my neck also that I can feel. I asked about those, and nothing showed up in that area. So hes telling me these could just be my muscle. I have been to 3 drs now. One being my primary care Dr, the other 2 are both the ENTS. I have to get a recheck on my blood work today. My white cell count was elevated last time. So praying that the levels are back to normal now. As for these lymph nodes in my neck, I am basically being told to do the watch & wait game. If they get bigger, then come back, otherwise have a nice life. You would think I would be super excited that theyre not finding anything. I am… yes… but also, I just feel like why do I have so many? And what is causing them to swell? The drs aren’t worried, but yet I am. I dread getting this blood work done, for fear of my levels still being off. Guess I need to be more positive, get it done and just wait for these results too. For everyone out there that has these swollen lymph nodes, I truly feel your pain & anxiety. I pray for all on this forum. Swollen lumpss are enough to send anyone over the deep end.

  68. Had a new node flare up on the back of my neck when I was prodding around again (I know! I need to stop!) However I decided to just leave it alone and it has slowly shrunk almost back to nothing so that has helped me mentally with the other two. Going back to my doctor soon for an unrelated knee issue and I plan to ask him to feel my nodes again just for some reassurance. Glad to see so many others out there with similar issues. Something that helps is to get a ruler with metric readings and look at how big a mm and a cm really are. I think our fingertips can sometimes make things feel “bigger” than they actually are. 2 cm for instance is almost a whole inch!

  69. Well went to the DR. and got referral for my knee. I had him feel node at base ofleft side of my neck. He felt it and asked if it was tender. I said no…not really just when I’m pressing on it all day! He told me it was small and moveable and not to be concerned about it. So now I have nothing more to fret over – I just need to adopt the attitude of moving forward and not obsessing over whether or not I’m ok. My DR. has been been practicing for 38 years and I’m sure he’s seen/experienced a lot in that time so I should take his lack of worry to heart.

    Thanks for the support here. Like many medical “conditions” I’m sure that enlarged nodes are more common than you would think and that we just don’t know because who is going to go around d telling everyone about them. Get regular checks for all of your health but don’t obsess over the possibility of something being terminal/fatally wrong with yourself. It will kill you from the inside out and cause hurt to those around you.

    I’m going to laugh at this a year from now I’m sure. And when I wake up with sweaty legs at night I just need to relax and realize that it’s probably just being hot – not crazy night sweats. Much love and prayers to all of you!


  70. Sometimes, though, it is lymphoma. Mine started with a rash on my left breast and a cough in 2000. By June of 2001 I had rashes pretty much everywhere, on my head, tops of my feet, chest, ears; everywhere. And I couldn’t breathe without coughing. I don’t know how many times I went to see a doctor for the rash and itching. I was told it was most likely an allergic reaction to something. I was diagnosed with asthma and put on medication. I don’t know how many courses of prednisone treatment I endured.

    Finally, in June of 2001 I decided to see an allergist. He looked me over, did some testing and most importantly pointed out a hard, enlarged lymph node just above my left clavicle. I knew then that I had cancer. I saw my PCP, who said he wasn’t too worried but wanted to get an x-Ray of my neck and chest. A few days later he called with the results. I had several enlarged lymph nodes, and a large bulky tumor in my chest. That’s why I couldn’t breath. They removed the node above my clavicle for a biopsy, which came back positive for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

    Never ignore symptoms. Never be afraid to get a second opinion, or a referral to a specialist. That experience left me with a deep distrust of doctors, that persists to this day.

    1. Thank you so much, for sharing your story, and reminding people they should never stop looking for answers, when it comes to their health. And, to never give up! I think we’re taught to just go with the flow and take things at face value. If there’s a question, ask, and as you said, get a second opinion, and keep proactive.

      1. Agreed. This was almost a “trigger-post” for me. I had to tell myself that I still don’t have any other major symptoms like Amy H did. And everyone has their own risk factors.

        I started seeing a counselor and I’m doing better. My original node still screams at me in the mirror but I’m trying to scream back I’m ok! And who knows it may never go down like yours!

  71. I’m back in therapy after being fairly OK since 2013. The beginning of the year was tough, I started digging in my armpits (where I have my biggest nodes) and found stuff I didn’t like. Stuff that felt like nodes. This summer it’ll be NINE years since I first found a node in my left groin. Since then I’ve had some anxiety flare ups.
    Has anyone here gotten any measurements on their nodes? I don’t remember what the ultrasound I had few years ago said but I guess the biggest are probably around 1.5 cm and the groin nodes are small. In those 9 years only one has shrunk considerably.

    I’m terrified that it could be very slow growing lymphoma, which would be kinda rare at my age, I’m 27, was almost 19 when they first flared up and I’ve never had any consistant symptoms. But most of this year I’ve felt off balance, I’ve been having some discomfort in my left side for 2 years now, the spleen is on the left side so of course I’m scared about that. But it’s been 9 years and not a single doctor has seemed worried and I don’t have any classic lymphoma symptom…..yet. Well aside from the nodes.
    I hope the therapy will work

    1. I hope so, too. If you’ve had CBC’s done, did everything look fine? Even when it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean cancer. I had a friend who had a CBC done, she had enlarged nodes, docs were convinced she had lymphoma, she was even sent home with a bag full of info, numbers, etc. to start the process of testing, her cancer care, etc. Turns out she didn’t have cancer, she had an infection going on in her body, which led to the screwy CBC and enlarged nodes. I’m glad you are in therapy, I also hope it will help you in dealing with stressors. I know how hard that can be.

      1. Last CBC I had done was in 2012. I had slightly elevated LDH, just be few points and was going down. Another test few months later and I was just one point over. Of course I was scared out of my mind. That’s when I first started therapy.
        The doctors didn’t think anything of it so I guess it wasn’t high enough to warrant anything.
        I also had a massive huge gigantic blood test done when the swelled up originally in 2007. Some traces of a viral infection was found according to my doctor then. Could they still be swollen from that?

        How are your nodes now? Are they still the same? I don’t feel mine have changed, except for one in my right groin which has shrunk.

      2. Mine seems to have stayed the same size, although I notice new ones on the other side of my neck. I figure I will keep an eye on them, make sure there’s no size change, etc. So far, every doc visit I’ve had in the past few years has gone well, and my plan is to continue to get a physical once/year, which I think everyone should do, and go from there. I’ve hear d some people say that their nodes enlarged a bit, and never went back down to size, but stayed where they were at. That could be the case for you.

  72. Do you know what size they are? I’d say my biggest are probably around 1,5 cm.
    Yeah, I’ve heard that too, but there just so many of them. We’re talking 5 or 6 nodes that are a bit enlarged and havent gone down. They’re at both sides though which I’ve heard is a good sign, cause cancer usually on one side of the body. At least that’s what I’ve read somewhere. Have you heard the same thing?

    Also as a side note, I read your original post again and I noticed that you said they’re not worrisome if they’re under 2 millimeters. Don’t you mean centimeters?

  73. Well my story continues…..after I noticed that small node in January I noticed my right tonsil was also swollen!!! Of course googled and convinced myself of tonssil cancer or lymphoma. After a week of this i had a few small tonsil stones coome out of it. 2 weeks ago today I aw an ENT who felt for my original lump and couldn’t even find it!!! He knew I was freaked out about cancer and did a through exam feeling my neck and in my mouth. He also scoped me through my nose down my throat and said he didn’t see ANYTHING other than my nasal passages and throat were red. I asked him if he thought I had cancer or lymphoma and he looked at me like I had 2 heads and said NO Neither. He prescribed me a week of prednisone and 14 days of augmenton. Also started me on nasonex to see if that helped. Well today I start my second 14 days on antibiotics because the swelling didn’t totally go away. I’m supposed to schedule a follow up in 2 weeks I just pray this thing will go away!!! It has gone down but not enough for me not to obsess….

    1. I have 2 very prominent lymph nodes in the side of my neck that you can feel. One of them I have had for over 5 years now. When I 1st found it, I also was given several rounds of antibiotics. It didn’t go away or even go down for that matter. I found another swollen node close to it, just this past December. Same thing, put on antibiotics.Nothing. I have gone to 3 drs. and they all assured me that as long as they’re under 2 cm, they’re not usually cause for concern. I still couldn’t deal with it. I had an ultrasound and a ct scan. All they found was more swollen lymph nodes in other areas of my neck! I didn’t even know about those ones. Again, nothing appeared to be suspicious. I’m thankful for that. But unfortunately, a lot of suffer from the anxiety of having these stupid things! I check mine on a daily basis. Usually numerous times too. I’ve been doing this for over 5 years. Now I check the 2 that I can feel. If your Dr were worried they would do additional testing. My dr’s weren’t worried at all. It was me that was worried. I kept insisting on all these tests. End result for me was, you’re fine, come back if they ever get bigger.

      1. Thank you Kim. I’m just trying to avoid my anxiety day by day. This tonsil is driving me nuts!!!

  74. Thought I would give update/hopefully final post.

    Went to see new GP in March. She listened and took me seriously. Explained that I felt I had been somewhat written off by last GP. She said that because the nodes had been swollen for 7 months she didn’t want to miss anything but wasn’t too concerned.

    Had full bloodwork done CBC/CMP with differential – all came back within normal levels.
    Had chest x-ray done to look for any masses – came back clear and unremarkable.
    Had ultrasound done under left-armpit as I had some sharp pains and general swollen feeling – found two “sonically benign appearing nodes” that were .9-1.2cm in longitudinal diameter. As the sonogram tech explained it’s not uncommon to find nodes there.
    Had CT done of head and neck with contrast. Showed small nodes along cervical chains with some corresponding to the areas I had them mark of the three that are Palpable. The result was that all that showed up on scan were well less than 1cm and no nodal massess seen.

    So long story short it appears that I am ok.

    I still sweat quite often at night (particularly my legs) but I’m chalking this up to 1200 thread count sheets with a quited mattress protector and combo memory foam in the pillow top of the mattress not letting air flow really well.

    I have still had very dry itchy skin on my neck and back but I think this is from touching/scratching my neck and dry winter air. Going to try drinking more water and applying lotion. Maybe getting a water softener to cut down on the hard/chlorine water from the city.

    And my underarm I think may be from picking up and holding my two year old on my left side all the time.

    This is what I’m telling myself and trying to ignore any other thoughts. Its ver hard to “un-remember” stories of others taking a year or two to be diagnosed with something like lymphoma but I’m taking solace in the fact that I had 4 different tests done and nothing was even remotely suspicious.

    My Dr. recommended a follow-up in 6 months. But I already had one scheduled initially for 3 months so I’m just keeping that. She told me to try and avoid touching the nodes daily (which I have) and that it may be that they are always able to be felt, but as long as they don’t increase in size I shouldn’t need to worry.

    I hope others are able to find peace in this as well and I pray that my journey into madness is over.

    DO NOT go to Dr. Google – you’ll find exactly what you are looking for and it’s never good!

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, and anyone else reading the post/comments. It sounds as though you had a good check of everything, everything looks well. Like you said, all you can do now is just ignore bad thoughts, and focus on the fact that you had a thorough check up and all is well. Also, you’re so right- it never pays to go to Dr. Google. Anytime I’ve done it for anything bothering me, cancer is the first thing that pulls up! Which gets me all riled up for no reason. Anyway, thanks again for sharing this!

  75. Your Blog has really helped me calm down. My situation is I have become very aware of my body. I am 30 years old, diagnosed with GERD last fall. I was in constant pain, always going to the doctor because I felt every pain, and different changes in my body. I have always grown up extremely healthy, never anything chronic. My doctors think I am just overthinking everything every time I go see them. Anyway, I found a pea size moveable lump on the side of my neck (almost on my muscle it seems)…I felt it when I was scratching my neck one night. Its been there for almost a month. I keep touching ,poking prodding and making myself sick with worry. My husband told me not to worry..but I cant help it. I am an absolute keyboard warrior…Googling the symptoms, scaring myself to death. I am always worst case scenario. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow just to hopefully put my mind at ease. I hope the lump is nothing…Anyway thanks again for the blog.

    1. How did the doctor appt. go? I know how you feel, I do the same thing with Googling symptoms! I hope all went well with your appt., and I’m glad my post helped calm you down. 🙂

  76. This entire post hits right on the nail with my immense anxiety about having Lymphoma. Finals week, freshmen year in college, I noticed a small lymph node a little underneath my hairline and I lost my mind. With already thinking I had breast cancer and obsessively watching Grey’s Anatomy, to find this lymph node drove me to believe that I wasn’t crazy and that something was truly wrong with me. Two weeks pass and it became quite a hassle to swallow and the node was impeccably tender. Finally, after endlessly begging my mom to take me to have this figured out, it became too unbearable and she took me to Urgent Care. After speaking with a doctor of my symptoms and having him feel the node, which slightly grew the more ill I became, he responded with my symptoms correlating to strep throat and that the node didn’t feel hard. They performed a cultural strep throat swab on me and a hour later, the nurse came in saying that I indeed have strep throat and what medication to pick up either tonight or tomorrow morning to start a speedy recovery. That was a weight lifted off my shoulders. For 10 days, I take my medication and I feel great; no more feeling of swelling or enlargement in my mouth, but I noticed the lymph node was still present. They had shrunk a little, haven’t gotten any bigger. I decided to log into Google and certain sites proposed that it could take weeks, even months for the node to completely shrink, and that some stay put even after the infection. Though I read it, it didn’t help and I began to have the worst anxiety in my entire life. Endlessly crying, prying at my lymph node, constantly searching Google until I was in shambles and once again, crying myself to sleep. I had so much stress to the point that I had abnormal spotting. That’s another self diagnosis, I pressured myself into believing that I had Cervical Cancer. I finally decided to go in for a physical and everything in my CBC and Urine test came back completely normal. I was able to relax and ease my brain and only days later, my bleeding stopped. I felt refreshed, I was no longer stressed… until my lymph node began to hurt. During this time, I was actively working out to not only keep my mind refreshed, but I enjoy working out and prepping my muscles for a good challenge. It was only when I indulged in machines that target upper arm, shoulders and back that they would become incredibly tender. Once again, I’m in shambles, but not as bad as I was when I had abnormal bleeding. I went in for a doctor’s visit last Tuesday and the doctor didn’t seem to worry, just responded that maybe the muscles that are being worked close to the node are disturbing it, possibly even a strain. But she did appoint me for an ultrasound to make sure. I made it for this Friday and coming across this post truly sent ease through my being. I’m truly praying that everything comes back normal!

    1. I am so glad you’re ok, and that you’re feeling more at ease with everything. Like you, I have nodes that can sometimes feel tender and swollen. I think mine also do that because of weight training. Or, even when I go in and get the occasional massage, if the therapist rubs enough on my neck, they will feel sore and tender later. I’ve also noticed that nodes that became enlarged due to illness, don’t entirely go back down to their original size after the illness has passed. It seems as we get older, stranger and stranger things happen to our bodies, or, I think we notice them more as we age. I hope with the ultrasound today, that you’ll have the peace of mind you’re looking for. I’ll be praying for you, that things come back normal!

      1. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do my ultrasound today with my insurance, but I did email my PCP for answers to calm my mind until I’m able to make another appointment. Now, she’s saying that this is a concern and that she will speak with an ENT. That’s great; really helps my anxiety. You’re spot on with description, I’m very glad that I’m not alone in this. I’m sorry to pry, but considering your lymph nodes, do you know that they’re okay and in good condition?

      2. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I know exactly how you feel, how stressful it can be when dealing with oddities with our bodies. I think an ENT is exactly the person to see. That’s who I ended up seeing. He recommended I get an MRI of my neck, and there was nothing odd going on, and that’s what gave me peace of mind. As for how they are now, I am not sure if they’re ok or not. I have noticed I have a few that feel larger on the right side of my neck, too, not just the one on the left side. I have some strange things going on with my body as of late- no symptoms of lymphoma, but more hormonal stuff (I’m 38). I go in for my yearly physical in Sept, and I’m going to request blood work, to check my hormones, etc. I’m hopeful that if something were awry, it would show up in the blood work and we could go from there.

  77. This is my eighth time returning to this post to clear my mind of anxiety. It’s saddening to say, but I would love to inform people of the high stress that I’ve been feeling since I found this lymph node the first week of May.

    It was exam week, possibly the only week of my second semester that I wasn’t stressed or filled with impending doom. I had recently thought I had breast cancer earlier the semester from a boil I found underneath my left breast. At the time I discovered it, I was working out tremendously and I’ve never had a boil there before, so it freaked me out. But since I do sweat there more than anywhere else when active, it made sense that the excessive sweat glands would produce this boil from wearing the wrong bra. It came to a head, drained and was gone by the end of the week, but occasionally, for some odd reason, my mind would still believe that I had breast cancer and it would hit me hard on some days. Long story short to that semester, I was perfectly fine… until I found a pea sized lymph node behind the left of my neck, close to my hairline. I went insane.

    My hypochondria came back with such a vengeance; I was having a lot of mental breakdowns on a week where I needed all my energy to pass my exams. Though I did successfully pull through and pass, the lymph node was still present, and grew tender and sore by the day. I informed my mom of it and she wasn’t worried about the situation, for she thought it was maybe due to the endless amount of stress my body indulged in for the entire semester. But we all personally know when something isn’t right; and the evening of May 27th, I was right. My lymph node was beyond tender at this moment, glands located in my mouth felt completely swollen and heavy, it was horrible to swallow, consistent throat pain; though I knew something was wrong, I was petrified to visit a doctor and hear absolutely the worst. But to my impending doom of a mentality, I arrived to an Urgent Care, informed the doctor of my symptoms and the duration of my swollen lymph node and he didn’t seem too worried. He told me that this perfectly aligned with symptoms of strep throat and was proud that I came in for examination. They performed a throat culture swab on me and it came back positive for strep throat. They gave me antibiotics to take for 10 days. I felt amazing once the medication was done with! I no longer felt ill as I did with the strep throat, everything that once felt swollen was no longer swollen; everything was back to normal besides my lymph node. From time to time, it would become tender to touch, so I let a couple of weeks pass to see if it’ll shrink even more. During the 10 days of taking antibiotics, it shrunk from its original swollen size, which was amazing news to me, but it stayed there. Weeks after that, I went in for a physical to start getting on top of my health and screening for any possible cancer or disease, and everything came back completely normal in my blood and urine. So I was able to completely relax myself for a couple of weeks, until my lymph node began to become tender whenever I’ll strain my neck, lay in the wrong position and especially when I work out my bicep, shoulder and upper shoulder blade area. I made the mistake of visiting Google to find answers since the current doctor I went to for my physical; she really didn’t fulfill the answers to my questions, almost as though she was putting them off. The first thing to headline Google’s page was Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and once I viewed that it was a cancer of the lymphatic system, it felt as though it was second semester again. To this day, I’ve had horrible mental breakdowns, immense anxiety, some days I’ll be doing something simple and would suddenly cry at the thought of having it. I went to my new PCP for an Office Visit to let her know about the lymph node and how it would become tender when active or laying wrong, and she didn’t seemed concerned, but told me to get an ultrasound under control to see what the actual reasoning was behind my lymph node being tender and still being present.

    I’m petrified, because I don’t know what to believe or how to feel. It’s been shrinking throughout the week since I haven’t touched or rubbed it, only applied a warm compress on it whenever it would ache. It frightens me and I pray that this completely shrinks down to where I don’t even think about it anymore. Has anyone else been through something similar to this?

      1. It isn’t getting any bigger, only becomes tad irritated when I do press along or touch it. Since Tuesday, I haven’t been touching it as frequently as I would; I actually haven’t rawly touched it. But I would apply a warm compress or warm pack against it just to see how it would respond. I’m feeling much better than I did when I typed this out, but as always, the nights will return where I think I have something incredulously serious.

    1. I went through the same thing with the swollen lymph nodes in my neck. I found my 1st one about 5 yrs ago. Just last year i found another. I had went to like a million drs who basically told me the same exact thing. I had bloodwork done too….ohhh and my blood work was off! My white bloodcell count was high! I was a crying, screaming lunatic! I was sad all the time, depressed & the anxiety was through the roof. I had an ultrasound of my head & neck, well not only were there the 2 swollen nodes that I knew about but several more! OMG! Yep….I freaked out right in the drs office. He looked at me like I was crazy. And I felt crazy! He explained to me, that they swell, due to infections of some sort. Sometimes they go back to normal, which is not being able to feel them. But sometimes they dont. And mine didn’t. I did notice that if I touch them a lot, they tend to get a little more swollen & sore. I try to leave them alone, but I don’t. I still check them daily. I did post a few times on this site when I was going through all of this. You can read my posts above of you’d like. I had also gotten lumps, in my chect/underarm area. That was a whole other story! I was convinced that all of that was connected to my neck. But by divine intervention, God healed me of those lumps in my chest. I still have the swollen nodes in my neck, and if I let my mind wander, they will drive me crazy. One thing to remember is that, if the drs know what theyre looking for. And I was told as long as they are under 2cm, we don’t worry. (Yes I still worried) Take one day at a time, pray a lot. I’m sure you’re fine.

      1. I’m most definitely trying to ease my mind of the horror that I tend to think concerning my lymph node. The thing, in my situation, it’s only one, and it tends to fluctuate whenever pressure is applied. You’re completely in my thoughts and prayers, whenever you do feel immensely low concerning this. Mine is a little over .5cm, so I’m not completely worried about this, because when I did have strep throat, the node was much swollen, but not to the extent where you could see it in the skin at either a specific angle or with my head upright. Since I do resume back to college in another three weeks, I’ve definitely been trying to calm my internal thoughts until I’m able to receive an ultrasound for it. I haven’t touched nor added any unwanted pressure, just applied a small warm compress three times a day and completely left it alone. I’m trying to wait until a specific date to lightly touch it to see if any progress is available, but I’m a little hesitant on it.

  78. Sigh….I’m back to feeling kinda nervous. It’s now been 9 years since I first found my nodes to be swollen. They’re still swollen, not really gone down at all except one which has almost subsided in my groin. Went through a big big panic in the beginning of the year with loads of doctors visits, none of them were concerned.
    The thing that has been concerning me is this discomfort I get in my left side, been getting that on and off for few years now so I worry about my spleen.

  79. thanks for this blog. I recognize a lot of things! I want to share my story to help people with the same symptoms.
    june 2014. for a couple of months I have problems swallowing my food at work (stress or something) I also feel a little lump under my left armpit hurts and gets bigger. I start googling and get really scared. I think I have esophagus cancer that spread to my other lymph nodes or stomach. I can’t eat, stomach starts to hurt. armpit hurts. I even go to the hospital for gastroscopy. they find nothing. I get better. Ashamed I thought I had cancer.
    june 2015. One tonsil gets bigger. hurts with alcohol. what do you read when you google one enlarged tonsil? 90% chance you have cancer. So out of stress I have diarrhea. At the same time my mother- in- law is diagnosed with terminal lymphoma. “the doctor said that if I found this lump in my arm a bit earlier, he could have helped me”
    So I was convinced I have tonsil cancer, I find out I have tonsil stones. I also feel a lump a little higher than my adams apple. My armpits start hurting really bad. I wake up in the middle of the night with pain around my armpits, groin, chest, collar bones and I feel these lumps that weren’t there last year, because I was pretty obsessed with checking for lymph nodes in 2014. I get night sweats. I feel tired. I loose 7kg. I was so sure I was going to die cause I felt all the symptoms of lymphoma. Even my blood was weird. Too many red blood cells. A week later they retested my blood and it was normal. except very low vitamin D. I also get a big painful lump in my leg (doctor thought it was a lipoma) I go to an ENT and he thinks it’s best to remove my tonsils. Of course I’m okay with this, cause I’m (at that time) was convinced there was cancer that made them bigger. after healing for a month I notice this pressure under my tongue. A big (I think 2cm) lymph node is pressing against my tongue. new bumps start appear in my mouth. But also disappear, also I get a dry mouth. My joints in my whole body start to hurt and make noise. My dentist thought I had “sjogrens”.
    I go to the ENT again. and they tried to make an ultrasound of the lymph node under my jaw but it looked normal.
    2016: My urine gets weird. It turns white when eating a lot of protein. I think it’s phosphaturia. A month later that stops, but it gets foamy. I do a couple of urine tests and there is some protein unfortunately. The doctor repeats the test a couple of times and it’s negative or inconclusive.
    Now: still foamy urine, but I feel fine. still a soar throat at one side in the morning and bumps in my throat, but the ENT told my it’s lymphoid tissue trying to do what the tonsils used to do. nothing to worry about.
    I think what happened to me was this: Tonsil stones made my tonsil bigger. Hypochondria made me think it was cancer. Stress caused diarrhea. diarrhea made me loose all magnesium. without magnesium, my vitamin d was almost depleted and weakened my immune system, this caused a drop in calcium. So my muscles weakened. lump in leg appeared (is gone now) joints hurt, this hormone imbalance also caused phosphate in urine (also gone now). The stress and constant high heartbeat was probably bad for my kidneys and may have damaged them (temporary). My lymph nodes in neck and under jaw are so much smaller now than a couple of months ago! Just stop touching them and try not to worry about cancer or whatever. It can mess up your whole body!

    1. I’m sorry I’m so late in responding to you- I also have tonsil stones. I had a lot of sore throats/strep through my teen years/early-mid 20’s, and it caused a lot of divots and cratering in my tonsils. When I had an MRI done of my neck, I was told that I had a ton in my tonsils. I can also see how stress can wreak havoc on your body, as you mentioned with the diarrhea and constant high heartbeat. I think a lot of what we experience physically can manifest from what we’re feeling emotionally/mentally. I am glad to hear that your tests have all come back normal, and that you’re healthy.

      1. Have your nodes grown or disappeared since you wrote this? I have something similar going on and slightly concerned.

      2. Mine haven’t changed. They are the same size they’ve always been, but I have heard about nodes fluctuating in size if your immune system is on guard, like if you’re fighting off illness or have an illness. Also, I remember my doc telling me not to play with them, because rubbing them or poking/prodding at them can irritate the nodes, making them swell slightly. I’d imagine hormones could make them fluctuate, too.

  80. Thanks! I’m really nervous and have been screwed up mentally for awhile because of this. My biggest fear is being diagnosed (lymphoma) so unexpectedly after numerous doctors have told me they are shotty nodes. I have an appt. this week with an ENT so I’m hoping to get some clarification. I would say my nodes are pretty small, seem movable, haven’t grown significantly and I haven’t been sick with any classical signs. I have poked at them a lot for the last 6-8 months tho. I was initially told by a GP back in January I had slight lymphadenopathy. Since then I have seen 2 other GPs who have classified them as non suspicious… If they grow they said to come back. But I’m still not convinced bc I haven’t had any diagnosis or resolution. I have read horror stories of people online getting diagnosed with rarely any signs other than a small lymph ode on the neck. Your story has helped me a lot though so I appreciate it :).

  81. Hi there, I have found this thread really useful. I’ve had a long winter of being unwell- colds, sinus stuff, intermittent ear pain. It has been unusual for me but everyone around me has also struggled with bad winter colds and flu as well. I’ve been to the GP several times, taken antibiotics, seen some progress, only to be hit again with ear pain that does not go away, or flares up at particular times. I know a lot of people struggle with mystery ear pain (i.e. upon inspection, there is no problem) and yet I can’t help but freak out a little Particularly because my parotid gland, near that right ear, is swollen too – but barely noticeable, according to the docs. I went to the ENT yesterday who was incredibly reassuring- actually articulating the words ‘this is absolutely not cancer’ after seeing that these were the words I needed to hear. He noted how it felt was not at all consistent with a malignancy. He seemed surprised when I suggested lymphoma of all things. He said that often we have pain and inflammation in our bodies and it is not always something medicine can explain. He noted a ‘fullness’ in the gland, and that if it was up to him he would not order an MRI, but because he can tell I will not relax until I have that definitive scan, he ordered one. I get it Monday.

    I have had all my bloods done and they are normal (in fact, my ferratin has improved over 12 months and I’m a and I have no other symptoms of anything dire – though of course I have felt the itching at times, which I honestly think is a symptom of health anxiety, or any anxiety. I wanted to write this down here for myself as much as others- it’s concerning and relieving at the same time to know others feel similar stuff and feel this anxiety. It really is awful. I am very nervous about the MRI, but I’ll get some sedation and take my best friend. I will post back about my results. All the best to everyone here.

    1. I, too, suffered with a lot of illnesses in the past year, getting sick every couple of months. Everything has balanced out for me, finally, but I know how hard it can be to feel so lousy and have pain that isn’t easily explained or easily fixed. I think it’s a great idea that you’re going ahead with an MRI, just to be on the safe side. I know from having my own with my neck lump, that it was so worth the peace of mind when I was told the results were normal. It’s expensive, but after months of no sleep, anxiety, stress, it was worth it to me. I wish the best for you and I hope everything turns out fine.

      1. Thanks 🙂 I just saw the ENT and everything is fine. Slight swelling, as we already knew, but nothing of concern. He thinks an obscure virus working its way out! Thanks for the helpful blog and comments and all the best to everyone dealing with health anxiety x

  82. Thanks so much for your blog post – it has helped me get through quite a difficult and anxious time. I’ve been sick on and off for three months – sinus stuff, a cold, ear pain. Everyone around me has also been sick. I am better now in terms of congestion, but I have a slightly raised parotid gland. The ear pain has been the persistent thing in all this – and I’ve seen 4 different family doctors, and each have said my glands feel normal. Actually the last doc I saw said it felt slightly enlarged on the side that my ear is hurting, but that it is still normal and likely a result from the infection (I was on amoxicillin for the ear about a month ago). I guess the issue is that they can’t see anything in my ears indicating why it is sore – they did when I had a cold, but nothing since. I’ve had full blood counts done and everything is normal. I don’t actually have lymphoma symptoms – I’ve been itchy at times but I think that’s anxiety. I’m tired but that’s life and it’s not dramatic. Right now I have an achey collarbone area, but again, that happens. It doesn’t mean it is anything dangerous and yet in my current state, everything is attributable to that.

    I went to the ENT yesterday and he was great – felt the enlarged lymph and said it was very minor, ‘slightly full’ were the words he used. He checked ears, throat and nose and everything is healthy. He actually said ‘it is absolutely not cancer’ as I had raised my fears about it. Said that ENTs can feel malignancy generally when they palpate glands. He ordered an MRI – and said that if it was just up to him he wouldn’t do it (as he doesn’t think it is necessary) but that he can tell I won’t relax until I know for sure. He was very confident – and yet I am convinced it’s something sinister. I don’t really know why I think it is lymphoma and not, say, salivary gland cancer… I guess the stats for that in my age (30 year old woman) are so unlikely. I’m upset mostly about how I’ve reacted to this particular ‘scare’. I’m nervous about the MRI in 3 days time because I hate small spaces, but will ensure I am sufficiently sedated! This for me is a lesson that in the future, I cannot respond like this. I need better coping tools.

    Thanks again, and I will keep you posted.

  83. I have this hard node in my armpit (small, only a couple of mm’s), it’s driven me crazy for 5 months but I realised a lot of people find lumps and bumps that mean nothing at all. I just spoke to a friend who found a small hard lump in his neck and wasn’t in the slightest bit concerned XD unlike my hypochondriac self.

    3 health professionals have said it doesn’t look sinister, I don’t know why I can’t believe them.

    I’ve worried myself sick over this damn thing. I don’t think it will ever go away, it’s hard and had been there for a long time. I guess I will have to live with it and if any horrible symptoms pop up then I will go back to get it checked out.

    1. I still have my node, on the side of my neck. As of now, I’ve forgotten about it and have come to realize it’s just a part of my body, but I have other things going on right now that I’m concerned about. I think the best thing to do, is to be seen when something is alarming, be proactive. I think what you said is spot on. Live with it, but if other symptoms pop up, you go back in and get it checked out.

  84. I’ve had hypochondria for about three years now, on and off. Mostly on. If it’s not a lump on my cheek, it’s a slightly raised lymph node, or a pain in my stomach, or a blood test (which I have to have regularly) that comes back a little out of sorts, or even (to be blunt) a slightly different colour when you go to the loo. Like your experience, it starts off with noticing something and then just obsessing over it until – bam – it all ends in floods of tears. Mine seems to be linked with my bipolar disorder.

    But your blog post (and I know it’s four years old), is perhaps the most straightforward example of what happens I have yet read. We all know after the events that we have been making a mountain out of, well, sometimes, a mole! But that doesn’t help. At the time it is scary as hell. And you obsess over it and it takes over your life. I confess I haven’t read the rest of your blog posts, but I hope the hypochondria didn’t become a regular part of your life, and that it was a one-off. In the meantime, thank you for producing a post where those of us who suffer from it can point others too and say “look, THIS is what it’s all about,”

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your honesty. I think it’s really important to be honest and real about how we’re feeling and what we’re dealing with, health-wise. I know, it’s hard not to obsess when there’s something off about our bodies. It’s really hard when something is out of our control.

  85. Just wanted to say thank you for posting this! (even if this comment is very late afterwards.) I’ve been in a panic about lymph nodes since Christmas. Had blood tests and ultrasound which have all come back normal but the world of google is awful for horror stories about any health conditions. It was really lovely finding yours and reading about a story where they were just enlarged for no serious reason. xxx

  86. I’m hoping I can still get a response here because I’m SO glad I found this blog! Long story short…I was diagnosed with a kidney stone 3 weeks ago (via CT scan of pelvis and abdomen). Since then I’ve felt pain in my groin lymph node on side where the stone is. I’ve felt pain and swelling in my left armpit…had annual mammogram and sonogram and all was clear but…..a normal “appearing” intramammery lymph node….YIKES! I guess it’s not in my armpit but I’m scared because they said it “appears” normal…measures 4x2x4mm….Now….Let me ask…everyone says have CBC…I did with the scan and diagnosis of kidney stone and my WBC was low (3.0)….If this were infection wouldn’t it be high?? Thoughts on if the breast lymph node and wbc count are related? What test should i have next?? Totally freaking out….. 😦

    1. Hi, Amy! I’m so sorry my reply is so late. I can understand your lymph node becoming enlarged where the stone is, in your groin area. As for the enlarged nodes in your breast area, I’ve also had that going on now for the last few years. I’ve had to have an ultrasound every year due to them. I haven’t had any that are in my armpit, but along the side of my ribcage, and also into my breasts. I’ve been getting the ultrasounds so the scans can be compared, to make sure there’s no change. And my CBC has always come back normal. Have your docs recommended to have an ultrasound every 6 months-year, to continually compare scans, to make sure nothing changes? I think that would be the next step, to just make sure that it stays where it’s at. From what I was told, some people (like us) have nodes that do their own thing, can be a little enlarged, etc. As long as the node looks healthy, no enlargements, etc. that it’s ok. I don’t know about you, but I also notice my breasts are more sore, tender… I have a lot of cysts, etc. I feel as though that’s all connected, somehow, although I’m no doctor and can’t say for sure if that’s the case. How are you doing now? Have you had any additional tests?

  87. I also wanted to thank you for your post, which although five years old, I’m just now discovering. I had what felt like a nasty head infection in February of this year. A lot of pain and pressure, as well as ear ringing, on the left side of my head, which has very slowly been going away. Mostly what’s left is just mild ear ringing. But in May I noticed a swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck, just like yours. No swollen lymph nodes anywhere else and under 2 cm (1.1 cm to be exact as I just had an ultrasound).

    My doctor told me that the results of the ultrasound were that it was most likely a reactive lymph node and not a malignant one but, just to be safe she ordered a couple more tests (a CT scan and a meeting with a general surgeon). That’s when my mind when into anxiety overdrive. More than likely not cancer isn’t the same as 100% not cancer. So even though I logically know it’s not likely, the next couple of weeks are going to be excruciating as I wait for the results.

    I did the exact same thing you did and started googling “swollen lymph node” and proceeded to scare myself half to death. Luckily, one of the things I ran across was your post and a story that sounds very similar to mine although I’m male and my worry was neck or brain cancer, not breast cancer. Like you my blood tests were perfectly normal and an MRI and MRA of my head came back totally normal as well. So the last thing left is just to examine the node itself.

    More than likely It’s a shotty lymph node that may never go back down or will take a long time to go back down. That doesn’t bother me in the least as you can’t even really notice it unless I turn my head and am in a certain light. Hopefully, in two weeks time I get the all-clear and can have this weight lifted off my shoulders. In the mean time your well written post (I’m a writer so that’s a professional opinion) has helped to put my mind a little at least. So thank you.

    1. Thank you so much, Sean, for your kind words! And, I’m sorry for the late reply. I hope if you haven’t already, that you received the all-clear from your results. It’s been five years, and I still have the slightly enlarged node on my neck. I’ve managed to go months without a second thought about it, now, although occasionally I’ll poke at it a little, just to see what’s up with it. It hasn’t changed- I figure that’s a good sign. I’ve had some other issues crop up since then, the big thing I like to share with others is to continually be proactive. If something doesn’t feel right, see a doctor. Even if you think you’re “overreacting”. It’s better to overreact and get the all-clear and have peace of mind, vs. developing anxiety and stress over everything. Thank you again for replying and reading this post!

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