Post-biopsy questions…where to go from here – – lymphoma support and help forums! breast biopsy recovery time

About 3 months ago, I noticed 2 lymph nodes swollen in my groin. I freaked a bit, went to ER, a CT Scan, Ultrasound and bloodwork prompted ER folks to think nothing was amiss dx: reactive lymphandetis?). Then, a week later, another node rose in my groin, making a total of 3.

I saw my GP multiple times, and he seemed convinced it was an infection, but antibiotics didn’t seem to touch or impact the nodes. Doctor was still unconcerned and referred me to a surgeon, although he noted this is not going to be cancer. So I go and see surgeon, he says he will go ahead and biopsy, but is 95 percent sure this will be a reactive case. Stated he didn’t think biopsy would provide a diagnosis, but would at least rule cancer out.

The biopsy happens, and I wait. While waiting, I note that surgeon did not take my largest node (probably about 2+ cm at the time), but only took the smaller nodes, One which was 1.4 x 0.6 x 0.3 cm, and one that was 0.8 cm.

Largest node was on femoral artery, so fair enough I think. So the results come back reactive lymph node with no specific cause found: after morphology flow cytometry and immuno studies, no abnormality noted.

My doc was super reassured, and told me he was 100 percent sure there was no lymphoma, but I asked for a second opinion anyway. I will mention doc ordered abdomen and pelvis scan here: no new nodes found. We sent the node to Northwestern in Evanston, IL a well-known teaching hospital that handles 4,000+ node biopsies a year. Their Pathologist actually called me the day after my slides arrived and said their preliminary diagnosis confirmed the first one and she and two other pathologists had agreed after morphology, but were ordering more stains to be super sure before sending a final dx.

So all and all, this seems great (I’m happy, but always skeptical). I should know the final second opinion from Northwestern Friday, assuming it is the same reactive non-specfic type dx, not sure what to do. I still have a 2+ cm node sitting in me 3 months on with no cause specified. Could the smaller node have been fine while the biggun is malignant? Are two opinions and scans enough to be fairly certain? Am I overthinking this, should I drop it?

I would try not to worry too much about the site of your biopsy having weird stuff going on. The surgeon removed tissue there only a month ago and nature (as in your body) abhors a vacuum. The lymphatic system isn’t as robust as the blood system, there isn’t an equivalent of a lymphatic heart to forcibly pump lymph fluid around, so it’s not unusual at all that you’ll have it pool where a node was removed.

As far as a new node growing there – again, it’s right at the site of a surgical intervention. It could be reactive, it could be processing some dead tissue from the surgery, it might even be swollen and fighting off a minor infection at the surgery site.

Try to just be happy. The probability that you had a node biopsied and proclaimed clear just last month, and then to develop lymphoma in an adjacent one is like being struck by lightning, while riding on the top of a boxcar, on a train traveling across the Copernicus crater on the moon. Well, perhaps slightly higher than that.

You need a hobby; one that is more productive than worrying about your health. Take up gardening – the constant scratches, minor cuts, and incipient infections you get from those will assure you that your lymphatic system is working normally, and give you some beautiful returns on your labors!