Patient Comments: Hodgkin's Disease - Symptoms

What were the early symptoms of your Hodgkin's disease?

Comment from: Lana, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in April 1996. I was pregnant (Age: 30/31) when my symptoms first started. (I had my baby in January 1996.) I was extremely fatigued. I had night sweats that would saturate the sheets. (I slept on beach towels!) My back would itch so bad that I literally drew blood scratching it. (This drove me crazy!) I did not experience weight loss. My blood pressure ran extremely low. I had three swollen lymph nodes in my neck. One was egg-sized. I was finally diagnosed when I "demanded" a biopsy of a lymph node in my neck. After my staging tests, I was diagnosed at stage II. Soon after that I started a treatment of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I have had no recurrences; however, I must admit I have never felt the same since. I tire very easily, have shortness of breath and have gained a lot of weight. (This was never a problem before.) However, I am so thankful to have had these past 13 years to raise my four children!

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Comment from: Juls, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

My Hodgkin's disease started back in 1991. I had been extremely fatigued but was busy with college and wedding plans and thought nothing of it. I also had itchy skin and then developed a pretty bad cough. I noticed I had large swelling at the base of my neck. That is what prompted me to go to the doctor. After a week of it still being there, I went back to the doctor who then sent me to a general surgeon for a biopsy and after the biopsy they did a post-op chest X-ray and could tell that it was most likely Hodgkin's disease, and it was. I was then referred to an oncologist and went through eight months of chemo (ABVD) and six weeks of radiation. I have been cancer-free ever since.

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Comment from: nikki, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

The first time around, I had just a couple of lumps, but not too worrying. The second time I had Hodgkin"s disease, not much more but as well as the few lumps, one popped out while I was pregnant with my second child.

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Comment from: stillhere, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease at the age of 25. I experienced pain in my chest, shortness of breath, and my lips turned purple. I went to the doctor and had a CT scan performed. The scan revealed a tumor pushing against my wind pipe. I went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy and have been cancer-free since 2005.

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Comment from: marlana, Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I woke up one day with a strange lump about the size of a golf ball on the left side of my neck. I went to my family doctor who sent me straight to a throat and neck specialist who did not think the lump was anything to worry about. He put me on antibiotics thinking it was an infection, causing a lymph node to swell. The lump got bigger and he finally ordered a CT scan that showed about nine masses in my neck area. The large lump was then taken out and proved to be stage II Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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Comment from: mozza, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I had Hodgkin's 28 years ago and had all the treatments. The pain was in my neck, armpits, glands, and down the front of my chest. After 10 years I was given all clear, but recently I've been having pains in back just below lungs. My water sample and blood count was all fine but I've still got theses pains.

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Comment from: Kelly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 09

I didn't feel any different than normal to be honest. No weight loss, no night sweats, nothing but this bump where your leg meets the rest of your body. I saw 9 different doctors/specialists over it. It just kept growing the whole time. It hurt, but I think it was because it was rubbing on my leg. This thing went from the inside of my leg all the way around to my hip. If you can imagine that! The surgeon who was going to do the biopsy didn't think it was cancer, he actually told me that if he had to bet on it, he'd bet against it. A hematologist wanted to see it and when he did, he got right on the phone with the surgeon and said you might want to do this biopsy sooner than later. The surgeon said no. It can wait. I didn't have any typical symptoms of cancer. By the time things were said and done though, it was state 2 Hodgkin's. This was just last year (2011-2012) and after the 6 months of abvd, I guess I'm good. I've had one check up since anyhow :) I did ask my oncologist one day, because my white blood cell count had been going higher and higher for years, if that had a little something, something to do with my diagnosis and he did say yes. The oncologist was wonderful, bless his heart, he's not much older than me (I'm 36) and I can't imagine what it's gotta be like to have to look someone in the face and tell them-this may very well take your life-. They were very aggressive with the chemo. I did not radiation however; I actually did one more dose of chemo instead. (I do not have any children) Might have been for a study or something, they told me they've never done it before for my situation. I watched my Father die from lung cancer when he was 51. (I was 26) In those ten years, they sure have changed things. I wonder sometimes if what did't get me though the mess was that one day-we were out on the water and I got all teary eyed because I wondered if I would get to see these very same things the following summer or not. Right then and there I decided there wasn't much I could do about it either way and said "alright big guy, the ball is now in your court". Some things I guess you just have to hand over. Bless you all and may you all (myself included) live long, happy lives!

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Hodgkin's Disease - Diagnosis Question: What types of tests and exams led to a diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease?
Hodgkin's Lymphoma - Share your Experience Question: Do you, a friend, or relative have Hodgkin's? Please share your experience.
Hodgkin's Disease - Treatment Question: What types of treatment, including medication, have you received for Hodgkin's disease?
Hodgkin's Disease - Diet and Exercise Question: What diet and/or exercise program do you follow to maintain your weight and good health?
Hodgkin's Disease - Follow-Up Care Question: Regular checkups are vital in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma. What kinds of follow-up care do you receive?

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