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I need some advice pretty quickly. I've been away from Bill all day today and about an hour ago I noticed two swollen areas just below his clavical bone, on both sides. If I had to guess, I would say it is swollen supraclavical lymph nodes. I want to take him to the hospital, but he says "No, why?". He had bloodwork done yesterday and due to low red blood cells he received a shot of Procrit. He is scheduled to go again this Tuesday for his second Alimta treatment. Lately his blood pressure has been a bit low and we've made a trip or two to the ER because he panicked at being unable to catch his breath. I don't think he had these two swollen areas yesterday, so they have developed pretty quickly, but he says they don't hurt and he refuses to go to the hospital. Could this be something serious? Anyone have any suggestions?

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beth.. i was thinking along the same lines as Rich.

Do you think it could be vena cava syndrome? If so, it is usually not acute distress but is manageable. Facial swelling and extremity swelling are a couple of the signs.. especially upper extremities. Do you think the swelling could be lymphadenopathy? Are his nodes palpable? Fixed or mobile? What is his temperature? And is he okay in his breathing?

Sorry this is so tough. Dang.

Cindi o'h

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From the time of my first relapse in Feb., I've had two swollen areas sort of where my neck attaches to the shoulder, just above the clavical. The doc says it's NOT lymph nodes and his early suspicion was that something in my gut (the liver or pancreas tumors) was pressing on a vein causing the swelling.

It's still there all these months later...and I point it out periodically...but nobody seems worried.

When I had my portacath put in, I asked the doc who did it (in interventional radiation) to please ultra sound both jugular veins to make sure everything was okay there. He did...and it was okay.

So...I wouldn't panic...but I WOULD call the doc since this is new. The amount of swelling in my neck will vary sometimes...but it's never gone away. This might be nothing for Bill too...but you'll feel better if you at least call in, describe the swelling and location and see what the doc says.

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Has he had Procrit before? If not, could this be an allergic reaction? Seems every drug has some people that are allergic to it, ya know?

I would call and check with the doctor who gave the Procrit first, and then work my way through to oncologist and then PCP...

Hopefully, it's just your imagination, turn it off for a while and then look at him... :wink:

Good luck,


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I searched the net for Procrit side effects and didn't find any mention of anything like the swollen areas. Did however, see this:

What are the possible side effects of Procrit?

• If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using Procrit and seek emergency medical treatment:

· an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or

· seizures.

Also, here's a good site for all sorts of medical info. Lots of illustrations, too. This link takes you to the swollen lymph nodes section. May be interesting or, with research, you might find something else on this site.

http://health.allrefer.com/health/gland ... ystem.html

Good luck,


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Oh, Beth, I know how upset you are. Listen carefully: If I have any regrets at all about Don it would be that I didn't tell the onc the Friday Don got the 3rd Alimta that Don was having trouble breathing when he exerted himself.

I know Don would have gotten very angry, and I know he would have insisted it was just because he was worn out. I know that he and the onc would have still decided to give the chemo because they wouldn't have had a clue it was causing the problem, but I still regret that I didn't speak up.

Those swollen areas Bill has are not normal, and they should at least be reported to the onc. I doubt that even the onc would have him go to ER, but he would at least want to know and check it out.

I realize more than you know how hard it is to try to push Bill to let you call. If he just flat insists that you don't, then I guess you have to respect his wishes. Even though I said above that I regretted that I didn't speak up, given the same circumstances and Don's personality, unless I knew ahead of time what I know now, I probably still wouldn't have done it.

I know that all I have done is confuse you more, but I guess what I'm trying to say is just do what you can to convince Bill to let you call the onc, and if he just flat refuses, then depending on Bill's personality and your relationship with him, you will just have to decide whether to ignore his request or respect it.

Tough decision, kiddo. Good luck. I'll say a special prayer for you guys tonight.

Love you!


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It's late now and you may or may not have already called, but when in doubt you should call. As for the Alimta, I would just like to add a bit of warning about shortness of breath. Mike developed pneumonitis while on Alimta. I hope Bill will let you call and at least get the doctor's input. My prayers are with you both.



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