100 lb. Club - Help! Positive thoughts needed!




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lessofsarahtolove
12-10-2004, 04:09 PM
Hello, everyone. I just got back from getting a CT scan, more chest x-rays, and more blood tests after a visit at my doc's, and apparently there's cause for concern. It could be nothing -- that's my hope, anyway! -- but I went back to the doc for further development on my already enlarged lymph node. I've had one for a while now, and my white blood counts were through the roof, apparently....then I started having night sweats and then, a SECOND enlarged lymph node right next to the first one...and then both of them got a LOT bigger seemingly overnight. And then they became tender and a little painful. Soooo, I went to the doc today and he sent me immediately to get a cat scan, and the other tests redone, since my previous results were now a month and a half old. And he tried to get me into the surgeon's today to get the ball rolling on getting a biopsy on and removal of the lymph nodes, which he says are huge. It really seemed like that second node just appeared overnight, and then they both just exploded.

I wasn't really concerned by the night sweats -- they just didn't register as any big thing in my life until he asked me specifically if I was having any. As for the white blood cell count, they were super high a month and a half ago, but I didn't do anything about them, even though he was concerned. I know, I know.

So now here we are, and he said it could be nothing important, or it could be lymphoma or a few other scary-sounding conditions I didn't absorb and can't remember. If you know me at all, you'll know already that I'll be researching different possibilities, but I'm really going to try to control myself and concentrate on not getting too far ahead of myself.

Anyway, I'm not freaking out, but I'm concerned enough to ask for you guys to send some positive vibes my way. :^:


djs06
12-10-2004, 04:14 PM
OH NO SARAH! :grouphug: you're definitely in my thoughts. I hope everything turns out negative!

mezmerize
12-10-2004, 04:25 PM
Sarah my thoughts are with you. Please keep me updated and if you ever want to just talk emaill and I can give you a few ways to get in touch with me. My prayers are with you.


barbygirl43
12-10-2004, 04:36 PM
You're definitely in my thoughts. Kudos to you for getting it checked out.

Sandi
12-10-2004, 04:37 PM
(((HUGS))) How scary. Just keep positive. No sense in worrying until you know what you are dealing with. Could be nothing. Please keep us posted. We're right here with you!!!

glynne
12-10-2004, 04:55 PM
Sarah ~ good thoughts, prayers and hugs coming your way.

lessofsarahtolove
12-10-2004, 06:28 PM
Aww, thanks you guys. :grouphug:

Well, I called the doc -- he'd sent me right across the street to the hospital to get all the tests, and then he came after me to check on me. (What a sweetheart, right?) It turned out that he didn't find me, but he did find the surgeon, and together they looked at my cat scan results.

It's not good. Apparently I have more enlarged lymph nodes "all over the place" -- he said there was a "necklace" of them all along my clavicle. Bottom line, he said we're hoping for Sarcoidosis, but there's a strong possibility it's lymphoma. And if it's lymphoma, we'll figure out what "level," apparently, which will dictate the course of treatment: chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, radiation, etc. If it's Sarcoidosis, then apparently there really isn't a treatment, but it can come and go for the rest of your life, with different symptoms and conditions accompanying it -- it basically causes inflammation of tissues and frequently affects the lungs and eyes.

It seems that now the biopsy has been expedited to Monday morning, instead of talking on Monday and then scheduling it for soon thereafter.

All prayers are welcome. I'm not a happy girl, and really scared. Lotsa tears. (He even prescribed a mild tranquilizer to get me through the weekend without having a heart attack, that nice man!) Poor Lorraine is scared out of her mind too, but trying to be strong for me. Thanks again for your responses -- you guys are so sweet. :goodvibes

Meg
12-10-2004, 06:38 PM
Sarah, my dear! How scary this must be for you – I hope helps a little to know that you have a family here at 3FC who loves you and is behind you all the way. You are a strong and determined woman and I know you're going to deal with whatever news you get with grace and a steely resolve to beat whatever it may be. Sarah, you’ve given yourself a huge gift of better health over the past nine months and it will pay off for you as you deal with whatever may lie in the future. Hugs and prayers for you. :grouphug:

teapotdynamo
12-10-2004, 06:51 PM
Oh, Sarah -- I just logged on for the first time in a while, and I was so sorry to read this.

Keep us posted and (I feel weird telling YOU this, as you're probably the most positive person I've ever met!) KEEP YOUR SPIRITS UP. I know the "options" seem scary, but I've seen too many mistaken diagnoses not to have a lot of hope.

You and Lorraine will certainly be in my thoughts this weekend. We love you!

jkfla
12-10-2004, 07:15 PM
OMG i am so sorry!! please keep us updated. i'll be thinking about you.
big huge hugs!

mezmerize
12-10-2004, 07:41 PM
Sarah I've never given bone marrow but if you need it I'll be more than willing to donate.
Thank care =)

jiffypop
12-10-2004, 10:15 PM
SARAH!!!! your doc is right to be concerned. you're doing the right thing by going through with all this. you have some of the best docs in the country in maryland, so you be sure to get the care you need....

you sound like you're in excellent hands here... warm thoughts. prayers. healing energy. you can beat this...

Ivanna B. Skinny
12-10-2004, 10:40 PM
(((HUGS))) (((POSITIVE THOUGHTS))) (((LOTS OF PRAYERS)))

You are definatly being prayed for dear Sarah! And Lorraine, too. Please don't be too scared, it sounds like you're in good hands with a doctor who seems to really care about you. We are all thinking about you!

Jazzmine
12-10-2004, 10:51 PM
Lots and lots of hugs coming at you!! I am hoping for good news-I am glad they have expedited the biopsy, and am awful glad that your dr gave you somehting to help with the nerves.

Sarah-Please pm me any time or email anytime!!

{{{{HUGS}}}}

Jenaya
12-10-2004, 11:41 PM
Dear Wonderful Sarah,

You are a strong woman who has done some wonderfully healthy things - you can face and fight whatever comes your way. I am so amazed at how quickly you were able to get a cat scan - we have a one year wait which is devastating for health concerns. You are early stages even just being a month into this and that is a very positive thing. I am thinking of you and Lorraine. One day at a time (or minute if need be). You have a wonderful group of medical people around you...wise and sensitive. You also have us and all good and positive thoughts and prayers are coming your way. Embrace them...

With love and warm thoughts,

Jenaya

dowsx4
12-11-2004, 12:01 AM
I'm sending the same prayers I just used last month when my Dr. saw something he didn't know what it was on my pap exam. After getting the pap results and a ultrasound everything looked normal so hopefully you will get the same results.

Sheila53
12-11-2004, 12:19 AM
Many prayers and good thoughts coming your way, and the power of our thoughts and prayers can be miraculous.

Hang in there, Sarah! You have lots of friends here who want to see you well and happy.

SwimGirl
12-11-2004, 01:36 AM
Wow, I'm speechless. Thats some scary stuff, to quote everyone else, keep those spirits up. With tranquillizers you will definitely be getting a lot of rest, rent a lot of movies and plan for a weekend at home. You are such a loving, caring woman, and I wish the best for you, and if there is anything you need.. don't hesitate to ask.

-Aimee

missaprylj
12-11-2004, 01:53 AM
I don't know what else to add, Sarah, other than my thoughts and prayers are with you and Lorraine. :grouphug:

Annie-Rose
12-11-2004, 03:59 AM
Hi Sarah,
I've been so busy I've only just checked in and read your news.
You and Lorraine will be in my thoughts and prayers. Have a peaceful weekend - we all love you!

tolose85
12-11-2004, 08:38 AM
Sarah, I can't even really think of how or what to say.. I am so sad about this. Ever since I read this yesterday, I can't think of anything else. Please let me know what I can do for you and Lorraine. Just remember how far advanced the medical world is today. It may be trying but you are strong and everything will work out. I'm here for you and will be thinking about you alot. You WILL get through this. I'll be in touch.

I love you girl!

boiaby
12-11-2004, 11:26 AM
Sarah, I was so sad to read this scary news. Please know that we are all here for you with love and support because we really are a family and you can count on us through what ever may lie ahead. I also wanted you to keep something else in mind. I truely believe that everything in life happens for a reason. Maybe it is in your path to become an advocate for those with Sarcoidosis or Lymphoma, who knows? But no matter the reason, I know that you will tackle this with the same resolve and determination as you've shown for your health this past year. And when you overcome it, you will be that much stronger for it. You and Lorraine are definitely in my thoughts. Please keep us posted with any news you hear.

Beverly

djs06
12-11-2004, 01:04 PM
Sarah, this is so terrible. I wish I could do something for you.. and if there's anything, i'm definitely here for you. I wish I knew what else to say... :grouphug: we all love you, girl.

Tammy32
12-11-2004, 01:38 PM
Sarah, yesterday I sat here and typed out a pretty long post to you and then deleted it. I was not sure if I was saying the right things or not. Today I have decided there really is no right or wrong thing to say. To not say anything at all would be the worst thing. I've been thinking about you alot. I think that I am blown away right now. In shock. I know you don't have a definitive diagnosis yet, but like you, every possibility has run through my mind. This I do know, you are a strong woman. I also know that you have a world of support right here. I know we can't be right at your doorstep, but believe me if we could we would be. I hope for the very best for you. I will be here for you no matter what!! I know you are scared and I am right here beside you to give you courage and strength. Lean on us, don't bear this by yourself. I love you Sarah, and I truly mean that.

lessofsarahtolove
12-11-2004, 01:46 PM
Hi, everybody. I don't even know what to say. I'm just without words. (Can you believe it?? :lol: ) Every one of your responses brought tears to my eyes -- Lorraine doesn't even want me to read any more! :lol: Even as I write this, I'm crying. I guess all I can do is just sit and wait till Monday, and then take it as it comes. Lorraine's discouraging me from doing more research on it this weekend, she wants me to just try to keep my mind off it. We're crying a lot together, and talking a lot about how we're in this together. I just feel so, so sorry for bringing this into our lives. I thank God in immeasurable ways for her love and for the support she gives -- that you guys give as well. I really just can't tell you how frightened I am, and how much I sincerely appreciate all of your kind words and support. I honestly love you all, and consider each of you a blessing.

Whatever it is -- cancer or not -- I'll just try to receive it with grace and faith, and then be as strong as I can. What else can you do, right?

Thank you again, each of you. :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes

jiffypop
12-11-2004, 02:29 PM
SARAH!!! LYMPHOMA IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE!!! [if that's what it is] just keep repeating that. no matter what the outcome is, you will be around here for a LONG time...

and if the docs recommend aggressive therapy - SAY YES!!!! you are one determined woman with a whole lot of future ahead of you... grab it!!!!!

melsfolly
12-11-2004, 02:42 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you! Keep us updated.
Melissa

tkdkathy
12-11-2004, 03:31 PM
Dear Sarah,

I don't know you very well yet, but I know you have already touched my life in such a positive caring way, and I can see how much you are loved by everyone here. I know it must be so hard right now. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I can tell you are very strong. You will get through this. Take good care of you. :grouphug:

SwimGirl
12-11-2004, 05:50 PM
The internet is a very scary place to look up information, I once tried to look up a home remedy for heartburn (which is just to drink a lot of water slowly fyi), thats when I "discovered" that I was dying of many many many different ailments. I'd wait to see a doctor and get some info from them, formulate questions.. I always bring a pen and paper when I go to see a doctor about something specific. And you are too strong to let this beat you down even a little bit, just think of it like weight loss, you are in this for the long run, and you will beat it. In the mean time, drink some peppermint tea, and maybe look into buying "presciption for nutritional healing", which is a book full of different conditions and illnesses, and it talks about the nutritional side of healing your body. I personally avoid taking any drugs, and have used this book when I was diagnosed with endometriosis. Anything helps :) Or ask me, I have the book and can look stuff up for you.

-Aimee

Fitbabe
12-11-2004, 09:58 PM
{{{{{{HUGE BEAR HUGS}}}}}} Sarah, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this! But, you are a strong, amazing, inspirational woman and I know that whatever it is, you will kick its butt! In the meantime I am sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way....

Goddess Jessica
12-11-2004, 10:12 PM
Strong Sarah,

You have us here and your support system at home. Make sure you lean on us hard when you need to. We're here for you!

Take deep breaths. Get long hugs. Cry often but don't forget to giggle when you can (pop in some Monty Python when you can't bear to get another kleenex). This weekend will seem soooo long.

All my healing vibes!

Jessica

howie6267
12-11-2004, 11:01 PM
Oh man I did not see this yesterday. How scarry of a thing to go through Sarah. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know everything will go well for you Monday. Just try and keep your spirits up.

Jillegal
12-12-2004, 02:31 AM
I'm so sorry you're going through this, Sarah. I know how difficult that period is waiting for the definitive knowledge of what you'll be facing. Its hard to come to grips with anything when you don't know exactly what you have to deal with. You're fully entitled to be scared and its only human nature to expect the worst, but I hope you can draw on that amazing positive energy you possess to help you through this. You've worked so hard to make your body fit and that, together with Lorraine's support and the support of all those who care about you, combined with your inner strength, is your greatest asset right now. Of course we all pray that the diagnosis will be one which has the least consequences to your health. You have a tremendous amount of good vibes headed your way, absorb them and take comfort. :)

howie6267
12-12-2004, 12:32 PM
I just wanted to check back in and tell you how much your in my thoughts. I don't have as nice of words like some of the other here but I care as much as all of them. I truly hope and pray the best for you.

Love, Howie

FindingJackie
12-12-2004, 09:01 PM
Hey Sarah..

I've been on a board break, so you might not even remember me.. but I wanted to let you know I'm sending all the good vibes I can your way.

Check in and let us know what's up as soon as you can. You have lots of friends here. You're always should a giver, here on the boards, with support for evryone. I'm like Howie. I'm not always good with words but know I'll be thinking of you, hoping things turn out ok.

SuchAPrettyFace
12-12-2004, 10:40 PM
Oh Sarah....

I used to work for the American Cancer Society, so if you need any info, I'm your gal. PM me & I would be happy to direct you to the proper people.

The other thing I wanted to say is, ATTITUDE IS HALF THE BATTLE!!!!! When I read what you wrote about your diagnosis, I thought, "Wow, if anyone can kick cancer's ***, it's Sarah!". Please don't resign yourself to 'receive' anything, get ready to fight it with all your might!!!

And think about what that might has done for you thus far in life! Look how far you've come just in the months that you've been a part of this community! This won't be a piece of cake, but you always *did* love a challenge, right? There is no doubt in my mind that you can fight this.

My thoughts & prayers are with you & Lorraine.

Jen
12-12-2004, 11:25 PM
Sarah, I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Please, please try and stay positive, it might be not as bad as what you think and even if it is that doesn't mean that you won't have a full recovery. Just have faith in yourself, you have accomplished so much in the past few months and you are going to be around to reach all your goals!!!

Br00klyn
12-13-2004, 01:47 AM
Sarah :grouphug: Honey, I'm sooooo sorry I missed this post. Ive been away for a couple weeks....

I'm so sorry to hear about this. Please be strong - I know you're already one very strong lady but stay that way. Keep positive and BELIEVE!

We're all here for you... and we love you! You'll be in my thoughts..

lessofsarahtolove
12-13-2004, 07:49 PM
Hi everybody -- just a quick update. First though I really want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all of your inspirational and beautiful messages. :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes

Ok, so I went to the surgeon today, and he had been prepared to do a needle biopsy, but he decided to forgo that in favor of total lymph removal, which is scheduled for Wednesday morning. He's going to try to get two of them -- two that are right near the surface and next to one another. Even one of them will yield much more conclusive results than a sample gained from a needle biopsy. He updated me on Friday's test results also. My white blood cell count is now even higher than it was the last time they tested it -- 16,500. There was some kind of liver function abnormality that he didn't say much about. The enlarged lymph nodes are apparently really, really numerous. In addition to being all along my collar bone, they're are big ones clustered around my jugular, and then there is a big cluster of big ones in my right chest. They range in size from 1.5-4 cm, with most of them in the 3-4 cm. size. Apparently when they're over 2 cm., some disease is indicated and they grow concerned. No lymph nodes in my armpits, groin, or abdomen that they know of. We ran down my history and symptoms -- which include recent night sweats, some memory loss, and lots of itching, and when we got to the weight loss portion of the picture, he started to note that "large weight loss" was another symptom, but I was like, "OH no -- I WORKED for every one of those intentionally lost pounds!" and told him how I'd done it. So at least we got to strike that off as a symptom! (And I didn't have to give up ownership for that success.) As a matter of fact, since I started taking prednisone for my breathing problems, my weight loss has slowed way down, and he said that was normal, so that helped me to feel a little better about both the weight loss not being illness-related, and my having slowed down.

So apparently where we are now is narrowing the illness down from some different choices. (I choose Chocolate Deprivation, thank you very much. I hear that one is debilitating! ;) ) It's premature without the tissue, but apparently the front-runners are Lymphoma, Chronic Something-that-starts-with-an-L Leukemia, and Sarcoidosis. And the best of the three is the Sarcoidosis. (Gee, ya' THINK???) Oh yeah, and Esophogeal Cancer is another outside contender, because of my childhood lye-consumption poisoning and resulting predisposition for it -- but he said it doesn't usually manifest this way.

I'm going to work tomorrow, get the tests on Wednesday, work Thursday and Friday, and then he said that it's possible I could get the results by Friday. I sure hope so, because if I thought this weekend was bad, this next one would surely be even more hellish. I'm just praying it's something I can get through. If the treatments are **** on earth, I don't care -- I just don't want to die. My General Practitioner -- the one who expedited everything miraculously on Friday -- said that I should prepare myself for the worst, but hope for the best.

Thanks again for the incredible kindness and support. To say you guys are amazing just doesn't even begin to cover it. :grouphug:

tolose85
12-13-2004, 08:02 PM
Sarah, I have been waiting for your update ALL day and still have the butterfly feeling in my stomach reading your post. How are you holding up? I hope that you have been able to sleep and feel semi-normal these past few days. I just have a good feeling that things are going to work here. I have been thinking about you SO much and I just pray and pray and pray that this is all happening for a very good reason.

You are not leaving this earth so don't you worry.. You are a strong strong woman and I have no doubt in my mind that you will tackle whatever it is, head on.

I'm thinking about you and Lorraine. Please, please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Jazzmine
12-13-2004, 10:24 PM
Oh Sarah I am glad that you kept ownership of every pound lost. Huge huge hugs. I am thinking of you lots and lots. I am hoping for the best news!!
Only positive thoughts!!!

Jen
12-13-2004, 11:24 PM
Sarah, I'm very glad to hear that they are going right for a removal rather than a needle biopsy. But hey there! Don't start thinking about the worst until afterwards. There is no sense in worrying just yet, you'll have plenty of time for that later. You've come too far in fighting to get to onderland to bail out on us now because of some illness, nope, no way, you don't get off that easy! :grouphug:

jiffypop
12-13-2004, 11:35 PM
sarah - you're in GREAT hands with these docs, whoever they are. they are absolutely doing the right thing, and doing it all quickly. so be at peace. one of my friends knows of some healing meditation exercises. i'll ask her about them when i see her this week. NO, it probably won't cure CLL or lymphoma, but the taking-care-of-yourself aspect of them is VERY therapeutic in other ways.

darlin - NOW is the time to take VERY GOOD CARE of yourself.. gently. warmly. we're with you...

Sheila53
12-14-2004, 12:51 AM
Breathe deeply and let our good thoughts wash over you. You WILL be okay. A positive attitude is key, and you've got that in spades, right?!

Rent lots of comedies (I highly recommend The Birdcage) so you can laugh a lot, and be good to yourself.

jkfla
12-14-2004, 01:42 AM
hey sarah. just popping in to let ya know i've been thinking about you girl. keep your head up. with all of us pulling for you you can kick whatever this is!

Annie-Rose
12-14-2004, 02:48 AM
Hey I got up earlier this morning because I knew you were finding out yesterday and would have posted. (If you know what I mean!!!)
Whatever it is we are all going to be here for you. Whatever it is it won't know whats hit it - whip its *** (sounding all American now!)
I'm still praying for you and Lorraine and will do until you are better.xxxxx

Sandi
12-14-2004, 09:54 AM
Sarah -

I am also glad that they are doing the removal. They will have a better idea of exactly what is going on.

I can't even imagine the fear that must accompany this kind of situation. But I want to remind you of the one thingt that got you through your weight loss. YOUR POSITIVE ATTITUDE. You have it girl, use it to the fullest. Believe that no matter what comes your way, you will overcome.

We are here for you night and day. (((HUGS))) :angel:

heather_dw
12-14-2004, 11:36 AM
Sarah,

I have been away from the board for a few weeks and then I come back to see your post. I am so sorry about everything that is happening to you. I know that isnt very helpful, but it sounds like you have great medical professionals behind you. Not to mention all of us here at 3fc. We love you and are praying for you girl!

Its been mentioned before in this thread but try to stay as calm as possible until you get a definite diagnosis. I know from experience that researching conditions on the internet can be scary... Dont scare yourself! You want to be in a positive mindset and reading scary stuff on the net will not help at all. The doctors know what they are doing and they will tell you the best way to go about treating this.

I dont know what else to say except to stay postive and take care of yourself. You are ont of the strongest and most positive people that I know.
<<<<Hugs>>>>>> to you and Lorraine. You will both be in my thoughts~

barbygirl43
12-14-2004, 12:28 PM
Sounds like you are in great, capable hands. It sounds like you are doing better. You and Lorraine are still in my thoughts and prayers.

tkdkathy
12-14-2004, 01:01 PM
Hi, Sarah,

Just wanted to let you know I am still thinking of you and have you in my thoughts and prayers.:^: It sounds like you are in good hands, medically speaking, so that is very good. Yeah, you DO own the weight loss...good job. Take care and keep us posted.

djs06
12-14-2004, 06:30 PM
Thanks for keeping us posted, Sarah.. you're still in my thoughts, as is Lorainne (how is she holding up?) and I hope you know everything before the weekend... I know waiting is so hard.. we're here for you :grouphug:

tolose85
12-14-2004, 06:57 PM
Sarah,

Sending extra positive vibes your way this evening and into tomorrow. You're in my thoughts and in my heart. Good luck tomorrow and please keep us updated.

lessofsarahtolove
12-14-2004, 10:48 PM
I just wanted to say thank you, and let you know I'm ready for tomorrow. They're going to remove at least one, and hopefully two, big stupid lumps from my neck (the bottom of the side, where the neck meets the shoulder, in case you're wondering.) I'll be under general anesthesia, and it's happening from 10:15-11:15, so think good thoughts!

Lorraine and I are still wrecks, but we're holding on. Whatever happens, we're in it together. I don't even know what else to say, because it's all so obvious, and it all goes without saying. The doc's have NOT been encouraging, and of all the 4 options presented, only one isn't Cancer: Sarcoidosis (Sarcoid.) The others are Lymphoma -- the front runner -- Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia, and the outside contender, Esophogeal Cancer.

I sure would love it if it were some crazy bacterial infection or something, but I'm doing what the doctors told me, and preparing myself for the worst. Yes I hope, but I'm trying to ready myself also.

I'll check back in later.

I love you all. :grouphug:

Sheila53
12-14-2004, 10:53 PM
I'm backing a longshot--cat scratch fever. I've heard that it presents like lymphoma.

You're in my thoughts, and I'll be sending you extra good vibes starting at 10:00 am your time.

Fitbabe
12-14-2004, 11:14 PM
Sarah...Your strength continues to amaze me. I will be praying for you during your procedure tomorrow. It will be 5:00 here so picture me in my Betty Boop pjs and slippers, because I will be with you in spirit!

Ivanna B. Skinny
12-15-2004, 12:03 AM
Sarah and Lorraine, I'll be praying for you at the time of your surgery tomorrow. (((BIG HUGS))) (((PRAYERS))) (((POSTITVE THOUGHTS)))

Jillegal
12-15-2004, 04:27 AM
Best wishes and good luck - if anyone can beat the odds, it's you!

Tammy32
12-15-2004, 08:59 PM
I had not had the chance to be on for a couple of days, so I was just reading the updates. I hope that your surgery went well today Sarah. Kudos on them taking them out as opposed to doing a biopsy only. I hope that you don't have to wait long for your results. Time is such a ***** in these cases. I hate that I can't do more. *Huge Hugs*

lessofsarahtolove
12-15-2004, 11:03 PM
Again, thank you all so much......I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by all of your responses and immense caring. (I'm going to repeat that sentiment over on the other thread that I'm afraid to read! ;) )

Sheila, we were hoping for cat scratch fever, but apparently the lymph nodes which would become enlarged are in the armpits, not the neck -- and my armpits are A-OK, alas.

I'll give more of an update on the other thread. I'm truly afraid to read it because I know you're all going to make me bawl!