Updated: Jul 14
Has your rheumatologist ever mentioned to you that if you have Sjogren's that you are at an increased risk for lymphoma? If you have lupus and have developed Sjogren's this is a necessary conversation that you need to have with your rheumatologist.
If, you have listened to my podcast My Story Living with Lupus I have detailed my continuous journey of living with this non-curable illness. And if you are a listener, you are well aware of my ups and downs. For the past year (or longer) I have been dealing with enlarged lymph nodes that change in size. But first, let's discuss what Sjogren's is.
Sjogren's (SHOW-grins) syndrome is a disorder of your immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth.
The condition often accompanies other immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. In Sjogren's syndrome, the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth are usually affected first — resulting in decreased tears and saliva.
Although you can develop Sjogren's syndrome at any age, most people are older than 40 at the time of diagnosis. The condition is much more common in women. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. My rheumatologist prescribed nearly everything, it worked for a while and then we were back at step one again. But in 2022 I noticed that I was having night sweats, pain on the left side of my neck (In 2004 I had my right submandibular gland removed) weight loss, fever, increased thirst, shortness of breath, fatigue, digestive issues, itching.
Allow me to say this, always keep the lines of communication open between you and all of your physicians this is the only way to stay on top of your health issues. ASK QUESTIONS! The more you know the better you can deal with whatever comes your way. Now let's fast forward I was given another referral to see the ENT physician and he decided this time that I needed a biopsy done. The fine needle biopsy was performed on June 13, 2023. Was it painful? Not at all. All I felt was pressure a total of eight (8) needles was used.
I have been placed on medications before for lymphoma. I also knew by having Sjogren's I was at an increased risk for lymphoma. By having a strong unwavering faith with God and a positive outlook continues to get me through my rough days. This is why I say to each and every one who reads this, start having the "Though" conversations with all your physicians, but most importantly stay positive and prayed up. If, you do have Sjogren's you are at an increased risk for lymphoma.