Hi Mary Ann--
I had hyperplasia of my lymph nodes, though I've never had it diagnosed on an MRI, only on a biopsy of the lymph nodes. They can needle biopsy them or supposedly the better way is to go in surgically and remove it so the whole thing can be looked at. Benign hyperplasia of lymph nodes is pretty common, it can be due to chronic infections, mouth or teeth or sinus, or past head injuries, believe it or not.
I read an article where a guy got shot in the temple with a framing nail gun in the temple. It missed his brain and anything important and was implanted with a drain and healed nicely. Three years later he was bothered with chronic throat problems and ended up having benign hyperplasia through biopsy of the lymph nodes of his neck and had them removed. He was fine afterward.
I was stabbed in the same part of my head during a home invasion and I got blood poisoning in the wound. Apparently the infection can fester inside the "empty" spaces inside your body, mine worked down from head to neck, and stay there for years, battled by your lymph nodes until the lymph nodes no longer work and you get hyperplasia, they calcify or have other problems, draining, etc. The reason mine were removed was because I was having a lot of pain, trouble swallowing and hoarseness in my voice and swelling.
I'm sorry your doctor mentioned cancer so strangely and shared the odd anecdotes. That would surely freak me out, I'm paranoid anyway. My docs didn't take lymphoma seriously with me either, even when they thought I had it because they are pretty good at treating people these days, even when it is really bad, I guess.
Maybe a second opinion from an ENT would help, I don't know what kind of doc you are seeing. My ENT was really good and helped me alot. I guess these problems are common with sjogrens and other AI type diseases because we use our lymph nodes so much.
I hope you enjoy your visit with your sister and get to see the sights and visit people. I hope you don't worry, I've been through this twice now and had them removed on both sides of my neck and it ended up fine. I really could have left them in but I was so swollen and they kept swelling more and they hurt and all. Take care and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments