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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Enlarged Lymph node on side of neck

 mom2tck - Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:54 pm

My 11 yr. old son has had an enlarged lymph node on the left side of his neck (mid jugular) for about 3 weeks. He has NO other symptoms at all. No fever, sore throat, stuffed up nose, etc. He was put on Amox. for 1 week, and it didn't go down, so they put him on clendomycin (he's been taking that for 1 week too). It has gone down a little bit, but not enough for me. There is no pain if you touch it, but it is so big that it looks like something is growing out the side of his neck (almost like frankenstein, but just the left side of his neck). It is about 3 cm now (it was about 4 cm) and he has been fatigued over the past week. other than the fatigue he still has no other problems. We go to a little old small town doctor and I'm afraid that she just doesn't know what it is, so she's just pelting him with antibiotics to see what it does. Anybody have any idea what might cause this???

 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:14 am

User avatar Hi mom2tck,
Although lymph nodes commonly enlarged in the presence of bacterial/viral infections because this is the bodies defense/filtering mechanism, they may also enlarge for other more serious conditions. How does the lymph node feel? Is it fixed or movable? Lymph nodes related to infection are usually tender etc. Lymph nodes that do not decrease in size despite the use of antibiotics warrants further investigation. I am strongly suggesting to you that if he has had no labwork or other diagnostic studies (ultrasound/CT scan, etc) that you inquire about these studies being done. I hope that you will consider posting an update.
 mom2tck - Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:53 pm

I took him to a new doctor this morning and this doctor has set him up an apt. with a surgical doctor to have it looked at for possible removal/asperation this Friday. This doctor wasn't even sure it was his Lymph Node that was swollen. He said he's never seen one swell that large before (it's the size of a golf ball). It's not painful, and it's not realy soft, but not hard's pretty much set where it's at, you can't move it around or that a good thing or a bad thing??? Still he had no fever, and no other symptoms, just this great big golf ball size "thing" on the side of his neck. I just know that the few times I have had a lymph node swell it has been so painful that it even hurt to move, and he has NO problem turning his head or anything. I will let you know what the surgical doctor has to say after his apt. on Friday.

 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:41 pm

User avatar Hi mom2tck,
Fixed lymph nodes are much more concerning than ones that are movable. Since the lymph node is neither hard or soft, would "firm or rubbery" be a description? I am certainly glad to hear that he has an appointment with a surgeon soon, as in my opinion it's definitely warranted, as well as diagnostic studies.....I would very much appreciate an update.
 mom2tck - Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:21 pm

Well, the Surgical doctor didn't like the looks of the lymph node, so he has scheduled him to have it removed next Friday. I am asuming that this is for the best, so that they can do a biopsy on it, but doesn't he need his lymph node??? My son is VERY nervous about the procedure, since he has never had surgery before. To answer your question, I think it's more rubbery than firm...or better yet kinda squishy, but it doesn't hurt. I'll post again after his surgery and hopefully I will get his biopsy results soon after that too.

 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:28 am

User avatar Hi mom2tck,
I agree with the surgeon and would be suspicious of such a lymph node. Everyone has hundreds of lymph nodes in their bodies, so the loss of one would be the least concern. Your son's neck will be somewhat uncomfortable, and he may have some soreness during swallowing but these syymptoms will be relatively short lived. The tissue will be sent to a pathologist for an evaluation for identification of abnormal cells. I will hold you both in my thoughts and prayers for strength, guidance, and in the hope that all goes well and he recovers without incident. I will watch for your follow up post.
 mom2tck - Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:47 pm

Well, my son made it through surgery fine. He is home resting now. We should know something on the biopsy by Tuesday of next week when we go for the post op apt. All the doctor would tell me today was that he took out a Very Large lymph node. I'll post again when I get biopsy results. I am hoping that the numbness will wear off soon, because he has been complaining that he can't feel his left ear...could that be from them numbing the surgical sight???

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!! They help!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:33 am

User avatar Hi mom2tck,
The numbness most likely is related to the anesthetics used during the procedure. Did the surgeon happen to mention anything besides it being a very large lymph node? I hope your son is doing well since the surgical procedure. I will again look for your follow up post.
 mom2tck - Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:47 am

His doctor didn't give me any other information except that he was testing it for everything. He said some of the tests would take a month to get back, but the most important one should be back by the middle of next week. He even mention that he was testing it for TB. But, I guess when you have been out of the country they tend to think that it could be some strange bacteria. Even though I told them that his lymph node was swollen before we ever left for South America a month ago...but I guess they are just being thorough. My son is having realy bad headaches today and is running a fever of about 102...but the incision looks oozing, or redness...but the on-call doctor just told me to make him take deep breaths and have him cough, but he can't even do that because of the bad headaches. I can't decide if I want to take him back to the ER or just wait it out and see if it gets better. The on-call doctor was not the one that did his surgery so I don't feel that he was very concerned about him running such a high fever. Is fever normal after surgery?? His numbness in his left ear has gotten better though. I guess it's just going to be a waiting game for me. The only thing the doc did tell me was that his CBC was normal...and his chest x-ray was I guess that's a good thing right???

Thanks for all your help!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:55 am

User avatar Hi mom2tck,
It's very encouraging that the Chest xray and CBC were normal. In the event that there would possibly be an underlying malignancy then this would most likely exclude spread to these areas. Good news indeed! Generally speaking, after a surgical procedure a fever of 101 degrees or less is relatively normal. An elevated temperature of greater that 101 is not. Call the physician back, your son needs an evaluation!
 mom2tck - Tue Oct 11, 2005 7:57 am

I thought I would get a quick update posted. My son is doing MUCH better and is almost back to his normal activities!! The only thing that I am still concerned about is his nose bleeds. He's had about 4 pretty bad ones since we got home on Friday. I plan to bring that up at his post-op apt. this coming Friday. Unless he continues to have them. My husband and I were thinking it was just another side effect of the anesthesia??? Well I will post a more detailed update after we get our biopsy results.

Thanks! :)
 mom2tck - Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:48 pm

We got the biopsy results and everything came back benign! The doctor was a little baffled, but he said the lab suggested "Cat Scratch Fever", be he doesn't agree with that diagnosis, so he's not treating him for that. My son has NO symptoms of Cat Scratch...we don't even own a cat, and I can't think of anybody that we have been around over the past month or so that has one that could have scratched him. But, they are still growing cultures and he is supose to call me if anything comes of that...other than that, we are only supose to go back to the doctor if another lymph node starts to swell. His insicion is healing GREAT and I don't think he will even have a scar(to my son's GREAT disapointment I might add :) )
Thank you for all of your help. I guess unless the other tests come back with more information, we will never know what caused his lymph node to swell like it did :cry:
But, as long as my son is happy and healthy, I can live with that!! :D

Thanks again & God Bless!!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:50 am

User avatar Hi mom2tck,
I so very much appreciate you taking the time to post a follow up. We are very relieved to hear these results! :) Take care and best wishes to you and yours.

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