Issue of the Swollen Lymph Nodes

I’m a little worried….maybe a lot worried. My baby girl has an appointment with a general surgeon tomorrow. I’m scared about what he’s going to say. Since she was an infant, H’s lymph nodes have been enlarged on the left side of her neck. Her original pediatrician was never alarmed as they are mobile, but the fact that they are only this way on one side of her neck merited minor concern.

At each well-baby exam, I would remind him to check her neck for me. At one visit he finally told me to put it out of my head and so I tried. I was mostly successful and it sure beat the sleepless nights when I would cry and worry as I stared at her while she slept.

I set my fears aside as much as possible but I couldn’t completely let go. I used my uneasiness to guide me into being appreciative of the time I have with my kids and enjoy all the rewards of motherhood. It’s easy to forget sometimes. It was the only part of the situation I could control.

During H’s 4-year exam, I again asked Dr L to check H’s neck. He didn’t seem worried, but in order to appease me, mentioned that I could have H examined by the in-house general surgeon. Dr J would measure the lymph nodes and keep an eye on them. My dear Dr L was moving away.

Dr J was tall, handsome and personable. H and I liked him right off. Dr J noted that there were four enlarged nodes on the left side of H’s neck. Two were under a centimeter and two were over. He felt the larger two were a bit too big for her size and suggested a return visit in six months. If they were still a problem then, a biopsy might be in order.

I’ve been telling myself that H is fine. She’s as healthy or healthier than most any other child I know. I don’t believe, can’t believe, for a minute that she has childhood lymphoma and that doctors, in general do what they do for a reason. They are providing an income for themselves and their families. Because we have insurance, we are targets. If a procedure is validated by the insurance companies, doctors can have no remorse for performing them. But because childhood lymphoma can have no symptoms, I can’t ignore the possibility and this is I’m sure, what Dr J is thinking as well.

The procedure is simple, but because of her age, H will have to be sedated. I don’t want her terrified or traumatized by this. I’m trying to make a decision. If Dr J advises a biopsy during our visit tomorrow, I want to take H to the Walt Disney Pavilion at Children’s Hopital in Florida. I believe the experience will be more positive for her there.

If anyone has any experience with this or comments of any kind, please post them here. Prayers and positive thoughts most appreciated!

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One response to “Issue of the Swollen Lymph Nodes

  1. Dr J says: FNA biopsy for H.

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