I thought this would be the quickest and easiest way to keep everyone updated on Matea's lump.
Two weeks ago, when we were all really sick with a stomach virus, Steve found a small, hard lump in Matea's neck. It's at the base of her neck, on the left side, right around where her neck meets her shoulder. I would say it's about the size of a small gumball.
I took her to our pediatrician last Wednesday and she said the lump is "unusual". It's lower than the normal lymph nodes that get swollen during illness but higher than the collarbone lymph nodes that almost always are symptoms of cancer. She said she was 98% confident that it was just a swollen lymph node from being sick that was in a weird spot for whatever reason but she sent us for blood work anyway.
The doctor tested Matea for cat scratch fever, mono, and cancer markers. The blood draw was AWFUL. Tatey was such a trooper but because she's tiny, was dehydrated from illness, and comes from a family of people with bad veins (thanks mama, grandma, and great-grandpa), the nurse had a really hard time finding a vein and actually getting blood to come out. Once she was finished she said she was worried she hadn't gotten enough and would call us in a few hours if we needed to come back. Oh hells no!
Later that night in the car, I told Steve that I wanted to punch the nurse when she said we might have to go back in. I thought I was being discreet but Tatey piped up and said, "Yeah Mommy, if we ever go back to that place, I just think you should punch them!". That's my girl.
I called the next day and found out the results were negative. Of course that's a good thing but it means we still don't know what the lump is. Dr. Hoffman referred us to an ENT (the same one Bella saw to have the blood vessel tumor removed from her lip two years ago) and the soonest appointment we could get is January 25th.
I haven't been able to sleep at night because I'm worried about my baby. During the day, I see she's happy and healthy and I can think rationally and believe the lump is really nothing. But for some reason at night, when we're in our separate beds, I feel much less secure. So, she's been waking up some nights and I've been letting her sleep next to me because I need the snuggles.
When I took Bella to the doctor for her 6 year check up yesterday, I asked Dr. Hoffman whether she could call the ENT and get Matea in sooner. I told her I was completely freaked out and she assured me again that she didn't think there was anything to be concerned about. She said waiting another two weeks for the appointment is fine in her opinion because she really believes it's a benign lump. She said she thought back on all the lumps like this that she's seen and not one has turned out to be anything serious.
I asked her what she thought the ENT might do. She said that an ultrasound is a definite possibilty and maybe even a needle biopsy (but she didn't think he'd go this route). She said most likely, he'll wonder why she even sent us there, confirm it's normal, and send us on our way. That made me feel a little more reassured but I still want answers. I asked whether it was possible for the lymph node to still be inflamed since she hasn't been sick in over a week and she said 4-6 weeks is considered totally normal in kids.
So, keep Tate (and her neurotic mother) in your thoughts. I'm sure it's nothing, but I want something in writing, maybe even signed in blood or something, to confirm it.