My little nephew Romeo was taken into hospital today. He fell ill just around Christmas time, with his face/neck/shoulder area swelling up, first on one side, then the other. At first they thought it was an infection, but none of the antibiotics they used to treat him had any effect, and last month he had surgery to the worst affected of the lymph nodes, to drain some of the superfluous fluid, but the symptoms soon reappeared. They then thought he might have tb, so they kept him on an isolation ward for a week but the tests came back negative and he was sent home again with a course of penicillin, which again had no effect other than making him feel worse and break out in a rash.
He went in for a check-up this afternoon, and after detecting some unexplained clusters of nodules, they decided to admit him immediately and book him in for surgery tomorrow. They're going to do a biopsy; he'll be in surgery for an hour, and then we'll have to wait another week probably for the results to come back. They're working on the premise that it might be either Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. If it is, then we're encouraged to think that although treatment would most likely involve some form of chemo, there's a 90% survival rate in children.
Meanwhile, Romeo is getting pretty darn tired of all this poking and prodding. Apart from feeling tired and losing weight, he seems to be feeling okay, with no pain or fever; but he is going a little stir crazy as he hasn't been to school for the last 7 weeks and he's missing his friends and worried about falling behind. Also, he says he hates looking like a freak.
Needless to say, the last few weeks have been a bit of a tense time in the family, and likely to remain so until we know for sure what we're dealing with.