Today we were back in the doctor's office. Among other things, Luke developed a head-to-toe rash this week. The doctor who'd been treating his lump was out today, so we had to see a different doctor. This was okay with us; after all, it was just a rash and a new set of eyes and ideas couldn't hurt. I was very surprised when the doctor looked up from examining Luke and said that he'd found a new lump that "did not feel like a lymph node". He ordered an ultrasound and used the phrase "mass on right side of neck". So, back to Children's radiology department a couple of hours later. It was a bit unnerving.
The results came in late this afternoon. The "mass" is a cluster of enlarged lymph nodes surrounded by fatty tissue. The doctor says it is most likely just a mean infection. He said to check back in with the doctor we'd been seeing later next week and, based on her judgment, we may be seeing a surgeon after all. If we see a surgeon, it sounds like he will perform a biopsy to determine what we're dealing with. It may be an "atypical infection" that will only respond to a very specific medication. The doctor believes the ugly, itchy rash is a reaction to 17 days worth of antibiotics. Being off meds between now and (IF) when we have to see a surgeon and go on another drug will hopefully give Luke's body a chance to recover.
I am so very thankful today for two things in particular... My sister-in-law. She came to get Zach between the doctors appointment and the ultrasound appointment. Hanging with his cousins was far more fun than hanging out at the hospital --- and then she took the kids out for greasy burgers, brought Luke and me some frozen custard, and kept Zach till later in the afternoon. This gave me some much needed time to digest this new information without Zach's sweet little eyes on me. I took a bubble bath too. I am also just pretty much in love with anyone who works in pediatrics. Everyone at the doctor's office seems to be familiar with Luke's situation and they are so sympathetic every time they talk to me. A phone nurse even told me jokes to give me a laugh before hanging up yesterday (after delivering the cruddy news that the doc thought we needed to be there at 8am today to address this week's symptoms). Luke had a somewhat difficult time today; he is getting fearful and emotional about doctor's appointments. The doctors, nurses, technicians, check-in people, even the security guard have done everything possible to put us at ease. I think it takes a special kind of person to work with sick kids. To those of you who do - from the bottom of my heart, thank you.