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Has anyone else had a "viral infection" diagnosis but w/ the possibility of having leukemia?

By August 16, 2008 - 3:16pm
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I had a lump in my neck on the left side above where my shoulder the size of a marble. I went to the dr. and also had been really overly tired for about a month. They ran my blood for mono, and several other things. I also have thyroid disease so they ran my blood to test for that. When they called back, (3 days later) they said that my white blood cells are low and I had an increase in lymphocytes. She first told me that I probably had a viral infection, unless I get more lumps in my neck or elsewhere. Turned out from the time I had my blood taken, to about 4 days later, I had about 6 more lumps & more after that.

I told them I had gotten more lumps and she said what we need to be careful of is leukemia. So, she gave me 2 names of different hematologists and I called to get an appointment. I have an appointment on the 26th of August. I am just really freaked out though because there are so many different kinds of leukemia & you don't even know how to prepare for something like that, let alone when you can't determine which kind you "could have".

So, I am just playing the waiting game, as I get more & more lumps on each side of my neck; and on the back of my neck under my skull. It freaks me out to even wait & not go to the dr. immediately.

Does anyone have any advice for me?

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EmpowHER Guest

I was bitten by a tick on the back of my neck about two weeks ago after a hike. The tick had only latched on for a second or two and I got it off. It was a larger tick (not the type with Lyme disease) and I never got the tell tale haze around the redened bite area either so I am in the clear for any tick bourne illness. However, I got a swollen lymph node right next to the bite which is still swollen after two weeks and just today I noticed another smaller softer lump (seems like another lymph node) just below the other.
I am a bit of a hypochondric, so am very worried.
I had my friend (a psychiatrist - obviously with medical training) look at the one lump and he said that it feels very superficial. Also, my chiropractor saw it and didn't seem too concerned. I have read that one can get an infection after a bite like I received and that it can take the swollen lymph nodes a long time to go down afterwards. I am still worried though, especially since I got the second swollen lump just today.
Both lumps are softish, particulary the second. They are pea sized or smaller.
I have read that if I go to a doctor, I will probably be put on antibiotics, which I am not eager to take as I don't like to take drugs and besides, if it is indeed an infection, isn't that why the lymph noes are swelling? To fight off the infection caused by the bite? Shouldn't they be allowed to do their work? I guess I just want reassurance that it is a simple infection and that the lymph nodes will go down in time. Perhaps only a doctor can do that.
Otherwise I am very healthy. I don't have a fever or any other side effects.
I am female and forty years old.

February 4, 2011 - 1:00pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thank you for your question and sorry about the bite!

I'm not sure how we can help since we cannot examine a bite, nor can offer any kind of reassurance that anyone has a simple infection. Unfortunately no-one can do that over the internet!

Seeing a doctor does not mean going on antibiotics as we can decide for ourselves if that's something we want. But another lump today might be an indication that a visit to a doctor is a good idea (a chiropractor is not someone who can help out here!)

Remember that while half to over three quarters of people bitten by an infected tick get that tell-tale rash, the rest do not. It can take a month or more to and Lyme disease is very serious.

You might be just fine, of course. You can adopt a wait-and-see approach or be open to seeing a medical doctor. It certainly won't hurt. And a course of antibiotics (if necessary) is a lot better than living with Lyme Disease. For further reading, check this out: : http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/

Thanks for writing!

February 4, 2011 - 1:51pm
EmpowHER Guest

Geez I know I should have posted the news to what went on but after a ct scan & more tests it came that it WAS just a viral infection. I think I was so excited that nothing major is wrong, that I kind of ignored the fact that something could have ever been wrong. It was so scary. So, you just had a viral infection too? Hopefully that's all you have going on as well.

All is well with me, and I was able to get pregnant with my second child. I put off trying for this baby when I was sick just in case but after we knew I was ok we tried and I'm 3 months along.

Thanks to everyone for all your support.

Oh, and the lumps are almost all gone in my neck, I only have 1 small lump left. The one that started off as the biggest one.


January 17, 2009 - 9:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi there,
I have been very ill for the past 3 weeks with a "viral infection". I was diagnosed with Leukemia this past July and was totally freaked. This "virus" has made lumps in my neck and behind my ears..so i know exactly what you are going through. Im 34 and very scared. I also have lumps behind my knees, in my jaw, in my groin area and under my armpits. My hemotologist may have to take a biopsy from my neck in 2 weeks if they dont go away. I feel your worry Im going through it too, just know that a possitive attitude is key as hard as it is to do.
good luck hopefully its just an infection and they will disapear and you wont have anything to worry about!!

[edited by Moderator to remove personal information]

January 15, 2009 - 7:37pm

Hey, thanks for the info, both of you... I know I shouldn't really do research, I am just that way and now I know I just pretty much need to wait until the appointment, and probably afterwards to get more info.

To answer your ? Susan, I am 31 years old and I don't think there's Leukemia in my family. Although there have been several people get diagnosed with other kinds of cancer & I have had a few relatives die from different kinds. There's diabetes in my immediate family & thyroid disease, which I also have & have had since age 18. Other than that, I don't really have much else to say, unless you have a specific question.

Thanks for responding! :)

August 16, 2008 - 8:34pm
HERWriter Guide

Kaiya -

Welcome to Empowher.com and we hope you continue to visit us.

Firstly, although it's easy for me to say, please don't do too much research right now because as the saying goes - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

As you have not seen a doctor yet (and the kind of wait you have certainly can't help your worries, even though it may be a good sign that your medical professional does not think you need urgent care) it's easy to do a ton of research and come to the conclusion that you have any one of a hundred diagnoses.

There are many reasons for having lumps in our necks. Here is a fairly comprehensive list - this will show you what is possible - yet it may be none of this, and something you can get cleared up easily and quickly.


Bacterial -
Atypical Mycobacterium (a type of bacteria)
Cat scratch disease
Other types of bacterial pharyngitis
Peritonsillar Abscess (the result of tonsil infection that spreads)
Strep throat

Viral -
Herpes infections
HIV disease
Infectious mononucleosis
Rubella (German measles)
Viral pharyngitis
Hodgkin's disease
Metastatic oral lesions (mouth cancer)
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Other malignancy
Cancer of the thyroid
Graves' disease
Other allergic reactions
Allergic reaction to a drug (medication)
Food allergies

Salivary gland tumor
Stone in salivary duct


Please also know that simply researching something like "stomach pain" can give you a similar list. Every possible outcome is covered so don't panic, it may be nothing at all.

And if it is something a little more serious, you are getting help now which is a good thing. The sooner this is checked into, the better. Good for you for being proactive!

Kaiya - can you give us a little more information about you? How old are you and what is your basic family medical history?

Thanks for your question and please keep us posted when you have your appointment on the 26th.

August 16, 2008 - 4:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

I wanted to share this website with you from the Cancer Institute. There are several types of leukemia, but the site does provide several different ideas about living with and treatments for leukemia.

I hope this helps.........


August 16, 2008 - 3:48pm
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