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Forum Name: Leukemia

Question: Low WBC/High Lymphs +strange symptoms. Could it be Leukemia?


 spensaid0003 - Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:57 pm

Hi, My son has a lot of problems. Most recently it has been the inability swallow food. He can swallow drinks, yogurt but not "real" food... even his favorites. He can get food down (some types) for example... it took him 3 hours to eat a McDonald's Hash Brown this morning. He takes a bite, chews it until it is liquid & then either swallows it or spits it out. He has lost 4lbs since 6/5/08 (although he has gained 1-2lbs back since we have him drinking extra nutritional drinks & Ice cream shakes - we offer him "real" food prior to giving him the extra calorie drinks). We have seen an ENT, Gastro & Primary... all studies are normal. They don't think it is eosinophilic esophagitis. He was on Prevacid 15mg 2x/day (although as of this morning, we decided to wean him off the Prevacid). Miralax 1x/day (constipation), Vitamins. He is lactose intolerant (takes Lactaid chewables).

He is 8 y/o 49lbs (5th percentile) 4'2" (50th percentile). His lymph nodes always look swollen to me (our Doctor always mentions them "shoddy nodes" but seems to think they are normal). He has other random symptoms that prompted her to check for signs of leukemia (bone pain, night sweats). He also has sleep apnea (undiagnosed... Doc says that if it is less than 15 seconds, we are not going to worry about it (it goes up to 12 seconds)). He recently had a tooth chip off for no apparant reason.. he was eating yogurt out of a tube. He gets a film on his teeth that I have to scrape off... he is a good brusher so I don't understand this.

Bloodwork done on 7/2/08 (Abnormal results have a "*", borderline have a "-") - when this bloodwork was done - he did not have any kind of illness (last cold was in March or April)

*Glucose 96 (50-90 - normal)
*T.Bili 1.7 (1.1 on 11/07) (0.2-1.3 - normal)
*WBC 3.5 (5.3 on 11/07) (4.5-13.5 - normal)
-RBC 5.02 (3.7-5.3 - normal)
Hemoglobin 12.9 (10.7-14.7 - normal)
Hematocrit 38.6 (31-43 - normal)
*MCV 76.9 (77.0-95.0 - normal)
MCH 25.7 (23-33 - normal)
MCHC 33.4 (31-37 - normal)
-RDW-SD 37.2 (37-54 - normal)
RDW-CV 13.3 (11-16 - normal)
-Platelet 187 (150-400 - normal)
MPV 11.7 (8.2-12.2 - normal)
*Lymphs 44 (0-38 - normal)
Monos 9 (2-14 normal)
Eos 1 (0-5 - normal)
-Basos 0 (0-2-normal)
-ABS Neut Count 1.6 (1.5-7 - normal)
*U/A - clarity is Turbid (normal - clear)

LEUKEMIA symptoms & how they relate to my son (my comments in all caps).
Fevers or night sweats:
HE IS OFTEN VERY SWEATY (HAIR/FACE) AT NIGHT WHEN I CHECK ON HIM. HE HAS NOT HAD ANY FEVERS

Frequent infections:
NOT SO MUCH THIS... ONLY A FEW "NORMAL" CHILDHOOD INFECTIONS... NONE RECENTLY. LAST EAR INFECTION IN JANUARY I THINK

Feeling weak or tired:
SOMETIMES WEAK & TIRED (BUT THIS COULD BE FROM NOT EATING). HE CAN STILL DO THINGS THAT ALL KIDS DO... RIDE BIKES, SWIM...

Headache:
LATELY HE HAS COMPLAINED OF HEADACHES (AROUND 2 OR 3 IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS). NONE PRIOR TO THESE 2 OR 3.

Bleeding and bruising easily (bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin, or tiny red spots under the skin):
HE HAS A FEW BRUISES (NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY) PROBABLY BECAUSE HE IS CLUMSY??? NONE OF THE OTHER SYMPTOMS

Pain in the bones or joints:
YEAH... ALL THE TIME! ANKLES LATELY (CLASSIC GROWING PAIN SYMPTOMS)... LEG/BONE PAIN PRETTY BAD A FEW MONTHS AGO (ONLY LEFT LEG & NOT SIMILAR TO GROWING PAINS)... NOW ONLY ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK (THIS PAIN HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS SINCE AGE 5 OR 6 I THINK)

Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from an enlarged spleen)
HE ALWAYS HAS TUMMY PAIN... BUT WHERE IT IS LOCATED, I DO NOT KNOW. SHE DIDN'T MENTION ANY ENLARGED ORGANS AT OUR RECENT WELL VISIT. TUMMY PAIN IS BEING TREATED BY A GASTROENTEROLOGIST. HE STARTED MIRALAX RECENTLY & THAT SEEMS TO HAVE HELPED THE TUMMY PAIN QUITE A BIT!

Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck or armpit:
HE HAS HAD SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES FOR YEARS... THAT HAS ALWAYS CONCERNED ME! BUT EACH DOCTOR SEEMS TO THINK THAT THEY AREN'T TOO BAD & IT IS "NORMAL"... THEY LOOK AWFUL TO ME (THEY MAY ALSO STICK OUT MORE SINCE HE IS SO THIN?)

Weight loss: HE LOST ALMOST 4LBS, BUT GAINED ONE OR TWO BACK, BUT AGAIN, PROBABLY DUE TO NOT SWALLOWING FOOD!

Our doctor wants to recheck his blood... but didn't mention when (I will call her once we are back from vacation on 7/30). What is a reasonable length of time to wait before we recheck his bloodwork? I just want to know if I am doing the right thing by waiting... we need to get this swallowing thing under control (counseling?) unless it truly is a medical reason causing it (and now that she put leukemia in my mind... I can't relax!). I read that leukemia can show itself in other areas of the body... digestive tract being one of them.

Could you please put my mind at ease or tell me what my next step should be? Thanks so much (& sorry for being so wordy!) :)
 spensaid0003 - Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:18 am

Hi, since posting the original thread... we had repeat bloodwork done 5 weeks later. The WBC's are still low (3.7). MCV=75.2 (normal is 77-95), RDW-SD=35.3 (normal is 37-54), Lymphs 54 (normal is 0-38).

My son is eating better (swallowing problem is almost gone). We took him off prevacid and he seems to be handling that w/no problems. He has not gained any weight back but also has not lost anymore.

My doctor doesn't seem concerned about the blood results being abnormal. Should I pursue this to find out either why or if this is "normal" for my child.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to help me!!! It is appreciated more than you will ever know!!!

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