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In November of last year I woke up one morning only to rub the back of my neck and discover not one, but two swollen lymph nodes. They were mildly tender, but nothing terrible. From there, I found several more across my neck. Feeling a sore throat coming on and expecting strep, I went to the clinic where I was tested for flu, strep, and mono. All of the tests returned negative. By that time I was suffering from a throbbing headache that felt like there was some insane pressure building up behind my skull and it had become very painful to move. The clinic ran a CBC which showed a low concentration of white blood cells and high general anemia. Fearing something was not right, the clinic ordered me to leave school and return to my primary practitioner (I'm 17 years old attending my senior year at a boarding high school). As my symptoms became worse and I developed a VERY stiff neck, I was rushed to the emergency room. There, the doctors decided I did not have meningitis, and decided I MUST have mono. They drew blood for another CBC and to test it for mono. The result was, again, negative. The CBC remained very similar to the previous one. I was sent home and told to suck up the pain, and I'd be fine. 

After a week of hydrocodone and a round of prednisone, I was feeling fine again as swiftly as I had started to feel ill. The only other strange occurrence around that time was a bout of three UTI's with roughly 2-4 weeks between each one. On the 20th of this month, I had to go to my doctor about another UTI. As I was walking to the pharmacy to pick up the antibiotics, I began to feel very faint and short of breath. The symptoms were bearable, and I assumed that I was simply a little lower on iron than I normally am. I made it home with the antibiotics, popped the first one, and settled down. I was very suddenly stricken with a persistent low-grade fever ranging from 99.9-101.9 with chills like you wouldn't believe. The same throbbing, nasty headache as last year came on swiftly thereafter. My appetite was nonexistent, the thought of food made me nauseous, and the only thing I really cared to ingest was water. The fever eventually broke with several doses of ibuprofen by very early the next morning. It came back that afternoon, breaking intermittently with ibuprofen, leaving my soaked through with cold sweats when I would wake up. I was VERY tired, but the headache kept my from sleeping until the fatigue would finally overwhelm me. 

Understanding that something had to be wrong, I called the doctor. I was told that this all had to be from the UTI and I had to give the antibiotics time to work for me. Dutifully I took them, but showed no sign of really getting better. Thursday night, all of the pain magically disappeared. I then noticed a half inch swollen lymph node on the back of my neck that was both hard and painless. Since then I have found perhaps six more about the same size, hard, and painless across my neck, armpits, and groin. My doctor tested me, YET AGAIN, for strep, flu, and mono with all negative results.

Now that the explanation is out of the way, I'd like to know if anyone has had a similar experience. Obviously, being a seventeen year old two months away from graduating, the idea of lymphoma is more than little bit frightening. I'm trying not to think about it, but I'm seriously doubting this is just some kind of recurring virus. Seriously. Especially since I had mono for the first time in 2001. Why would it just start up randomly now and show up negative on all the tests I'm given?

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Hi there. 

I am 23 and have had such a similar story it is crazy. I have had the lymph nodes in my groin and at the back of my neck for 3 years now though and no one ever pays any attention to them except for one in my groin that they don't know about but they want to wait a YEAR to see if it grows more. 

I had an awful headache as well and they thought it might be meningitis because I had a sinus infection. I also went on steroids and it got better. Then I got a severe upper UTI and at that point they thought it was all in my head and wouldn't treat me until ALL of the tests were back - by that time I hadn't been able to keep anything down for a week and was severely dehydrated and fainting a lot. It didn't get that much better on the antibiotics - but eventually sort of cleared. 

Now I have sore throats on and off and awful joint pains and had severe chest pains. For me they are looking into autoimmune stuff but I think my doctor still thinks its all somatic. I wish they would just do a node biopsy so I could know that it isn't lymphoma. 

We are definitely too young to be feeling this way. I hope you are feeling better by now - let us know what has happened. 
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Have you ever been tested for lyme disease? It is worth looking into as it is becoming more common and you dont need the classic bullseye rash to have it. It can cause many of your symptoms. Many doctors dont test for this so you will have to find one who is willing and sympathetic. Good luck!
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Find a lyme literate doctor. You may have had the flu which set off your Lyme disease. Most Lyme disease blood tests show false negative but a Lyme literate dr will treat u anyway. I found your post bc I have chronic Lyme and just had the flu which seems to have set off my symptoms again...Lymph nodes are sore, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing sneezing, sweats going on 3 weeks
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My step-son is 6 years old. We just had him at the family doctor today for flu-like symptoms, fatigue, loss of appetite, coughing and sneezing... Prescribed him antibiotics, pain reliever and a cough suppressant, then ordered blood work and an EKG at Children's Hospital. He has been like this for a week now. It sounds like early stages of Lyme disease, as researched, so immediate action is what we are taking... Thank you for this post and I hope you get better!
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