I have Mono. How do I know whether or not I have something worse like cancer?

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I know the obvious answer is to see a doctor, I am seeing an oncologist in a week, but I am curious, at what point, what symptoms, etc, should further investigation take place?

I have had Mono for 3 months now, I had a blood test 3 months ago, and it confirmed EBV. Since then I have had a fever of 99-101 degrees for 3 months, sometimes it drops back to normal, or so my thermometer says. It may be a low fever, but for me, it's a fever. I also have a terrible headache. What is worrying me the most is that for the past week, I have developed itching all over my body, of course I google it and it says it is a symptom of lymphoma. All my doctor said was that he can send me to an Allergist, but that doesn't help... My lymph nodes aren't swollen, my blood work is all relatively normal with the exception of having Mono, RBC, WBC and liver counts are all within normal range. I also had a CT Scan of my brain for something unrelated about 3 months ago and they said it was normal. What do you think?

I am scared because I am only 20, this is all pretty frightening.

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  • Posted

    Edit: Forgot to mention, I also had a Chest X-Ray after first being diagnosed with Mono about 3 months ago, it was normal... with all these labs coming back normal, I am still worried I have something worse.

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  • Posted

    Hi Clayton,

    Oh I do empathise and remember going through some of the same worries myself when I was unwell with this virus. When it goes on for a period of time you start to question it and when you google you read the scare stories that it could be linked with more serious illness and things - it is very frightening I know and want you to know I'm thinking about you and know how awful an experience that is to go through.

    I really want to reassure you Clayton that what you're going through is VERY NORMAL for mono - to feel this unwell for 3 months with fever and itching most definitely are symptoms of mono. I questioned it all too saying things feel so intense and so bad that surely this can't just be mono - but it was and I learned that this is just the way it goes - it just takes an extended period of time but eventually you will get there and it will get better, it really will Clayton I truly believe this is mono and not anything more sinister (not that mono isn't horrible to go through itself, but it will get better).

    It is good and reassuring that you have had a number of other blood tests and CT scan and those have shown normal - if it was something more serious the likelihood would be that some kind of abnormality may be spotted in these tests - but this is classic mono, I had so many blood tests done after initial diagnosis which showed 'normal', and whilst it was good and a relief it was also frustrating in that how can things show normal when I'm still feeling so unwell!!

    I do hope that things can start to settle a bit soon Clayton, as I say for me the first 3-4 months were BY FAR the worst, and even though it took some time to get to full recovery, I did get there thanks to God only and I truly believe you will too. It is only understandable to worry but remember the vast vast vast majority of people with the EBV virus do get better with time and don't develop anything more serious. An encouraging thing I liked to remember when recovering was that it is estimated that they say 90% or so of people in the western world get EBV at some stage in life, many as a child when they don't take the illness like an adult does, and those people are generally fit and healthy and have no long lasting problems once their body comes to terms with the virus.

    Hang in there Clayton, and of course it's always wise to keep checking in with the doctor and to tell them your fears and concerns, but please be reassured that what you're going through most definitely can be normal for mono and that you WILL get better with time! (not always much help when in the midst of the trial I know) - just focus on one day at a time is all you can do with this thing and getting through each day when feeling so unwell is a real achievement. Thinking of you!

    Craig

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  • Posted

    hi clayton

    i totally understand how you feel. my first symptoms was an enlarged lymph node on my neck quickly followed by a few more - then developed heart palputations, a white coated throat, night sweats, tiredness, body aches. came back positive ebv and mono spot test - had an enlarged spleen and very high liver levels. all went back to normal but the big lymph nodes remained. i convoncdd myself i had cancer. in the end i pushed and pushed for a FNA on one of my lymph nodes which came back negative for anything cancerous but inline with the Ebv. this calmed me down and slowly my energy levels are getting better but the large lynph nodes remain its been nearly 3 months now. i totally understand snd do what you need to do to put your mind at rest. but im certain youll be ok lots of love (ps im 27 ao pretty young too)

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    • Posted

      Hi Kirsty,

      Just wanted to let you know still thinking about you and glad that things are a little more settled at the moment, and remember you will continue to get stronger and better over time. The lymph nodes will settle down with time Kirsty, the reactive gland in my neck was one of the last symptoms to go but it did go and you will be free of that and good health will return again - hang in there!

      Craig

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  • Posted

    This virus is so powerful that it makes you insecure nervous and worried.

    you dont have cancer its just all the mono symptoms and believe me there are many .

    try and not to obsess or worry as stress makes it worse ! i am myself learning to do this too....

    so rest up youre only young and with the rught protocol you should be over this soon.

    youve had all the blood tests so try to put your mind at rest .

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    • Posted

      Wise words Lori, it's so much easier said than done I know. I know we all have been there and through what Clayton is going through right now and we're all thinking about you Clayton and remember you will get better.

      Craig

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