I Found A Lump In My 4-Year-Old’s Neck

Sulaiman has had a lump in his neck since he was around 2-years-old. I thought it was just a lymph node that was swollen due to sore throat or a cold. But it’s been two years and it’s still there.

Yesterday Ayub had a follow-up appointment at Hospital KL with his therapist. I showed her Sulaiman’s lump at the end of the session and she wrote a referral letter for him to be checked out at the pediatric ward.

There are two things I worry about constantly

1. Ayub and his autism

What’s next for him? Where do we seek treatment? What school can we enroll him in? Can we afford it all? How is he going to cope as an adult? Will he ever make friends? Will he ever fall in love? What’s going to happen to him?

2. Aisha and the fact she’s a tiny baby

Five-month-olds take up a lot of time, energy, and attention. She needs to be carried, cuddled, cleaned, fed, bathed, diaper changed etc. As long as she’s awake, my eyes are on her.

But now there’s a new thing that I’ve been worrying about…

I worry that I don’t worry enough about my middle child

Oh, to be a parent. I don’t think people who don’t have children will ever really understand? So much worry. Every day.

When I was sitting with Sulaiman in the doctor’s office, she was checking him all over for lumps and bumps and growths. And I’m thinking to myself “please don’t let it be serious, please don’t let it be cancer…” And I hate that I even thought those things. But what I hate even more is that I didn’t bring him to the doctor earlier.

Well, I did, when he was two. And that doctor said it was just a swollen lymph node that acted up because he had a sore throat at the time. But after that? It was always there. And I didn’t do anything.

I am a bad mother

The doctor suggested drawing blood and running whatever tests they needed to run. I felt a crushing feeling inside.

Then a senior doctor came to take a look at Sulaiman. She felt the lump. Felt here and there. Then she said he was fine and not to worry. But of course, I’m fucking worried now. The doctors discussed what to do. And senior doc said to just keep an eye on the lump. If it gets bigger, or if more appear, then come back.

And that was it.

But I was scared. And I am still scared. It is scary. Having kids is scary. Being a parent is scary as fuck.

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Laila Zain

Laila is a working mama who married young, had two beautiful boys, went through a shitty divorce, met an amazing man, remarried, and had a beautiful girl. Her eldest boy is a rainbow baby and special needs child. Her second is ridiculously smart. Her baby is a baby.

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