Cancer battler Bradley Lowery is likely to spend his sixth birthday in hospital as his treatment against neuroblastoma continues, his family say.
The youngster, from Blackhall, whose family have been told he has terminal neuroblastoma, is due to turn six later this month.
Doctors are now hoping to slow down the speed at which tumours are growing inside his body.
Scans have shown that he will now need intensive antibiotics for a week.
But despite the news, his family have added that he will still hopefully be able to be mascot for his beloved Sunderland AFC at their final home game of the season against Swansea City on Saturday.
The Black Cats have made Bradley the cover star for the match programme and have announced that all proceeds from programme sales which go to his appeal fight.
An update posted on Bradley's appeal page reads: "Bradley is still in so much pain and is struggling to cope with it but tonight I managed to get a smile for a few seconds to show all his supporters he appreciates your kind words.
"So today I had a meeting with Bradley's doctors who are amazing by the way and they have said that there is no doubt there is more new tumours and the disease is progressing.
"However one of the sites they thought was a large tumour 6cm by 6cm could possibly be an abscess (this is where he is getting the pain).
"The scans have been checked and double checked but there is no way to be 100% unless a biopsy is done and this is not possible at the moment.
"Therefore they have decided to treat it with high dose of intensive antibiotics for a week.
"We should know by Monday if the pain is easing either way what it is.
"This means Bradley is in hospital for a week and is more than likely spending his birthday in here.
"The good news though (we always try to think of the positive) is that we are allowed to go to the Sunderland match for a few hours as long as Brad wants to.
"I have asked Brad and he is insisting he wants to go, I would also like to thank Sunderland for making the day special and donating the proceeds of the programmes sold on Saturday to Bradley.
"We will most certainly be out by his birthday party and we are also hoping to still get to America but a definite decision on this will be made on Monday."