in praise of lymph nodes

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This, in short, seems to be the story: I have a cancer somewhere in my mouth, but it’s still at such an early stage that it can’t be detected through normal tests.  I certainly don’t have any symptoms, not even a sore throat. The pneumonia I had in the spring weakened my immune system and as a result a few cancer cells attacked the lymph node on the right side of my neck and started to grow.

Under the circumstances this may have been an incredible stroke of luck: if the lymph node hadn’t reacted, there wouldn’t have been any indications of a problem and the original cancer would have been left undetected.  God knows when it would have been discovered, how big it would have been by then, and how lousy I would have felt.  Thanks to my lymph node, the original cancer has been discovered even before it can be discovered.

This is the story as I now understand it.  I am indeed a doctor, but don’t take medical advice from a holder of a PhD in political science :-).  Of course there may be more twists and turns to this plot — and I still have an operation to go through, together with chemotherapy and all that — but it’s starting to look like a very lucky escape.

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