Tucker had a lump sticking out the side of his neck. Walnut sized. Noticeable and concerning.
I tried to minimize the concern, since Tucker's mind always goes to extreme diagnoses and imminent death. But I can't say mine didn't go there too. And I wonder if he'll ever get to a place in his life with the naivete of taking things in stride.
Turns out, it was a swollen lymph node due to infection. He had strep throat.
The pediatrician said every single parent's mind goes straight to "The Big C" when they see a lump protruding from anywhere glandular in the child's body. (Count me among the majority.) He said 99.99% of the time, a swollen lymph node is nothing to worry about, and one way I can tell is that a lymph node will fluctuate in size. A cancerous anything will just get worse, if left untreated.
So the lymph node can stay enlarged for months, with still no need for concern. Well, then. This I can handle.
I've lost the privilege of believing it won't happen to us. It has. It could.
A friend said, "A family like yours deserves a free pass. You've done your time." His family is nine months into a battle with their daughter's brain cancer. His family deserves a free pass too.
Life doesn't give it very many of those.
Strep has never sounded so good to me.