Margo’s weeklong European vacation included peaks and valleys. She had fun and got engaged, but the Texas resident also caught a nasty intestinal virus. While the virus passed, the accompanying swelling in her neck didn’t. That sent Margo to the doctor once she got home.
Several appointments later, tongue cancer was confirmed. She was told it had been resident for months and likely activated by that stressful virus. “The virus woke up the sleeping giant of cancer, and my doctor said it was aggressive. He told me it was stage 4 because of the number of lymph nodes involved.”
Margo required surgery to remove 54 lymph nodes on both sides of her neck, six of which were malignant. A follow up procedure fitted her with a feeding tube and port for the ensuing seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, the latter to eradicate a tumor at the base of her tongue which couldn’t be surgically removed.