Trying to Convince Myself That My Son Doesn’t Have Cancer
Doctor checking throat of a little boy with tongue depressor

A weird throat pain, bad breath, an inflamed tonsil. A reassuring GP saying it can probably wait a few days, but it wouldn’t hurt to go to the ER.

I’m slightly reassured when we get to the emergency room. At first. It has the advantage of instantly drowning our isolation in a hubbub of cries, coughs, expectorations and other excretions. We’re no longer alone, that’s for sure. Besides, the charming young man on reception told us with great aplomb that the visible black threads in your throat must be deposits of blood, residues of a harmless infection. The fact that he hadn’t examined the tonsil and had absolutely no competence to evaluate it doesn’t matter much: we’re not going to deny ourselves a few extra minutes of immunity.

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