My Experience With Lung Cancer And TB
Once upon a time, over 50 years ago, I was a member of the Council of the American Association of Museums, and was to be away for three weeks at their Annual Meeting in the U.S. I was working evenings to get ahead of my responsibilities in Halifax, Nova Scotia. So I was tired, and had a lame feeling in my side, and foolishly consulted a medical doctor. He took X-rays and put me in hospital, where he and a very good surgeon (whom I had taught to cut up cats in Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy), took out two-thirds of my left lung in a nine-hour operation that left a 25-inch scar. The lung was supposed to be cancerous, but in fact had a lump of healed tuberculosis, and should, of course, have been left alone.
Following that, I told them to put it back, but they said it had been thrown away. As I had had tuberculosis, I was put into the TB sanitarium, where I stayed for six months.
Afterwards, I was short of breath for a couple of years, and of course avoided doctors like grim death, and pondered what I had learned. High on the list is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and "Doctors have to get experience". Also, "Don't ask so many questions", and "Well, we don't have to do that again". Or, as Thomas Edison must have so often remarked: "We know that doesn't work". I must say, it cured me of smoking, a habit that consisted of one cigarette around a campfire or a pipe of tobacco at university reunions. So all is not lost, yet. I've cheered up, and so should you.