I don't think many or any of us really know what cancerous lymph nodes feel like, and it probably wouldn't help us if we did. If you've had the swollen lymph nodes for several years, they probably don't have anything to do with a serious illness - because you would have other symptoms by now if they did, worse ones. Red, itchy bumps after exercising are common with heat and sweat and the natural bacteria on your skin. Many people get itchy skin in the winter, because the air is drier than it is in the summer. Dry skin gets itchy.
The way I try to think about cancer (with varying degrees of success, but nevertheless) is -
- if it's been there for years, it probably isn't cancer
- if it went away or hasn't gotten worse, it probably isn't cancer
- if it's the same size now as it was last year, it probably isn't cancer
- if I put lotion on it and it got better, it probably isn't cancer
- if it's just barely noticeable, it probably isn't cancer
- if I tell a friend about it and he or she says he or she had the same thing before, it probably isn't cancer
- and also people do not tend to drop dead in the middle of the supermarket or sidewalk.
I think you are okay. I've heard of people's lymph nodes swelling with illness and never going back all the way to the size they were before, and they were fine. That's not unusual.