Neoplasia. I don’t know yet what it exactly means. I only know that I have heard this word a few times before and that it is not good – at least for me. The first time I heard it, I wrote it down on a post-it to look it up later.
“Nowadays the prognosis for this kind of neoplasms is good” or something similar, Dylan, a doctor friend of mine, said.
I did not want to look it up before until I know a little more because I don’t want to be thinking about the matter the whole time. Today I finally did it.
“A neoplasm is a type of abnormal and excessive growth, called neoplasia, of tissue. The growth of a neoplasm is uncoordinated with that of the normal surrounding tissue, and persists in growing abnormally, even if the original trigger is removed. This abnormal growth usually forms a mass, when it may be called a tumor.”
That’s what Wikipedia says.
Tonight I read about this new word that has appeared in my life while next to me in bed, my wife is distracted by a silly game on her phone and an English voice is broadcasting on television.
Tomorrow I will see the gynecologist again. They say he is very good at what he does. A friend of the family told me, that just by touching my breast he would know if it was good or bad. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. On Wednesday the 15th of April, he checked me and said that he did not think it was malignant, but that of course we had to run some tests to be sure.
Everything has gone very fast. One Sunday, while showering, I felt a little lump on my right breast while I was scrubbing it. At first, I thought it was just me being silly, but since I was showering with Samirah, I asked her to touch it and, she also felt it. This is how we discovered my neoplasm. On a Sunday morning in the shower, while we were hiding from the world because the Coronavirus had confined it.
Eleven days have passed since that Sunday. Thank God, the State, my family, and good friends, everything is going very fast. Sometimes I feel guilty, when I think about how many people are also suffering from a serious illness. How many people this Coronavirus is going to kill collaterally. People who will not be able to access medical care in time, and I am receiving it.
I got a biopsy two days ago. Now my tit is bruised. It has a few X´s on it, which don’t mark the location of a treasure, but rather the location of a curse. I ask Samirah to look at my tit. She jokes about it and makes a naughty face. The X marks are not X´s. They are asterisks, four asterisks. They are stars made of narrow adhesive strips that try to close the holes that two radiologists made by piercing through me to reach my neoplasms.
My doctor friend told me this afternoon that my neoplasm is malignant. We already expected it. Me and my whole pack. My wife, my aunt, my cousins, and the other members of this team that is a little smaller than a football team. These people who keep me company and who cannot hug me because of the Coronavirus. Bad time to have cancer.
I have started this Journey of a Tit as a therapeutic tool recommended by my cousin Vivi. She is not a psychologist but a dentist and a little bit of a doctor. The truth is that I have always loved writing, and this is just a good excuse.
Several people have asked me today how I feel. Frankly, I don’t know. I feel tired, as if I was carrying something on my shoulders. I reread a few paragraphs above, and I see the word “cancer“. No one has told me yet that I have cancer, but I guess that’s what I have, don’t I?
It sounds surreal. Like the Coronavirus, like all of this we are currently living.
What I find worst is the people I love breaking down. When Samirah and my aunt cry. I feel like I am causing them this pain. Me, not cancer.
My sister-in-law has told me that it is normal to feel angry or sad and that I have to allow myself to feel it. I can’t be tough 100 percent of the time, she said. But I don’t feel anger. Trees get sick, animals get sick, and no one questions the existence of God or the justice of life because a plant suddenly dies. My aunt told me she doesn’t understand. Why don’t these things happen to people like her who have already lived? She is in her fifties while I am thirty-six. I prefer it like this. I’d rather it be me and not her or my wife or my cousin or my sisters or my niece. Children also get cancer. I understand that this is difficult to understand. I don’t understand it either, but the truth is, I don’t question it. I don’t think it’s anything personal. I do not believe that I am a victim of fate, of my sins, or something else. Neoplasms just happen.