Weight loss is a serious concern for millions of people all over the world, as you know only too well, but what you don’t know is that weight loss is becoming a serious problem for me as well, not because I am plump, portly, chubby, blubbery, pinguid, elephantine, or fat, no, I have never been so, but because my clothes have all become too large for me – they flutter about me like flags on a windy day – and where is all that rice and pasta going (?) I wonder because I eat well, at least three times a day, plenty of calories and proteins and fruit and vegetables too, and I lead a mostly domestic existence, that is to say, my fundament is good friends with chairs, and I don’t exert my body beyond agreeable daily walks around the neighborhood and trips to the supermarket to purchase food, and the worst part is that now that spring has settled in my little town and country and that a flood of sunlight has washed away winter’s cold and the flowers are blooming and the women start leaving more and more of their clothes at home I can no longer hide behind my padded winter jacket and so I cannot help but feel self-conscious and a little distressed, especially when it comes to being around people, and I am not panicking, no, I am calm, I breathe in and breathe out, I know I am not trapped in my body, I am life without boundaries, I am a beautiful mind, I am the adjective free, but it’s as if my metabolism has lost its logic and imagine how it must feel to want to go out and meet people and make friends and be around certain people and your clothes to refuse to accompany you and your mirror to throw you a depressing reflection, and so to sigh and lock the door and draw the curtains and hide in your room, where you are safe from other people’s eyes, from curiosity and pity, where you can write and write and write and forget your body and your own existence…
I have been losing weight unintentionally for many months now. There are many, many possible diseases that can cause weight loss, some physical and others psychological, but when there are tiny swollen lymph nodes in the neck as well and no infection, it may well be cancer, and no, I am not being dramatic. I suggested this to the doctors I saw last year, and some thought I was exaggerating, while the others looked uncertain and uneasy at the prospect of discussing such a matter with a twenty-three year-old. The results were inconclusive: blood tests were quite normal, nothing pained me, and whatever symptoms I had were quite vague. I suggested a lymph node biopsy but was told that was not the case. I myself did not know what to think anymore. I went home waiting for something (bad) to happen, resolved to enjoy the benefit of the doubt.
During the winter months I was able to pretend nothing was wrong and function normally, be quite active outdoors, take photographs, even meet some interesting people. But now spring is here and the winter clothes are in the wardrobe and I don’t think I can pretend anymore, not unless I completely isolate myself from the world and stop leaving my room, which is a tempting idea, but which I fear would only delay the inevitable. Something is wrong with my body, but I am not quite sure what. Could it be lymphoma? Hodgkin’s? Non-Hodgkin’s? Some insidious type of neck cancer? A tricky brain tumor? Bone marrow cancer? I shall visit doctors next week and insist on doing some scans and then, if necessary, a biopsy as well, and I’ll let you know whether I am, theoretically speaking at least, dying at a faster rate than you, for I must remind you that we were all diagnosed with death when we were born into this giddy world.
I am afraid of pain and of hospitals, like all of us are, and especially of becoming a cancer patient, but such a possibility has been at the back of my mind for quite some time now and in a way, I feel I have gotten used to it. Why me? Why not? After all, both my father and my grandmother died from cancer, and if I look back at my life, I have certainly not have had the healthiest of lifestyles, not that such a disease is necessarily explainable.
Nothing sobers a man and clears his mind and helps him review his life better than the prospect of facing a serious disease that threatens his own existence. Oh, imagine the literary inspiration that such a situation would give rise to! Not to mention that perhaps nothing can benefit a young writer’s career better than an untimely death, though of course I have no intention of meeting Lady Death anytime soon.
A great curiosity overwhelms me. I am eager to get to the bottom of my medical mystery. If you are curious to learn what befalls me, please do return here for updates.