Antes de Partir enthusiastically announces at the beginning of its blog "Cancer, a reason for change" which, as a personal diary by its authors, will publish stories, testimonies and experiences that we hope, dear reader, to be from its complete pleasure.
This Blog is written by volunteers who offer their services as therapists in Before Leaving and who want to share real experiences that help understand and improve the lives of cancer patients.
In Before Leaving we are convinced that palliative care, and therapies such as reiki, psychotherapy and thanatology help to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
“Arantxa knows very well what it is to have a relapse. He is 44 years old and has faced cancer twice. The two have expired. The first time, the disease appeared in 2008 (breast cancer) and the second, two years later (breast and nipple). Now, six years later, she is cured, happy and with the same desire as always to keep going. For her family, for her children, for her. Also afraid of a possible relapse. But fear is free, human and will be present for life. This is how he tells the journalist Beatriz G. Portalatín of the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
«The fear that cancer will reappear never goes away, and it will not go away in your life, but you learn to live with it. The important thing is that it does not condition your day-to-day », he confesses to El Mundo. That fear becomes more evident the days before a review: “That's really when you are most aware, and when I get more nervous. In fact, my husband, 10 days before, already notices me ».
When they diagnose cancer, it is always a surprise. However, when you've been through it, you know that the threat is real, "explains Patrizia Bressanello, a psychologist at the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC).
Any disease can reappear, but in the case of cancer, "the recovery processes are very long: we usually talk about five years free of disease to be able to talk about cure," he says, although that time does not guarantee absolute cure either.
Cancer patients and also their families are more aware of this reality and therefore fear is always present. You shouldn't blame yourself for that emotion. «It is a fear that always accompanies, you cannot live without it, because it is a reality that has been part of your life, of your history. It is human and natural. You can be happy having these emotions and lead a totally normal life, it all depends on how much attention is given to that fear, "says Marta de la Fuente Lago, head of the MD Anderson Psycho-oncology Unit.
When fear is excessive and interferes in the day to day it is necessary to seek professional help to work with the management of emotions, control of thoughts and anxiety. However, "sometimes a certain degree of fear can become an ally," says Bressanello. This is: «If we have a certain degree of fear, we will be more attentive to possible symptoms that, perhaps, may be indicating that there is a relapse, and that will cause us to go to the doctor.
We all know that early detection is essential in the cure of a tumor. It may or may not be a bad thing, but surely we will be more vigilant ».
Exceptionally, fear becomes more apparent in the days leading up to reviews, and there are even people who deny them. However, these quotes are essential.
«It is very important to go and follow the protocols. Also, this way I am much calmer, because I am sure that, if they find something wrong, at least they will catch me in time, "says Arantxa, who encourages patients to always go to their check-ups.
"A relapse is usually much more devastating, there is a more intense fear because, right away, many patients associate it with disease progression, when it doesn't have to be that way," says De la Fuente.
The greater or lesser severity of the recurrence will depend on a host of factors, such as the grade of the tumor, whether or not there are metastases, etc. Therefore, it is very important to be informed by the doctor. Something that De la Fuente emphasizes: «Normally, it tends to be compared with the case of other people and it is essential that the information comes only from your doctor, because each patient has a different evolution».
If there is a relapse, it is important to inform yourself correctly, work with the symptoms of everyday life (think only in the present) and, above all, do not anticipate what may or may not happen. «It must be taken into account that a relapse is not the end, that it is not all over. You also get out of it », encourages Arantxa.
The previous note was taken from the original without alterations since it represents a faithful testimony of those who live it, especially in the case of cancer.
I am a fearful and insecure woman, I always have been. As a child I spoke little and had a lot of trouble socializing with my peers. If anyone came to attack me, I preferred to run away or stay still rather than defend myself or "accuse" them with the teachers. Speaking in public, ordering something at the store and participating in class or some family gathering, was a most difficult and stressful feat for me. That's how it was all my life and until I got cancer, things changed for me.
Cancer is a disease that does not tolerate stumbling or wait until you are sure to act. With cancer I have had to overcome all my fears and give importance to the person I really am, even above others.
With breast cancer I matured what I did not mature in 55 years. The disease freed me from complexes and prejudices and now I can say that I have really begun to live. Each step I take now, I take with more conviction and security than before and I am convinced that I will overcome the disease on the basis of will and follow medical indications.
The word cancer sounds terrible, but you have to talk about it without fear. It helps a lot, comforts you and frees you from any complex or trauma that you have faced. Diseases are diseases. Cancer is not just death. In the world, more people die from heart disease or diabetes than from tumors and nobody shudders more when mentioning the word cancer than when mentioning the word heart attack.
Cancer in my case has made me a different person that has nothing to do with who I was before.
After several months of battling a ball in her right breast, Sara was diagnosed with breast cancer, but her intuition saved her life.
My daughter Sara is a beautiful young woman, she has a smile and an impressive positive vibe that infects anyone who knows her. At 27 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was on October 29, 2011 that her life changed completely.
The story of my daughter begins during a self-examination that she carried out in the bathroom, at that moment she felt a small ball, apparently harmless, to which she did not give much importance, so she waited until the month of October that she was due a medical check-up for an ultrasound.
The doctor who carried out the studies assured her that she should not worry since it was a fibrocystic manifestation in the breasts. "What is that doctor?" Asked my daughter. I remember it well because I was with her when the doctor told her that it was a common change in the breast tissue that presents very small benign lumps. "Nothing to worry about," the doctor insisted. And he also added that at 27 years of age it was common to have fat balls or swelling in the breasts. My daughter was convinced and continued her normal life.
Within a few months of the medical check-up, Sara began to feel ill, suffering from stomach and headaches, as well as repeated fevers of almost 40 degrees. By then the little ball had grown considerably in size. Sara consulted another doctor who insisted that she was too young to suffer from a disease such as cancer. However, everyone at home suspected that something was wrong with Sara, so we decided to take her to a specialized hospital for studies, unfortunately a biopsy confirmed that Sara had stage IV breast cancer.
On May 14, 2012 we traveled with my daughter to Mexico City to undergo an operation. Doctors performed a mastectomy and removed 37 nodes of which 19 had cancer activity.
My daughter Sara's intuition and her insistence on checking that everything was fine with her body saved her life. She is currently receiving treatment and is in recovery. Of course, she maintains her beautiful smile and the positive vibe that has always characterized her.