My name is Beatriz, I'm from Lucena (Córdoba), I'm 27 years old and when I was 25 my life changed completely. Since October 2010 I have been fighting against a completely unknown illness for me: bone marrow aplasia.
How do you deal with news like this when you lead a normal life without any symptoms, only with some bruises? I spent many months taking blood tests and only my platelets were lower than normal and the doctors didn't find it alarming. It was right around a holiday in London, on August 2010, when I came back with bruises all over my body. Finally I decided to go to Cordoba to a hematologist at a private clinic so they could observe my hematomas. They took several blood tests and they couldn't believe the results: 2,000 platelets, very low hemoglobin and, the weirdest thing of all, I felt great.
The next day I was admitted in the hospital, going through all kinds of tests for a week (the longest of my life), isolated, and everyone around me had to wear a mask. The worst of all was that I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know what I had until after being five days in the hospital when I was told it was bone marrow aplasia. I hadn't heard of this disease in my life, I did not know what it was. For a month, at the Reina Sofia Hospital, Cordoba, where I am being treated, I was subjected to tests and blood and platelet transfusions every 2 or 3 days. My family ran compatibility tests but they weren't compatible, so they ruled out undergoing a transplant.
For a week they treated me with steroids, thymoglobulin and cyclosporine. I've had a partial response to treatment.
Today I have a normal life, I work in sports, I'm a gym instructor, and I feel better than ever, with a lot of energy to overcome this disease.
For me the worst of the illness has not been knowing the state of my health, but seeing my family (my mother, my father and my sister) and all of my friends crying for me, worrying about me. For them is for who I really felt the pain and the reason why I tried to smile every day, so that they would be calmer. From here, I thank them, my family and friends who have been and are there, day after day. I have no strength; they are the ones who give me the strength to keep fighting. I also want to thank those people who, without knowing anything, send messages of encouragement and care and I want to thank all of those people who send their testimonies to a website or a blog explaining their experiences: they make you value life. Of course, I also want to acknowledge the work and care of the team at the Hematologic Reina Sofia Hospital, in Cordoba. I'm in very good hands.
With this message I join the long list of people FIGHTING. I give my full support; we shall join paths in our fight, and end up beating this.
My plans are to continue enjoying life with those people who are with me (I am very lucky to have them) and be an example to all those people who go through a slump like this. Also, of course, my plans are to not have to depend on a pill, hahaha, (that would mean that it is all over).
Greetings and a hug from your friend,"
Beatriz Sánchez Lucena
If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help many leukaemia patients to have the opportunity of a cure, click HERE. Remember that the donation of bone marrow is altruistic, anonymous, and universal. If you register as a bone marrow donor, you could be making a donation to a person from anywhere in the world. If you want more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on our free phone number (in Spain) 900 32 33 34.
You could also become a member of the José Carreras Foundation. With a little amount you could help us to continue our research.