"FROM THE BEACH SUN LOUNGER TO THE HOSPITAL BED"
"Greetings to all!
My name is Lourdes and I am 51 years old. I would like to tell you about my experience with leukaemia. On July 23 2009, during my holidays at the beach I finished eating and noticed a pain in my spleen that was bearable at first but increased little by little. That day we had dinner in Puerto Banús but I couldn't finish my meal. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the A&E of the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, where they carried out a blood test and an abdominal scan. Summarizing, they said it was something muscular and I left the hospital with a painkiller; that's it.
The next day we were eating at the beachside bar and received a phone call asking me to go back and repeat the blood test because they had seen some "strange" cells. I went with more fear than anything else and once there they confirmed, or... well, I confirmed with my own words that it was leukaemia. When they said yes, I was shocked and didn't know how to react: I didn't cry, I didn't think, I didn't speak, I didn't do anything at all. I only saw the word leukaemia as if it had nothing to do with me. How could I have this terrible illness? The doctor that treated me wanted me to be admitted into the hospital and start the treatment right away but I mentioned that I didn't live there and that I my children were in Madrid so I was immediately sent to the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid.
On the 24th I was on the beach sun lounger and on the 25th in the Hospital bed! Everyone who saw me couldn't believe it: I had a beautiful tan from the beach, I didn't feel tired, nothing bothered me... I just had that minimum spleen ache, which I always thought were gases, that's it. From the first day that I was in hospital, I was advised by the Doctor from the Costa del Sol, I wasn't alone at any moment. I had thousands of tests, blood tests, etc. and, in the end, they put a name to my leukaemia: ACUTE MYELOID LEUKAEMIA.
Once we had the results of the bone marrow puncture, I started chemotherapy; 3 days after my spleen ache. Who would have thought it? Thank you to those who have been with me during this "pothole" in the best way possible (though complicated to say "best"), but we can pass it. There are very hard days, some extremely hard, so amazingly hard that you don't know why you have to live them and you accept them but, oh, how bad you feel: physically and mentally! You only want to go out and breathe fresh air. My first cycle was one whole month without leaving my room so I celebrated a little every time they took me down to do tests. It felt good to be merely going out into the long hallway. The food? Let's not talk about that.
The 2nd cycle was the worst: I had a very serious form of pneumonia (I only found out the severity when I had already recovered from it), thousands of pills, tests everyday and my goodness without hair! I have had long hair all my life so it was very traumatic to have it shaved because it was falling, streak by streak. Then you think: is it really me? I started to think about the films and that was when I cried, when I remembered the main character losing her hair. It's very difficult to see yourself like that. At the beginning, you start with bandanas because you don't want to see yourself "so ugly", but they are uncomfortable, so in the end you don't even use them. Finally, I needed 5 cycles of about one month each.
Now I am in complete remission, with revisions every three months, and I hope to continue like this. I would like to mention my family: my husband and children who have been the best with me, my 3 sisters who, despite living far away, have not left me alone at any moment, my nephews and nieces, my friends and, of course, you, Juanqui, for making everything so much easier. My plan is this: I WANT TO CONTINUE LIVING WITH ALL MY LOVED ONES!!! Warmest regards to everyone and I urge you to have lots of courage".
Lourdes during her stay in Hospital
Help people like Lourdes by becoming a member of the cure for leukaemia and haematological malignacies, HERE. You will help us to continue our research so that one day these diseases will be 100% curable. With only a little you can do so much. Thank you!
Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE