"My name is Maria Curiel Bayan and when I was 25 years old my dreams vanished when they told me: "You can't go home, you're being admitted". It all started with a small bump in my neck. I went to the doctor and he told me it wasn't important, that is was just a node. It started to grow but nothing; they told me it was a muscle contracture. Apart from that, I was coughing a lot, despite I had never smoked, and I was losing a lot of weight (I loss about 10kg. in just a week), but nonetheless, I still kept working for they told me it was a poorly cured cold and stress.
In my house they sent me again to the doctor. They ran some allergy tests for the cough but nothing. The allergist told me they were going to take an X-ray of my chest, an echography and an analytic. While they were doing the X-ray I remember the nurses running back and forth and asking if I was running a fever. In that moment I got very nervous. They called my mother, who was waiting for me outside; while I kept sobbing and telling her I had cancer. The doctor told my mother that there was something and they had to repeat the tests. My mom told me not to worry and that the tests were sometimes wrong. Nonetheless, she fell apart when she called her boyfriend and my siblings.
The diagnosis finally arrived: Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It all went really fast: the admission, the analytics, the TAC, the PEC, the chemos, the bone marrow punctures... It all happened during 16 days. The treatment was 12 chemotherapy sessions and 20 radiotherapy sessions. The oncologist told me not to worry, that I wouldn't have complications, but that I had to chop off my long hair. I did, I got a haircut, but luckily my hair didn't fall off.
I don't know from where I got my strength but I got to my chemotherapy sessions with my cell phone in my hand to meet up with my friends. I invited my friends to a country house and I enjoyed it a lot, as if it was the last thing I was ever going to do. My mother begged me to stop and rest a little haha.
Today it's almost been 5 years since all of this happened and I feel great. I want to thank my family because without them I wouldn't have been capable: my nieces, who have given me strength, the "chatis", Rosa and Rosana... I thank them all. I am still in complete remission and I attend my regular check-ups every 6 to 8 months approximately.
Kind regards to all of the fighters!"