It has been a very hard decision to bring myself to write this testimony because these are delicate topics and I want to be very cautious while writing about them. I think that, in general, the least known bone marrow cancer is multiple myeloma. I don't know why, but everyone is surprised when I tell them about what I have been through. Firstly, I want to say that, although I had a very bad prognosis, I have been very lucky considering what this cancer I have been forced to live with is. I knew from the first moment that it was incurable. My first question was if it was at least treatable.
Two years ago, when I was 45 years old, I was diagnosed with MM (IgG Kappa, Bence Jones positive, State IIIA, ISS1), with a 6 x7 cm. frontal plasmocytoma. Well... those of you who know about this topic don't need further explanations. After chemotherapy, radiotherapy for the frontal plasmocytoma (I had a tumour the size of a tennis ball in my head), and a haematopoietic transplant (my siblings were incompatible with me) here I am. I am learning to live with cancer. Today I am in complete remission, something that was totally unimaginable at the start.
Because myeloma is a type of cancer that usually appears in older people, I believe it is interesting, for those of you who, like me, are more or less young, to see my smiley face today. It is very hard but we have some amazing doctors in Social Security, who I will never be able to thank enough for everything they have done for me. If I am here it is thanks to them. On the other hand, without my family and friends I would have never made it. Even so, I want to be very cautious and I wouldn't want to place fake hopes on anyone, for I have learnt that every person is unique and what is good for someone may not be for another.
I have been very fortunate, but it is also true that I received very good advice. The main one, during the treatment, was the advice of a very good friend of mine from childhood, who happens to be a doctor: live day by day without thinking about anything else. It was very hard to follow his advice, for I have two children and it is horrible to have a sick mum, a mum who was completely essential. To think that you can pass away and leave so much behind, your children... it makes me emotional. I don't know how I fought but my body joined with me and helped me.
My life has changed drastically; I got off a high-speed train and caught a slower one. I am very scared but I know I am in very good hands, and if my body keeps helping me, I will not stop smiling until the end.
I have also wanted to share some photographs: they are the before and after, with the plasmocytoma, with the radiotherapy and with the cranioplasty scar. If I can help people with this, to tell them that these things happen and that there are people who are worse, I will feel satisfied.
Warm regards for those of you who know cancer.
If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help people like Teresa (and many other 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.