Tribute to Lucía (Available in Spanish)
Lucía, the best mom in the world. She didn't beat leukaemia. She will always be in our life, soul and heart.
"Today and, after more than four years since my mother passed away, I am still not capable of looking at the pictures without dropping some tears. Nonetheless, I have decided to write my experience, for a good cause. It is important to tell the world that, what happens to others, can also happen to you.
Also, that without the solidarity of people and foundations like the one of José Carreras, a lot of people will keep dying. To give an example, in some cases, a simple blood donation extracted through apheresis in 3 or 4 hours can help save the life of a leukaemia patient.
Here you can see her at my sister's wedding, before getting ill, with my dad, who also left us some months ago due to lung cancer.
At first, the diagnosis wasn't clear. She started feeling bad progressively. She was tired, her legs were sore, she lost her appetite, had fever and her blood tests weren't right. In the first bone marrow biopsy nothing was clear. It was in the second one when they found out what she really had. My dad called my job to tell me. I will never forget that moment. He couldn't even vocalize. I was at my office and I almost passed out.
The haematologist diagnosed her with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a type of blood cancer. Her only cure was a bone marrow transplant, but because they didn't find a compatible donor in the family, they did an autologous transplant. She wasn't able to beat the illness. For me it was a very hard blow, probably the worst in my life. Nonetheless, she accepted it with a lot of strength and courage, worth admiring. She never lost her smile or her will to fight.
Last month was my birthday and she will never be able to sing happy birthday to me. It is a shame that she isn't here so that I can hug her, kiss her and give back all of the love and care she always gave me.
My mom, Lucía, and her granddaughter María (my niece)
I remember clearly the day she left us. If I have learned something it's that, unfortunately, it's an illness that appears without warning. Life ends for all of us. Therefore, we have to take care of our health because it's the most important thing, although we are sometimes unaware of it.
Now I feel the need to THANK all of the people at the hospital (patients, doctors, nurses, etc.) all of the care, time and help they gave us when we needed it. You don't always know how to transmit it or demonstrate it and, although you say THANK YOU again and again, you always feel that what you do isn't enough to show your gratitude.
Because saying thank you is remembering and corresponding with love something that you have received, I just hope I am helping and corresponding with my small contribution to the José Carreras Foundation, to some person who stood by my side when I needed it and to all of the people who are or will be going through this illness. My mother was admitted in a hospital in Madrid for years, but the Foundation gave us moral support, answered to our questions and encouraged us not to lose hope. I collaborate with them now and I feel happy to know I am helping finance scientific research projects so that one day leukaemia can be cured.
Kind regards to those of you who are going through this tough illness. I have a cousin with lymphoma and I want to send her a huge hug and all my support. When you have suffered a lot in life, you start appreciating much more what you have and you learn to live every minute as if it were the last.
I have gone through phases of denial, scepticism, resentment, rage, fear and resignation. Now I am calm but I miss my parents a lot. Sometimes I like to think that I am living a dream and that, when I wake up, everything will be like before. To those of you who are lucky enough to still have your parents with you, try to enjoy them as much as possible and demonstrate your love, care and respect every day. When they leave us, the emptiness they leave is so big that it cannot be filled with anything.
Kisses to all of the patients, ex-patients, family, friends and medical staff."