Tribute to Mariana
The truth is that I'm not a person who tends to express their feeling and even less when it's about the illness that my mother suffered; she had multiple myeloma. Some days ago I read in the Carrera's Foundation web page about the advances in this illness. I smiled and cried at the same time, because my mom lost this battle 10 years ago. Not because of this would I want to take away your hopes (my mom wouldn't let me and I wouldn't either) because, as I have said, you have seen how many advances have taken place since then.
My mom was 49 years old when she was diagnosed, but I want to explain the joy and vitality with which she fought. Vitality is what she and I want you to have, those of you who are suffering right now because, for me, she was an example to follow.
In the year 2000 she started feeling bad. It took a while until they diagnosed her illness for it wasn't very common in a person her age. It was a struggle with the doctors so that they would run more tests until in August they gave us the diagnosis. Do you think she cried? No, she saw something positive in everything; she filled with strength and energy and said that we had to win this battle.
So we started her treatment. We already know what the effects are, and we thought that she wouldn't take it well when her hair began to fall. One day I was at home and my mom called from the hospital and told me that they had just shaved her hair. I tried to comfort her and told her that everything would be all right. She answered: "No, I'm just calling so that you bring the camera because I have put make up on and I look great, so I want you to take a picture". I had to run to the hospital because she wanted her picture taken. Actually, she looked very pretty, with her short her, her makeup, I had never seen her so pretty, sitting in the hospital bed with a huge smile posing for her picture. When they discharged her she went to buy hats and matching shoes. She dressed very elegantly, always with a suit and she wasn't going to stop just because she was sick; she loved it.
Every time she went to the hospital the nurses were waiting for her and she would always ask them if they had seen how pretty she looked that day, always laughing. At home she would always be doing things, she didn't want to stop just because she was ill, and so if she had to put the washing machine and couldn't bend down she would find a way because she said: I am alive and I am strong and no illness is going to change that.
For her family she was, and is, an example. Although it's been 10 years since she died, I want to tell all of you who suffer from this illness that you have to have her strength because in 10 years there have been many advances so that patients can have a better life quality.
At my sister's wedding she looked beautiful. She had relapsed but didn't say anything, because she had bought a dress and she had to go to her older daughter's wedding. A few days later she was admitted for her treatment, but she always went to the hospital very happy and said: I'm back at the hotel, because here you prepare my food and make my bed. Her doctors admired her and told her that she was an example for other patients. Despite her feet were swollen she wouldn't take off her heels, and every time she was admitted she would put on her make up.
In the hospital she would put make up on every morning and smiled although she had to go through tough treatment. She fought and fought for life. This is why I am writing this, so that those of you suffering have her strength and her joy because if she had it 12 years ago, when this illness was almost untreatable, you have to fight to overcome it. Think about what she did when they shaved her head, she always wanted to keep looking so pretty, jacket, skirt, hats, heels, purse...
Even when she had hair she kept wearing her hat because she liked how it looked on her, and she transmitted her joy to the whole hospital. She was huge and for me she still is, even though she left us 10 years ago. I know that she would like me to tell you what I am telling you right now: fight, laugh at the illness; energy, vitality and willingness to fight make 90% of the cure. I won't tell you that she never got depressed because I would be lying but she cried for a while and then told herself: what am I doing, this thing doesn't deserve me crying or my family seeing me sad.
There are a lot of things that I could tell you but what I want to reinforce is her joy and her strength. Be like her, don't be afraid and fight, because every time there is more medicines to overcome the illness. She lost her battle 10 years ago but right now, the prognosis is much better, and every time there are more bone marrow donors and we have to keep fighting so that every day there are more.
Thank you for fighting against myeloma, leukaemia, lymphoma... and a big hug for Pablo, Marijose, Yoli and Raul, who is a fighter and is great since his transplant and enjoys life like what he is, a child full of energy and vitality.
Chari (her daughter)