Xavier and Dolors
I am Xavier. I am 40 years old and almost three years ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia just when my father-in-law was hospitalized for his first cycle of chemotherapy to treat an Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The blow was really hard.
In all the time that has passed since then, the way I see many things has changed.
Some weeks ago, my treatment had to be changed and... well, after a small ‘depression' you have to stand up again. For now, it looks fine, and I hope everything will continue the same. I feel privileged because I am obtaining good results. I want my life to continue the same way as it has up to now. I want to continue enjoying my family and friends as well as my hobbies.
I know people with relatives submerged in oncology treatments more severe than mine and I always tell them to have faith and hope in the doctors and in the new drugs that have been appearing in the last few years.
We have to be strong and continue looking forward, surpass the moments of uncertainty and discouragement in order to continue enjoying life with your loved ones.
Dolors and Xavier, with their son
I would like to explain to you the fortune I have enjoyed by gaining two years of my life with my father thanks to a female donor and the transplant that he received. Two long years; throughout which I have got to know him more, and have had more of a relationship with him than during the rest of my life. I must say that, even though it hurts a lot, I know that time will help.
I say 'fortunate' in my husband's case too because DESPITE the fact that he has leukemia, we are 'lucky' that it is Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. Even though his medication has failed after two years, we are still, if I may say so again, 'lucky' to have two more available treatments.
The first to receive the diagnosis was my father, when he was 56 years old. It took only three months for his Myelodisplastic Syndrome to become Acute Myeloid Leukemia and we needed a donor. He was going to be hospitalized for the first cycle of chemotherapy and all of us went to donate blood when we were told that my husband (37 years old at the time) had CML.
The first weeks were very complicated. I thought that I wasn't going to cope with everything. The side effects of my husband's treatment were severe during the first three months, as was the anxiety of waiting for my father's donor, along with the chemotherapy and everything else, the situation became very difficult.
Thanks to REDMO (Bone Marrow Donor's Registry, directed by the José Carreras Foundation) a German donor appeared after a 5 month search and after a further months wait, the transplant was carried out.
The transplant went well, my father only had to be hospitalized twice in the following three months and my husband's treatment controlled the CML.
We were able, not without great effort, to go back to 'normal', to ‘that' routine we always complained about and which we missed so much when we are submerged in treatments, tests, and waiting rooms...
That routine was split in two when, three months ago, my father died after a very aggressive transplant rejection which had no possible control and, as if we were talking about a horror film, my husband's treatment also started to fail.
But it is necessary to carry on, there is nothing elso you can do.
A huge thanks to the wonderful forum of the Foundation; if it hadn't been for that I think I wouldn't have been able to deal with everything. It has been vital for me to be able to count on someone, to tell someone what was going on and for to someone understand.
Thanks to the kindness of Dr. Enric Carreras, who always responded to my consultations.
My future plans? Try hard to enjoy all the good things that life offers me, try to continue to be strong and try hard not to stop being optimistic. Work, enjoy my family, my friends, my husband and my son, knowing that my father, wherever he is, is always by my side. And, of course, if with my testimony, I can help someone feel a little bit better, well 'chapeau' (perfect).
You are all an important part of my life.
Thank you for the work you do.