My name is Jessica and I am 24 years old. Truth is, I have been reading these testimonies for years, both before and after my sickness. During, it helped me be even more positive and strong, knowing that a lot of people won the battle against leukaemia, and now, once cured, I read them because it makes me happy every time somebody gets better for, in the end, we are all a big family. If there is anyone reading this like me, sick, cured or healthy, I have decided to tell my story for, although it isn't much different to others that you can find here, I think it can give hope to the people that are going through the same experience I had.
At the end of 2009, I wasn't feeling that well. In two months I had tonsillitis, sinusitis and, later, otitis, and I kept feeling very tired. On January 7th 2010, I went to the emergency room for I had cystitis with a haemorrhage and I also had bruises all over my body and petechiae. They took blood and urine analysis and as soon as they got the results they told me I had to be admitted because my platelets were very low. The next day they confirmed the worst news: Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia. Although it may sound weird, I knew it. I got in the car with my parents to go to the emergency room telling them "I have leukaemia". I am a biology student and we learn these things, and the signals were clear. Besides, our body is intelligent and it tells us when something isn't going well.
From that day, my life was reduced during 26 days to 4 walls, but very pretty walls, decorated with a huge poster that my friends had made and a collage made of paper roses made by my boyfriend and I even had my own TV. After that, I was admitted 3 more times (twice during 5 days and the other one during 3 days). I am not going to say that it was easy, but the truth is that, today, I don't have any horrible memory from those days.
On May 24th 2010 I was discharged and I came back home having finished my last cycle and with my defences back in place. From then on I started the maintenance phase, an easy life during a period of 2 years: I have to take a pill and a half every day, one shot a week and ATRA every 3 months. That is all.
Today, I have a very normal life, with no restrictions. I have 3 months to go until I finish the last maintenance phase and I can say that I have never been better. I have learned to live day by day, to enjoy those small moments that, most of the time, pass by without us realizing them but, truly, they are the best of all. I am very proud of my parents. I don't know how they managed but they were able to combine work with being by my side at the hospital. My parents and my boyfriend made turns to be in my room so that I would never be alone. THANK YOU, you are the best and nothing would have been the same without you! My family, always worried and giving me love from the other side of the phone. I feel so moved remembering how my uncles and cousins went to done blood so that I could have platelets. My friends, with only 20 years old, have made me feel the most special girl in the hospital, always sending me presents, cards, pictures, chocolate... My nurses from the 5th floor of haematology at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias and, of course, my doctors Concha and Rayon who not only have cured me, but have also filled me with joy and love.
To all of those who are fighting against leukaemia: be positive, fighters and brave. You can beat it. It is long and hard, but I promise you that once you beat it, it will make you much better people and much stronger. Maybe all of us who have been forced to go through this disease have been required to do so because we can beat it. Never ask yourself why it has happened to you, it just happens and you have to fight!
To finish, I would like to encourage everyone to become a bone marrow donor, I have been very lucky for I have not needed a transplant but there are few people as lucky as me and who do need one. Giving marrow is giving hope and life.
If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help people like Jessica (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 [email protected] 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.