Visit to IDIBELL
On Monday January 16, due to the fact that the previous day I’d been discharged at ICO, Nathália and me could visit the facilities of IDIBELL in the “Duran y Reynals” building, in other words, I came back to ICO xD In the end one misses the corridors, elevators, etc.
All in all I don’t want to beat around the bush. I remind you that IDIBELL is the institute in charge of the research -among others- of Ewing’s sarcoma. There we were welcomed by Dr. Oscar Martinez, head of the sarcoma research group. And during almost two hours he showed us the labs, introduced his team, explained the progress made so far and we exchanged opinions. It was a very enriching visit and we learned a lot about my illness and cancer in general, about scientific methods, and about how difficult funding is for research in Spain. We could even see some cells of the “bug” at the microscope. They are the ones trying to make true little Alba Pérez’s dream: to find a drug to heal our diseases.
Solidary account ES40-2100-0638-66-0200191250
COLLABORATE (in Spanish): http://fundacionalbaperez.org/unete
It was about 1:30 pm on Thursday January 19 when the doorbell rang twice – like the way my uncle does every day, but just one hour earlier than him. I was sitting on the sofa while organizing some pictures when the door opened and I saw Gaël, Greg, Raph and Sara coming in. I was so astounded… My labmates from Neuchâtel (Switzerland) had appeared at my parents’ place, in Barcelona. It took a while to my brain to digest that, but I was so happy about it that it didn’t matter if my neurons had short-circuited.
We had lunch together and they updated me with the latest achievements at the lab, some pieces of gossip and they also talked about the time they hadn’t seen the sun -actually they didn’t see it here either-. They even mentioned that the temperature here was appropriate, since in Switzerland it was -15 ºC. Brrrr! What a pity to miss this Swiss winter, hahaha!
Later we played a board game I got by the Three Wise Men (Coup) and had a lots of fun. I guess that they enjoyed more than me, ’cause my father had put the bottle of orujo on the table and they almost drank it all 😛
At least good news! And not so good ones too…
On Monday January 23, day 68, I was given a shot at around 7 a.m. for the usual blood test I have every third week. Later I had an appointment with the doctor, which was delayed almost two hours. But it was worth it because right after sitting down, Dr. Martín told me the conclusions of the CT-scan I was made the previous week: almost all the lung metastases had disappeared but two, the biggest of them measuring just 4 mm. And the tumor component of soft parts around the ischium had been also reduced with respect to the images taken before starting chemotherapy. In brief, the treatment is working! However, with the passage of time I have learnt to avoid being overexcited when I get good news, as well as avoid being depressed with bad ones. All the suffering days are rewarding and this is only one step forward to healing. Together we are gonna overcome this obstacle. After hitting rock bottom in 2016, 2017 is gonna bring lots of news like this one.
On the other side, the blood test revealed that my neutrophil levels (white cops with golden star on the chest) were still very low, around 830 per uL, while the minimum value to get the chemotherapy is set at 1000 per uL. Therefore I had to wait another week again, but this was the least of my worries. Taking into account the other piece of news, waiting an extra week is not a big issue!
These last weeks I’ve got lots of supporting messages through the blog, Facebook, the foundation website, e-mail, WhatsApp or phone. I thank with all my heart to the people thinking of me, sending me their waves or praying for me daily. I get his energy from all over the world. I also thank my colleagues and friends in Switzerland who, despite the distance, have enormously helped us to solve our problems there -apartment, furniture, bureaucracy, insurances, etc.). To the doctors, nurses and assistants at ICO and Bellvitge’s hospital, a first class both professional and human team. It’s needless to say that those who got motivated with my posts and donated blood deserve a special mention. I hope that more people could overcome the fear to being given a shot! An last but not least, to those who have collaborated with the foundation. You must know that your two cents will brighten the future. A future where Ewing’s sarcoma is healed by taking a couple of pills during some weeks.