Every third week the same old story goes on: I wake up quite early and leave for the blood test at ICO. The faces there slowly change but they have something in common: the people waiting there are 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years older than me. In the elevator, in the waiting room, or at the hospitalization floor… Very seldom you happen to meet people from your decade – not talking about your generation. Sometime ago, however, I had the pleasure to share the room with a boy who was younger than me. Eric was 25 years old and I believe he was my height, sort of, although of a thinner constitution. We started a conversation and soon we asked each other about our diseases’ names. His illness was also called Ewing. It was placed in the same part of the body but on the left side. His tumor was diagnosed by two biopsies: the first one by needle – completely useless- and the second one was chirurgical. In fact, his scar was barely 5-7 cm long, so both Nathália and I sadly recalled again the masterpiece made by Dr. Cherix on my leg. His tumor had also spread to the lung, as well as to other parts he didn’t want to mention – while ignoring this way my naive question. He was keeping an 18-month fight against the same thing as I do, and there were signs of tiredness in his face. We talked about our personal stories and about my mustache and rat-hair and about how much he missed his fringe. We exchanged phone numbers because never before I had met somebody having this type of rare sarcoma. Although being 7 years older, at that precise moment I felt like a little boy in school, very attentive to what the teacher had to say. But I swallowed my saliva and saved the rest of questions to the next time.
Unfortunately, I’ll never be able to make these questions… Last August 26, I received the sad news about his depart: his flame had extinguished for ever. I wish you all the best, Eric, wherever you are.
One realizes that the line separating life and death is sometimes so thin… You tend to relativize everything, to become more sensitive… When I think about how I felt some months ago, swimming in opiates, so close to that line… Without being able to see my reflexion in a mirror, yet seeing the heartbroken expression of all the people around me: my wife, my parents, my brother, my parents-in-law, my grandparents, my uncles and aunts, my cousins, my friends… I feel now the great need of thanking life for this second chance.
The next song was sung by Céline Dion in the tribute to the Beegees. I want to emphasize that both her husband and brother lost recently their fights against cancer, the same as one of the Gibb brothers – Beegees’ members. It is a song about what endures in this life and beyond, and that’s the reason why I’d like to dedicate it to all the people that have shared something with me and who have succumbed to this disease: Jordi’s cousin, María, Mr. Francisco, Luismi, Paco and Eric. R.I.P.
I make my journey through eternity
I keep the memory of you and me inside