Brunella. Italy

All stories

My name is Brunella, I am 51 and have 3 teenagers.

Everything was going well in my life until the end of 2012 when I discovered I had a lymphoma, which is a tumor of the lymph nodes. It was diagnosed very early, and I had to undergo both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Apart from the initial shock of absorbing this new reality, I dealt with the illness with the same smile and energy I put into everything I do. There were moments when the pain was intense and I shed many tears due to this situation, but I was soon able to react and focus on the Easter trip I had already organized with my family. We made the trip in between my therapy cycles and finished in March 2013. The therapies worked and the tumor disappeared. I was so happy and spent my summer vacation relaxing and recovering. My life was back as usual.

In May 2014, after a normal breast ultrasound exam, the doctors found a breast tumor and after a surgery to remove it in June 2014 (fortunately it was also diagnosed very early) had to do another radiotherapy cycle. This was really unexpected and as a result my moral was at an all-time low, but again, I had the energy to react and see that my situation was even better than a lot of other people I was meeting at the hospital. Again nothing stopped enjoying the journeys I had planned with my family in between the therapy, even though the therapy cycle was much longer than before.

At the end of 2014 I finished radiotherapy and a routine body scan exam highlighted a new lymphoma.

At this time I was disappointed with the entire world, even if I never said “why me and not others?”

I have always thought that my life was giving me a lot of success in family, work and our economic situation, so when in 2012 doctor told me about the tumor, I took it as part of my life too. This is why I wanted to manage and not suffer from it.

In 2015 I was in a lot of pain and my body did not have the energy I wanted, however my morale remained high, which was without a doubt the best medicine for this situation. Remaining positive and not withdrawing into myself helped me a lot.  Before starting chemotherapy, I donated a Stem Cell sample. They are now frozen and kept in the hospital in case I’ll ever need them injected if the lymphoma comes back. Chemotherapy took longer this time as my body had low blood exam parameters and as a result could not do it every 20 days. Even in this case the therapy worked and the tumor has disappeared.

I am feeling good, under the radar of quarterly body check, but my everyday life is not dominated by thinking about the tumor.

It is a long story, but something I wanted to share you. Key drivers for my healing were and actually are: my family, my job, my manager, my co-workers, my friends.

Without all of them together I could not so easily managed the time to recover and fight the tumor, but I also helped them to understand that people with tumors should not be treated as “ill”, but as normal people going through a temporary period of treatment.

Life is one and always good to leave it entirely any moment.