Adriana met cancer when she was 14 years old and was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumor that threatened to take her life. But after a year and a half of treatment, not only did he survive, but now, 34 years later, he helps other patients to face this disease which, he says, is not synonymous with death.
“When they say the word cancer you think you’re going to die, but for me cancer was a gift of life, it taught me to see it differently,” the now psycho-oncologist says to Efe.
Those who have suffered some type of cancer and have managed to survive more than five years, say that the ravages left by the disease range from a lack of self-esteem to economic difficulties, but the only way to get ahead is the attitude.
Adriana Blázquez says that the doctors assured her that she would not survive but she decided not to give up and when she overcame the cancer, they predicted that she could not have children.
“Now I even have a granddaughter,” he says.
But, he insists, it would not have been possible if he had not had a positive attitude towards the disease.
“The attitude is important, I tell my patients, smile at cancer, it is a strong disease that does involve a lot of pain and sometimes suffering, but it also teaches you to value,” he says.
Ximena Felipe Ortega had breast cancer seven years ago. She agrees with Adriana in seeing that the disease is a life opportunity and the only way to overcome cancer, however, accepts that surviving this condition is complicated.
“Many times we are afraid, scared because we get sick, we feel tired, but we have to get out of this quickly and return to normal life,” he explained.
Ximena recalls that, at first, her biggest challenge was to recover her self-esteem.
“When they did the reconstruction, you know you’re not going to be the person you were, but you should not focus on that. Cancer leaves us many scars, wounds, but they are wounds of war, “he says.
Felipe Ortega, who is a clinical biologist and professor at the University of Sonora, explains that although her cancer was detected at the initial stage, it was with poorly trained doctors and received “inadequate” treatment, which led to the rapid progression of the disease to stage three.
«I learned that we have to act fast. Cancer patients have to be aware that something can happen, but be without fear, “he warns.
Blázquez says that one of the biggest problems facing cancer survivors is the lack of information about emotional help.
«Emotions nobody treats them. Almost no hospital has piscooncologists and there are emotional things in which nobody can help you, “he laments.
In the same way, he assures that cancer patients and those who surpass them “need to be listened to, to explain them in a normal way, not in medical terms, that someone approaches, it is a difficult disease, but it does not always lead to death”.
Surviving cancer, both coincided, is a complicated path, however, in the case of Ximena Felipe, Thanatology was a great ally.
«I went with a theatologist and it helped me a lot. When they tell you cancer you think you’re going to die, you can not do anything because fear paralyzes you, you need the support of your family members, but the theatologist helps you to focus, “he admits.
Blázquez reiterates that cancer changes life, but the most important thing is to see everything in a positive way. “We are still alive, attitude is important and seeing the disease in a positive way,” he concludes.