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Eight phrases about cancer in the first person to reflect on life

“There is no valid recipe to face this bad time that sometimes makes us go through life”. It’s one of the phrases from the book’s prologue. ‘Cancer 360º’a volume with a Malaga seal that collects reflections, anecdotes and first-person experiences of patients, family members and doctors about this disease. The work is part of the self-publishing project Salud Collection -led from Malaga by the teacher and editorial advisor Marta García and the journalist Carlos Moncada- which has just been presented and which shows different realities and sensations around cancer, diabetes, celiac disease, cerebral palsy or the reality of highly sensitive people.

‘Cancer 360º’ brings together the testimonies from health personnel, athletes, anonymous people and other well-known people like the former gymnast Almudena del Cid or the singer Lamari de Chambao. A skin-deep journey – with a prologue by oncologist and professor at the University of Malaga Emilio Alba – about how the disease has changed their lives in one way or another and in which you can find phrases of improvement that invite you to see life from another prism. SUR collects some of them.

Anonymous people and well-known faces such as Lamari de Chambao, Almudena del Cid or the oncologist Emilio Alba participate in this work

1.“The family has a primary role because it is a dance that must be danced in company”, Aurora Rodríguez, sister of the singer Lamari and who becomes a witness to the meeting in a beachfront beach bar, in the neighborhood of El Palo, between Lamari and her doctor, Emilio Alba, some time after the artist’s recovery. An interview with two sides that is included in the book, in addition to Aurora’s own reflections on the hurricane that cancer represents for the entire family.

2. “When I found out about the diagnosis, death came to mind. The first word associated with cancer is death. It was the first cry, the first mental block. It is a very strange thing, as if you entered a freezer. Everything stops”, María del Mar Rodríguez (Lamari), artist from Malaga, breast cancer at 30 years old.

3. “There is nothing better than a sincere, calm, strong and protective hug to dwarf fear and fill you with energy.”. Of course, facing a disease like cancer is hard, precisely for this reason, we experience the gestures and emotions that make us feel good with intensity.” Martha Tejada, a teacher born in Colombia but settled in Madrid, who had to face the disease one of his three daughters, Nuria, a rhythmic gymnastics enthusiast who received the diagnosis when she was 14 years old.

4. “The happiness you feel when you learn to do something is greater the second time than the first”from the story ‘A story of recovery’, by Abel Martínez (Oviedo), diagnosed with a tumor in the cerebellum at the age of 28.

5. “The word osteosarcoma appeared in my life overnight, without time to react and with the match score ready to start. She became my eternal companion on a journey that undoubtedly made me understand what it was to suffer and what it was to fight to try to survive”, Álvaro del Río (Málaga), journalist and basketball coach.

6. “Sometimes in consultations we see patients looking at the monitor and forgetting how necessary it is to look into their eyes so that he feels like a person”, Anabel Heiniger, a hematologist specializing in childhood leukemia in Malaga, who tells in the book how they try to help families when they have to give them the bad news that their child is sick and how she is surprised every day with stories of overcoming, friendship and solidarity while experiencing treatment in the hospital.

7. “A roller coaster, full of unexpected turns that take you, without warning and with a jolt, to a hitherto unknown reality”This is how Pilar Ponferrada, social educator and manager of the Cesare Scariolo Foundation, defines the diagnosis of cancer in the life of a child and his family. Since the foundation, she says, we have experienced two sides of the same coin, with very hard moments, but at the same time, and as difficult as it may seem, very rewarding.

8. “Testimonies like these are the encouragement that encourages us to actively participate with all our strength in the herculean task of contributingeach in their own way, in which the disease becomes increasingly rare and increasingly controllable”, Emilio Alba, medical oncologist and professor at the University of Malaga.

9. “The objective of the collection was to show other perspectives of these diseases and personality traits and different stories of personal improvement when leaving the hospital”, indicates Marta García, who points out that this project also attempts to support associations that make a “titanic” effort to help those affected. In fact, the proceeds will go entirely to the Cesare Scariolo Foundation (Málaga), Malagueña Oncology Research Association AIOM (Málaga), Blas Méndez Ponce Foundation (Madrid), Galbán Association (Principality of Asturias), Malaga Celiac Association ACEMA, Association of People with Diabetes of Axarquía (Vélez-Málaga), Pausoka Elkartea (San Sebastián).

The project has had the collaboration of the University of Malaga, the Malaga City Council, CHIP Hospital, the Villanueva del Rosario City Council and CLAVE Azafatas, the Molina Lario hotel, Copicentro and Julià Central de Viajes have also contributed their support. In addition, it has a calendar of book-related talks. The next ones will be on April 4 at 5:00 p.m., ‘Simply PAS’, highly sensitive people, at the Faculty of Education Sciences of the UMA. On April 13, also at 5:00 p.m., Chiqui Sweet will talk about ‘A sweet never-ending story, diabetes’, at the Faculty of Health Sciences. And on April 18, at 4:30 p.m., ‘Cancer 360º’, at the Faculty of Communication Sciences.