On the occasion of being held today, March 26, the World Day for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer.
Las Tunas, Cuba.- When they told her, she felt a strange chill, as a preamble that there, between green walls and the smell of iodine, she was beginning the rest of her life. She was only 27 years old and watched every second of her existence go by like an old movie.
Since then she did not make any long-term plans. Even her friends were not welcome, because in front of them the smile was a wince of pain and it was better not to allow excesses.
The following days only got worse. Suddenly, the world was jumping, not turning, and the prying eyes were knives under her skin. Every detail was public, people knew dates, times, forecasts. People she never saw came out of nowhere to make more space in the hole that her head had become. Many assured that hers was a terminal disease, or worse, that she could never have children.
Eva remembers how it started, and e television spot that would inadvertently alert her. Until then, her legs only hurt from time to time, but she thought it was a consequence of her very high shoes and walking from here to there. With less than three decades, anyone feels immortal, diseases and hospitals are generational evils, or so she believed.
A hunch led to a cytology test. In seconds she knew that something was wrong, the nurse's face, beyond her legs, warned her of the anomaly. A month later she was diagnosed with a carcinoma in situ, which ended up ripping out all the subtleties with which she ever looked at life.
Her desperation made her devour all the information she found about it on the Internet. From then on there came difficult moments that desperate people oversizes; today, she knows that instead of inventing a bit of optimism, or even clinging to God as some do, she only separated herself from the world and came to think that it was a kind of punishment for so much pride.
In the next few months, she learned by force how to breathe again, without resentment with others, because no one is responsible for the pain of others, although in those cases one only opens her eyes to find those guilty. Some issues mark the existence, only when you are at the limit do you discover what is or is not really important. And appearances no longer count, material things are erased. You never come back from these experiences empty-handed.
After a couple of surgeries, a lot of fear, a year of voluntary isolation, and the incredible hands of the gynecologist Ramón González, every bit of hers, also the most ephemeral, those that are hidden inside her soul, were healed. She received what is called a second chance. And beyond the paths of devotion, she tried, in her own way, to deserve such a gift.
Today she is more or less a woman like any other. Somehow, her life made up for her and she found "a way back home;" while a wild little head crawls through her arms. She confesses that she is still afraid because the danger that the disease will return is not entirely out of the question.
Every once in a while the same spot that saved Eva is shown on television. There will be young girls for whom it goes unnoticed; others, instead, will remember her scars. Hopefully, it is not the omen of a sad prognosis but rather an alarm to preserve life.
It's #CervicalCancerAwarenessMonth: more than 600,000 women were diagnosed with #cervicalcancer in 2020 & over 340,000 women died from the disease.— Global Cancer Observatory (GCO) (@GLOBOCAN_GCO) January 5, 2021
A stark reminder of why we need the @WHO Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer! https://t.co/WoJZrBhrqJ pic.twitter.com/IwyOyJobpa