Reflections after the cancer
Nora Imrani Harrak
Diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma and leukemia.
Asociación Pulseras Candela (Spain)
Hello! I am Nora, I am 20 years old and I am one of the “Xipirons” of the eighth floor of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. I want you to know about my stay in the hospital. In late 2013, I was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Around that time, I wasn’t even aware of the existence of developmental tumors, I thought only older people could have cancer. It was then when the first round of chemotherapy began to reduce the tumor and then removing it.
During that time I met many people, my family and I were afraid, but this feeling came back as resilience and optimism, thanks to the health personnel and other families of “Xipirons”, who always supported us.
On April 25th, 2014 I was successfully operated, and today I have a beautiful scar that had 60 staples. I was subsequently subjected to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the meantime I was continuing to study, so not only did I not miss any school work, but this time also served me to get to know myself a little bit more, realizing that I wanted to be part of the health field, to be at the side of people who gave the best of themselves at all times.
Without those experiences, I would not be the person I am today and the truth is that I feel very proud of myself, of my family, of the people I’ve met and of the amazing amount of energy I feel towards life.
I always kept the two years of treatment in mind, but with another mentality, I was always doing solidarity activities like “Candela Bracelets”, maintaining contact with the circle of people I met in the hospital.
Emotionally, I went through many ups and downs, but always with more high points than low ones. Even so, many times I worried, cried, felt weighed down and tried to escape and get away from everything related to the hospital.
After the first experience, I had a summer to recover and start my last year of High School with more energy than ever. The rehabilitation was going so well that I began to train a sport called Calisthenics, to the point of discovering my passion, I trained a lot and my mood improved with it, always staying optimistic. So, when I didn’t have to study, I would go to practice.
Two and a half years later, I got a phone call. Something was not right. I was diagnosed with leukemia. At that moment, I started thinking. What will be the best solution? And the answer was very clear: to train in the hospital and continue with my goals. I wanted to squeeze the best out of the experience that was coming our way. So, after a successful bone marrow transplant, I did my last year of High School in five months from home. Little by little, my immune system was recovering, and here I am today, happy because I feel better than ever.
So, if you’ve come this far, I want you to tattoo in your philosophy of life the following message: EVERY EMOTIONAL BURDEN YOU ARE ENDURING AND WILL HAVE TO ENDURE, WILL BE CONDITIONED BY YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH. IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE EXPERIENCES YOU HAD TO EXPERIENCE, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE FORGED THE PERSON YOU ARE NOW. FEEL HAPPY. CONTROL YOUR IMPULSIVENESS AND THINK OF ALL THE GOOD THAT YOU DO HAVE AND HOW MUCH YOU CAN COME TO FEEL.
Feel happy. Control your impulsiveness and think of all the good that you do have and how much you can come to feel.
I’m here right now to share a bit more of myself, filled with happiness and motivation, it’s the most natural thing I feel to do, because the emotional burden that comes with enduring the situations that life brings us, is indescribable, therefore my essence is indescribable, this has forged me into the person I desired to be and I am the person that allows me to move forward, to continue to improve and grow.
Knowing how to deal with all the experiences that life offers us is directly proportional to the positive results we will obtain. Because you learn to love yourself and that’s when you also know how to love others.
Having said that, I would like to share the question that has made me reflect most on this whole process. Would I change my past to prevent the development of the two diseases? My answer at all times has been and still is an outright NO because, without those experiences, I would not be the person I am today. The truth is that I feel very proud of myself, of my family, of the people I’ve met and of the amazing amount of energy I feel towards life.
I take this opportunity to thank you for these minutes, and I sincerely hope that you will be as happy as I am. I also thank all the people associated with the CLOSER project who have allowed me to convey a little more of myself to other people.