You can see the sky from the balcony of Nieves. An intense blue sky. And you can smell the Mediterranean Sea which comes and goes at its own pace, sometimes slower, sometimes faster. Nieves wanted to see that blue sky and smell the salt water when she died and so, howthey gave him definite sentence, which cannot be appealed and unappealable, and set a date for the end of their days, she and her husband packed their bags and moved to Torremolinos, the capital of Málaga, from the central and boisterous apartments in which They have lived all these years, in bright and quiet apartments where they have found their perfect shelter. And for all the blue sky, because Neeves doesn’t see the blue sky.
In a blue-view shelter, Nieves spends what will be her final weeks, her final months or – who knows – her final year with Jose Manuel, the same person she’s been with. 50 years sharing their days, and with whom he also wishes to share his special journey towards death. And with his three daughters, whom he has sent to the beach to offer him his special vision of the end of the Chronicle, a vision free from drama and which at first denies mourning, he says, he received Is.
She is fed up, she says with humor that she has not lost from the visits of mourning. I’m going to end them, he declares with the certainty of someone who, he says, no longer pays attention to appearances because everything is more real now.
He knows that this invisible enemy that his body has created against his will and with betrayal It moves forward, somewhat slower than thought, but does not take a single step back. But, despite this, he has decided to live till the last day. Until the day when there is no tomorrow, because she says reassuringly, I want to see I die, to be aware.
The story written by Nieves Robaldo, 68, suffering from cancer, is what will be written this year four out of ten women who are being diagnosed with tumours. According to the calculations of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), there will be 120,035 in total and about 40% of them will hear the same words that came from their doctor’s mouth a few months ago, and it is written in their memory, that whatever their He grows up inwardly, he has no rival, and loses the battle.
Same forecast, included in the report Cancer statistics 2022 in Spain, also reaches men, with even more fatalities, over 160,000. And more or less four out of ten won’t last more than five years.
The last time she went to her doctor’s office, Nieves asked her, bluntly, how much time she had left. Seven, eight months, I answered, and it’s already nearly half, She remembers it today, sitting on the white sofa, which contrasts even more with the blue one that can be seen from her ceiling, without a hint of drama, with the calmness of someone who has accepted her fate. have taken.
He speaks confidently and, almost non-stop, does so in a torrent of words that is difficult to summarize in 1,698 of this report. But in the midst of so many words that her husband would intercede from time to time so that the conversation would not go astray, life About a woman who hasn’t lost her optimism, and who reassures that there are days when I can’t remember being sick. Not many, but there are, as the days go by, and these are few more, in which he says that he is happy.
“You can be happy and I am”
I am happy at times, you can be happy and I am, she says bluntly, while Jose Manuel, always by his side, nods, although he finds it difficult to suppress his feelings. tears flow Who threatens to overflow his glasses and mandatory mask if there is a stranger at home. It must have something to do with not being afraid of death, which for Nieves is simply an absence here.
She wakes up every day and has breakfast that her devoted husband prepares for her. I won’t let him do anything, he says. And together, as they have been doing for the past half a century, they take walks and enjoy the little moments. glad, Nieves gives as an example, that his grandson Matteo when he visits him, and tries to scare him, He laughs a lot, Dadi says, laughs a lot.
Adolfo has little to do with Nieves, but at the same time, a lot. Somewhat, if not all, of Adolfo’s life resembles that of Nieves. But, at the same time, in their lives Equality They are not small. Or rather, the end of his life.
Adolfo Bermadez, 64, also runs last sip, The cancer of the rectum that appeared to him one day and overthrew his self-perceived immortality, engulfed him no more than six months after two and a half years, waving Damocles’ sword inside his body and threatening to fall, at any time, of chess. In the middle of a game that you really like.
He knows he’s about to lose the game, as he plays on a black and white board, but Adolfo can’t stop laughing.
He laughs at the disease that took him immortality, he laughs like a bulldozer at the chemotherapy festivities that have gone on him, and he laughs at the death that haunts him. Death? I’ll leave when he arrives, he says, laughing, on the tiny terrace of Benalmadena’s tiny apartment, where he lives with his partner Teresa and their dog, Misha.
His special refuge, as Nieves found, is near the Mediterraneanto which he felt the need to return when the famous sword made by Cicero in his tusculana controversy She stayed to live permanently with him, with her partner, and with her dog.
no one will think that adolfo doesn’t have reason to laugh, One day, a little less than three years old, he began to feel in his stomach, and what he had previously disregarded turned into an untamed animal that reached his liver and condemned him to the terrible colostomy. The stock market or life, and I said the stock market and life matters.
He doesn’t know Nieves, but like him, he’s taken the opposite path of despair, and had two choices: oh my god, why did I like this story, or best this story, he chose the second one, and confirm. The best I do is that I will teach them how to die, so that the fear of death is removed from those around them. Above all else for his four children and his five grandchildren, who, in the absence of material inheritance, since Adolfo does not have the will and conviction, he will inherit.
Drowning was not an option, neither is the fear of death. Above all, because looking back, this strange character leaned break plans, for him to say only that he has more than he deserved and he concludes, is sufficient. More than enough, that’s a lot.
With a backpack like this, I limit myself to living without trying to be happy or not, sums up Adolfo, who plane For what is left and for later. Of course, it couldn’t have been any other way, he doesn’t want burial or tears, and he has given precise instructions as to what the last party should be in his honor, with a picture of him presiding over an altar, which he does without anything. Says shows up on Teresa’s cell phone. Stop laughing, and in which he is seen higa.
plans for the day after
It’s not that Adolfo never cries. the same day in which he talks with the Chronicle small terrace From his little shelter, he has made his usual walk to the esplanade of Benalmadena railway station, and has, as usual, sat down on the fourth bench and cried. But with joy, they say, inaccessible to any sign of despair.
Well Nieves also has plans. Detailed and neat like the protagonist of the series after lifehas instructed her husband how new partner that he wants me to search without delay. Not only that, but, in addition, she has already distributed some of the jewelry she had and the paintings she had been painting for her life.
Nieves and Adolfo, Adolfo and Nieves, share not only the passion of life that escapes them between the fingers And those who live intensely. They are lucky – they say so – that at the end of this stage they have come across people, professionals whose mission is with terminally ill patients, to meet not only their medical needs, but also the most personal needs. We do. family..
a little over 30 years ago, joan hunt She lost her husband to cancer while they were both in the Costa del Sol. She never complained about medical treatment, but she lacked humanity, empathy and expertise and now a widow, she returned to her country with an idea.
Shortly after, he returned to Málaga and with the money raised from his friends and family, he founded a Hospice who had a fetus Fundacin KudekaA non-governmental organization specializing in palliative care for patients with cancer and other incurable diseases, providing emotional, social and spiritual support to them.
Nieves says that foundation has been a handle for her at a time when she had no place to stop. And Jose Manuel gets emotional again when his wife insists that he is happy because life is not over until the end and if you can see the blue sky from your balcony, what more can you ask for.. .
hospital that doesn’t look like a hospital
The hospital of the Cudeca Foundation in Benalmadena, in the center of Malaga’s Costa del Sol, looks alike summer residence Or a hotel than a health centre. Perched on a hill, the NGO’s operations centre, which began in 1992 at the initiative of British Joan Hunt, and is now sponsored by Antonio Banderas, consists of a day unit, in addition to rooms with a terrace and garden access. And rehabilitation – now put off by Covid – one psycho-social care programme, second to support and advice and outside counselling.
What it has to offer, says Qudeca’s manager, Dr. Marisa Marten living standard Until the last moment and, he says, many things can be done to control symptoms and maintain quality of life. Because, remember, as the founder of Kudeka said, the person is more important than the disease.
Since it opened its doors, this unit has served 17,000 seriously ill, with whom he has been together at the end of his life. In 2021 alone, its professionals have provided medical and social support to 1,700 patients with cancer and other advanced diseases, all free of charge thanks to donations.
according to the norms of