My name is Candela, I’m 24 years old and I live in Buenos Aires. I am currently studying to be a lawyer, and this is my story of love and self-improvement.
Bryan is my boyfriend, and we were both diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2017, which is cancer in the lymphatic system. I had just started university when I was diagnosed and at that moment, I just felt my world fall apart.
Bryan and I were being treated in the same hospital, but we didn't know each other. We were just finishing chemo when a friend that I had made there added me to a WhatsApp group of young patients just to chat. I was skeptical about joining the group at first but agreed. In a matter of days, Bryan and I realized we were really the only two chatting in the group- sometimes until 4 am in the morning. So, he insisted on meeting, but I was hesitant (since I didn't feel pretty or in the best shape after chemo). This made me realize that our lives are too short to overthink every decision, and in addition to that, he made me feel great and special, so I thought “why not?” and finally I agreed to meet.
After seeing each other we fell in love at first sight and haven't separated since. We helped each other get through some of the hardest moments of our lives together and couldn't be happier to have each other to lean on.
In March 2018, Bryans's tests came back perfect and he was officially cancer-free. We thought mine was okay also, but the doctor wanted to repeat my testing after another 3 months. Unfortunately, I did have a relapse. However, this time around dealing with cancer was much different because I had Bryan by my side and he understood me like nobody else. I had to go through three different chemo treatments. I also had to have an autologous stem-cell transplant, which was especially difficult because it meant no hugs or kisses from anybody for over a month to avoid infection.
As a result, Bryan and I would wear gloves and hold hands in the hospital bed while falling asleep. Finally, the transplant was successful and we could start enjoying our lives together in a different way. During our stay at the hospital, to help us get through it, we would visualize ourselves traveling and being at the beach together. In 2020 (before COVID appeared) we did just that and life has never been sweeter. Bryan and I have such a deep appreciation for every day we are healthy and for the unconditional love we share. We’ve been happily together for more than four years now and remain cancer-free.
I wanted to share my story, not only because even in the darkest moment I found my soulmate but also because I wouldn’t change anything that happened as every step counts: the small and almost imperceptible ones and those that are full of tiredness. Those we give even if we don't want to and those that seem unnecessary. Those that show us obstacles, those that imply challenging us. And especially those who, looking back, teaches us that each one was worth it.
To learn more, click on the tags below: