Testimonial by Agathe CHANUDET :
If you have pain (stomach, head, back …), that can make you wake up tired every day. Pain is draining. If you go to bed saying to yourself “it will be better tomorrow” … You are fooling yourself. Typically the pain doesn’t do away, it last for days, weeks and months. If this describes your personal situation, I invite you to continue reading. I too suffered continuous pain.
I have long lived with the belief that life is synonymous with bondage. So, I was a nice girl, and as long as I stood up, I went to school, then to work …
I am a professional animator. I worked in schools, leisure centers, campsites… With children aged 3 to 18 years. This profession was a compromise to “earn my living honorably” and to express my artistic passion. What I emotionally felt deep inside. My heart always cried out to me “SING!” and my head was telling me “Don’t dream! This is not how you are going to succeed in life!”.
So, I lived precariously.
In February 2017, I started training to become a project coordinator (still in the field of animation). It’s a BAC + 2 level diploma. I hoped people would be proud of me and my rigorous work ethic.
All winter 2017 I was sick … Bronchitis … Pneumonia … I had big bruises, all over my body, as if I was beaten … For no rational reason … I hadn’t fallen …But I didn’t worry, I continued my training.
However, when I lost a lot of blood going to the toilet, I started to worry. It was in March 2018, I went to see a gynecologist. He thought of a hormonal imbalance and advised me to change the pill. But to check that I had no problem with blood clotting, he prescribed a blood test … Just in case!
It turned out that my bone marrow was depleted : no more white blood cells, no more red blood cells, no more platelets … I had a Myelosuppression Idiopathic. An autoimmune disease that has the same symptoms as leukemia. On June 21, 2019, I had a bone marrow transplant, and now I am in good health. I no longer have any treatment. Total remission.
My name is Agathe, I am almost 30 years old … And I am the queen of somatization!
Just before last Christmas (2020), I had shingles. It is the chickenpox virus which reactivates … With unbearable neuropathic pain!
This is a very common complication in people with allografts. But it’s funny that it happened before Christmas. When I was dreading seeing X… And I was angry with him, after all, he hadn’t come to see me once in the hospital when I had asked for him. He knew my life was on the line. A bone marrow transplant was the way to save me. But success was not guaranteed. It involved chemotherapy, radiation, needed to empty my bone marrow. And my body could reject the new cells … (Fortunately, everything went well … Deep down I knew I would live.)
I received antiviral treatment, which required hospitalization for 10 days. I almost celebrated Christmas at the hospital! During this hospital stay, my neuropathies were increasingly painful and morphine was not effective. I ended up asking to see a psychiatrist, and just as I addressed my request to a nurse, my pain subsided.
That psychiatrist advised me to do neurocognitive and behavioral therapy. I did find a psychiatrist who practices this therapy and I meet her at the end of the month … I can’t wait!
Today I listen to my body. Today I live for myself, not for the others. Today I sing and I finally dare to dream of becoming a professional singer.
I am living my second life and I intend to make the most of it!
Dear reader, please take care of yourself … And enjoy life !