Désirée Bernal has had bone marrow cancer for four years. She recently had her second relapse. Yet Bernal still makes the most out of every day and doesn’t let the disease stop her from tackling new challenges. Looking after a puppy and learning to play guitar are just two of the many things Désirée Bernal has actively and passionately integrated into her life with cancer.
How it all began
It started with radishes. Bernal was trying to take a bunch of radishes off the shelf when a debilitating pain struck her in the middle of her sternum. She only just made it to the supermarket checkout. An unlucky sprain, she thought to herself. But despite taking pain killers, the pain dragged on. Her GP sent her for an MRI. There was a gaping hole in her sternum, so a bone biopsy was ordered. The diagnosis: multiple myeloma, bone marrow cancer.
Life with cancer
Désirée Bernal has been living with this incurable form of bone marrow cancer for a good four years now. How has the disease changed her life? On the one hand, Bernal says she’s become a realist. But she also feels thankful every day for the people around her and the life she is able to lead.
The hope principle
Désirée Bernal realises that her chances of recovery are less than 100%, but she is not resigned to her fate. “I’m now at 50%, so that’s certainly better than zero!” she laughs.
I have developed a certain sense of calm that I didn’t have before the disease.