“Humor helped me beat cancer, even though people thought it was incompatible” – El Día de Gualeguaychú

Camila Mateo

Miranda Inti Cabrera, 21, was diagnosed with Hodkin’s lymphoma a year ago. However, symptoms appeared two years ago but due to a lack of information and incorrect medical explanations , causing her to not discover it until 2022.

“I remember during the pandemic, I had a little neck pain and swollen lymph nodes, and I didn’t take it too seriously because it was a normal pain for me. I was studying more than 12 hours a day in quarantine at the time hours, so I thought it was normal,” said Inti, who generously dared to share his experience with cancer.

Photo: Mauricio Rios

According to her, she won’t be diagnosed with a blood test until 2022, but she went to the doctor a year ago with neck discomfort.

“In 2020, I went to a doctor and they did a blood test and they told me it was mononucleosis and it would go away, it was an infection and the lymph nodes would shrink after two or three weeks. Fortunately with the epidemic I used to have blood tests done every year, so in 2021 when things started to normalize I had another test, and the doctor told me that my white blood cells were very high. Normal is 4,000 to 11,000, I had 22,000, which is a lot . This was a sign that my body was fighting something. That’s when I decided to tell her that I had a lump in my armpit and I will never forget the look on the doctor’s face. He told me that he was going to refer me to other specialists, It took three months of studying. Until the hematologist told me that the only thing he could do was to do a biopsy to find out what was wrong with me, I got the results back 15 days later and then there were other procedures to supplement the diagnosis like I At the stage it is, this is done through tomography,” Inti reports.

the word cancer

When doctors learned about the young woman from Gualeguaychu’s condition, they told her the disease’s official name: Hodkin’s lymphoma.

Before being diagnosed, Inti looked up the name online, but she didn’t know it was a type of lymphoma. In fact, she didn’t necessarily know, but when she dug deeper, she found out it was a type of lymphoma. Type of cancer. So when the doctor spoke to him with that word, he knew what it meant.

“I don’t think they were saying that to care for the person and I was shocked when they told me the treatment would probably be chemotherapy but the haematologist would decide that, but the doctor never mentioned it was about cancer and I didn’t I remember it so well because the moment of diagnosis was like something out of a movie,” he recalled.


He points out that this is a cancer that usually occurs in young people, although in the social imagination the disease is associated with adulthood or old age.

Inti is very critical of the way cancer is mentioned: “The media always talks about how someone is losing their battle with cancer, as if it’s down to the individual, and they hold you accountable, which changes the way people look at it.” Before my diagnosis, I didn’t appreciate the impact of words, but as I entered the world, I realized it. “

“The media should use real language and tell the truth of the matter. People always talk about struggle, chronic illness. Some things I don’t agree with are combat, and the metaphor of war that is often used, that of male and female warriors. At least. I don’t see it as a war, to me cancer is cancer and unfortunately we have no choice but to go through it. Some people see it as a war, which is still true, but I believe it Dividing patients into losers and winners seems cruel and inhumane to me.”

On the other hand, Inti is also referring to the toxic positivism that advises people to always feel good and that it is valid to feel bad when experiencing illness. “From the beginning, I wanted to always look good, and I also understood that we cannot avoid causing discomfort to our families and those who accompany us. I happened to be in treatment and I did not say that I felt bad. This is related to social issues and even to powerful people. The therapist showed himself. Later I understood that discomfort is not like an annoying YouTube ad that can be skipped, but that it must be experienced.”

Regarding the chemotherapy process, the 20-year-old said she didn’t know what it was until she had to undergo treatment, and that support from medical staff was crucial. In her experience in public health, she was never short of medication, and the nurses and therapists who accompanied her during treatment made everything more enjoyable.


“When you understand reality and you already know what to expect, you start to feel less fearful, and at least in my case, I learned about my body, how it responds to treatment, and there are a lot of limitations in oncology staff as well. , the same goes for patients. It’s so important to find a place of support and listening because there are some things you can’t discuss with your family or they may not understand you. So having those active listening spaces is reassuring and we understand going through cancer What does it feel like.”

humor as a tool

There is no right or wrong way to live through illness, and there is no right or wrong way to be a cancer patient. For Inti Cabrera, humor was a very important outlet for getting through cancer.

“This is why cancer and humor are socially incompatible. In fact, people are afraid to even joke and are careful not to name names or use euphemisms even when talking about cancer. Humor is also a defense mechanism and has helped me a lot .In fact, there are many cancer meme pages through which I met other patients, also from Twitter and Tik Tok. At first I felt bad because I thought it was wrong to joke about cancer, until I found out that it is normal , and many patients experience it with humor.


Currently, Inti is in disease-free remission and to solidify this status, he is awaiting a bone marrow transplant, which in his case will be performed using his own cells, a so-called autologous transplant.

Ultimately, Inti hopes the narrative and language used to refer to cancer will begin to change and we will increasingly be able to associate it with curability and survival. Because yes, it’s possible to die from cancer, but it’s also possible to be cured.

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