Dolores Romero Carmona is known at the Ricardo Fisas Natura Bissé Foundation as Loli. About two months ago, this volunteer with kindly and firm voice has a continuous collaboration: she coordinates the treatment agenda at the Santa Creu i Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona and at the Mutua of Terrassa. With this interview, we want that voluntary beauticians and beneficiaries of our treatments can better know this fiery woman with an inexhaustible smile.
How did you know about the oncological aesthetics program of the Ricardo Fisas Natura Bissé Foundation?
It was about six years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through Oncolliga Terrassa, I was referred to by Ana Vilamanyà, technical adviser to the oncology aesthetics program of the Foundation. I was very happy to meet her again: I had known her personally for a long time, because I was her student when I studied to be a beautician.
What treatment did you do?
I burned with radiation therapy and thought it was normal. My doctor went on vacation and I was diagnosed with first-degree burns to the skin. I called Ana and she put a cream on me for the blisters. Then she would call me to ask how I was doing and if I needed anything else. I highly appreciate the human treatment of the Foundation: that they call me and ask me how I am.
How did the oncology aesthetics program help you during your treatment?
Besides the human treatment, the Foundation has helped me a lot and I am very happy with the treatments that make me and the products like the mango, which is really good.
When did you decide to volunteer?
I know that I had to do something to help people, because I think we have to help and collaborate as best we can. Many times, they called me from Oncolliga to accompany different people in treatment and encourage them and even today I continue to collaborate punctually with them. And, in the Foundation, I participated as a user so that the beauticians who were studying the course of oncological aesthetics could practice the treatments with me.
How was your experience with the beauticians who performed the second level of the Foundation’s course?
Very positive. There is a very good atmosphere and the aestheticians are charming with us: they take care of us a lot, they are for us, they make up to us… For us, letting beauticians learn about oncological aesthetics means passing a very nice day with them and with other women who are living the cancer like you.
I do not know how much time I dedicate to my volunteer work; I like being available for what they need from me”
What is your collaboration with the Foundation?
I coordinate the agenda of the Santa Creu and Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona and the Mutua of Terrassa: the patients ask me and I refer them to the hospital or the mutua, so that they can receive the treatment they need. And then I pass the list of patients who will go to the volunteers.
What did you think when they proposed to coordinate a part of the Foundation’s agenda?
I said yes without thinking. I have received much from Oncolliga and from the Ricardo Fisas Natura Bissé Foundation and I have always been clear that I wanted to somehow return it; what I do for these two foundations I always think will be few. During my treatment, I have had very good people around me and that is why I now want to help: give to those who need me. Because life is not just material; I try to collaborate from the heart.
Do you like your work?
A lot. Because I have been through what these people are going through and I always tell them that the esthetician will help them a lot and do not worry, because the treatment has an end, although they now see it far away.
Do you think it helps that you have lived a similar situation before?
It helps a lot, because you have lived what they do and you understand them very well. It also helps the fact that I am a beautician and that, previously, I was working on the telephone. Although I am very clear that my job is to coordinate the agenda, listen to them and refer them to the professionals who are attending them.
What have you learned after having undergone cancer treatment?
We have to be strong and courageous to pull forward. Because life brings you things so that you can get over it every day. Not just cancer. All are stages of life. I go where I need to and I do not throw the towel.
Are you still on treatment?
I still am, but I have already gone through chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone treatment. I hope to be discharged this year. But for me, the most difficult thing has come after the cancer, since I had an accident and now I have difficulty walking. I live today, the moment and try to laugh at some things in life.