“I always wanted to write but never had a story to tell. Well for the past six years, I now have it. It is not a story of personal victory, because in a way what I am telling cannot be conquered. Nor is it a factual account, although it runs more or less chronologically. Nor a late attempt at self-literature, though it happened to me. It is nothing more than the history of a cancer. Or two. Or three.”
This is how Mercedes Güiraldes starts her story, letting the reader take part in the ups and downs of her cancer experience: the accidental discovery of a node while watching television with her family, a misdiagnosis that gives her a false sense of security, the warning from a colleague, the search for the right doctor, the first operation. The immediacy and authenticity of the narrative make the reader feel how the author tries to appear strong in front of her children, how the bond with her husband grows, how she celebrates with a party after a successful therapy, and how feelings of pure joy and gratitude turn to sheer desperation and angry despair when fate takes another turn, and when buying a wig.
Facing up to cancer is not an easy task. Writing such an honest and deeply moving book based on this experience is even more unusual. Mercedes Güiraldes surprises with a stark yet luminous book, a journey to the heart of the disease that is synonymous with our times. Nada es como era (“Nothing Is As It Was”) is an autobiographical account that uses the strategies of fiction to put into words a human experience on the edge of the unspeakable.