twitter was awash with all sorts of emotions as the news of tito’s illness unfolded. i was supposed to write something today about puyi, xavi and messi renewing their contracts + abidal being cleared to play. but the universe has dealt us a cruel blow and put everything in harsh perspective. there’s so much i want to say, but i feel so helpless. i just want to share what has already been said; nothing from me now except Anims Tito😥
Translation — Tito Vilanova: “Empecé a correr, correr, correr y llevo 10 meses sin parar” (David Ruiz Marull for La Vanguardia, 19 dec 2012)
Tito Vilanova: “I started to run, run, run and I’ve had 10 months without stopping”
The Barça coach explained how he lived with cancer one year ago in an interview for “La Marato” of TV3.
The day dawned with good news of the full recovery of Eric Abidal, who can return to play with Barça’s first team in the next weeks, but it darkened by midday. The worst predictions were confirmed. Tito Vilanova has had a recurrence of his cancer in the parotid gland.
Only a few days ago, the blaugrana coach gave an interview to TV3 which was shown during the program “La Marato”. In it, he explained to journalist Ariadna Oltra how he reacted the first time he found out he was sick and how he handled things one year ago.
“There was a meeting at the office of Dr Ordi (the physician who diagnosed the tumor). It was with my wife Montse, and surprisingly I also saw the club doctors, and also Pep (Guardiola) and Cris. When I saw so many people, I already thought things were not so good, moreso upon seeing the serious faces of the doctors,” explained Vilanova.
“Immediately, I wanted to think positive, which is how I am. I asked what could be done, if there was a solution and if not, tough luck. If there was a solution, we had to do it quickly and choose a person who could operate and clarify the treatments that had to be done,” he added.
After the consultation, Tito faced the “hardest moment of all.” He thought about his children and also his wife and the rest of the family. “At 14 and 17 years, I think the children still need me,” Vilanova pointed out, visibly emotional.
The blaugrana coach was put in the hands of Dr Bescos and Dr Pamias. The surgery was very complicated and they raised the possibility of doing it outside Spain or getting some foreign specialist. But Tito Vilanova trusted in Dr Bescos after having a private conversation with her.
“I asked her if everything was clear, if it was clear what they were going to do. She told me yes, that despite the difficulty of the surgery, they knew what needed to be done and would do it. It was this confidence that allowed me to enter the operating room as if it were a cafe terrace. I was very calm,” he affirmed.
His children took it badly, his wife too. And he, despite being the one who was sick, says that his position “as far as it went, was the most comfortable.” “I felt perfectly fine, perfectly healthy, and then overnight you said ‘You’ve got it’. I did not have rabies. But logically, you go out and see a lot of people. And you think about why you’re the one who got it. I’ve always been very careful. All of these things that one has to do to be good, I’ve done,” he recalled.
But this anxiety did not stop him. He brought back his positive side and faced the recovery with bravery. “I focused all my efforts on moving forward. I started to run, run, run, and I’ve had 10 months without stopping the race.” Tito Vilanova had radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and in only two weeks, he was back working again.
“It was a surprise for everyone because I didn’t say anything to anyone. Most of the people in the technical staff are my close friends. And many of them did not know because I wanted the doctor to have the utmost calm on the day of the operation. I knew that in a world like ours, if anything got out, the day of the operation would be out in the media. I needed her to have the utmost calm, to think that she was operating on any other person, without added pressure,” he said on TV3.
“When I came back, I felt joy in all the people around me. They never made me feel like I was sick, and I think my attitude also did not let them.” For Tito Vilanova, the experience has been intense, hard. “My feeling is that 2 or 3 years have passed instead of 10 months, I guess also because in my world a lot of things have happened.” Like for example moving on from assistant coach to manager of Barça.
The coach from Bellcaire d’Emporda ended his interview with a message of life. “My philosophy has always been that nothing is so important. The most important thing is to be well.”