Julio César Falcioni is one of the historical idols of América de Cali, with whom he played between 1981 and 1989, won six league titles and reached the Copa Libertadores final three times. Then, as a coach, he was champion with Banfield and with Boca Juniors. Today he directs Independiente.
The former Reds goalkeeper, who is 66 years old today, had a fight against laryngeal cancer that had him close to death. Falcioni recalled the treatment and what he did to direct again, in an interview with the journalist Germán Bellizi, of TyC Sports.
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Falcioni's first reaction to cancer
“I was palpitating that I had something, I told my wife, I told my closest collaborators, we were in Banfield. They had scheduled an operation for me because they had found some nodules. There was no rush, it was from August to December, something like that, but inside I thought there was something, that it was complicated, those hunches you have”, recalled Falcioni.
The surgery, which was initially routine, ended up being more complicated than expected. “They told me that in 48 hours I was going to be out and I spent 15 days in intensive care. The operation lasted 13 hours, my whole family was very upset outside, they told me later”, he said.
The operation generated an additional complication that could complicate his life. “To eliminate all that disease they had to scrape, in that scraping air leaked through cartilage. Air entered my body. I had an open tracheotomy, I was able to get ahead, ”she assured.
That surgery was just the beginning of a long and complicated treatment. “I did 35 sessions of rays and 10, 12 of chemotherapy. In the studies that they did later, in the endoscopy that they do from time to time, they don't see anything that is complicated, they don't see the disease, “he said.
Among the consequences that Falcioni suffered are losing his voice and having feeding difficulties. “Little by little we are recovering it, I was with speech therapists. I had to learn to eat: because of the lightning I didn't get food. They had to make a little hole with a pipe for the liquids to pass through,” explained the exporter.
The death of his wife, another blow that Falcioni tries to overcome
His wife, Ada Adela Palka, had been his support throughout the process of overcoming cancer. He died in May 2021: she also had cancer that was complicated by covid-19.
“We had been together for 45 years. It was very difficult, very hard. She also had a complicated illness, she had covid and then she could not recover. This was more difficult than what I went through, it accompanied me a lot. I have to move on, I have my daughters, I still have my old lady, “said Falcioni. “She was the one who managed the house, one when she plays she is immersed in the concentrations, the trips, in Colombia we were almost 10 years, traveling every week, in Colombia it was always by plane, we did not have close trips. She was always raising my daughters.”
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< br>Falcioni, a heavy smoker, had given up smoking, but started again when he thought the cancer had returned. “Unfortunately I still smoke, I smoke much less than I used to. I had stopped smoking, there was a situation that made me pick up the cigarette again. I went to do a study, it came out as if it seemed that there was disease again. I went to another place, with the same studio, and they told me 'you're screwed'. I started smoking again,” he recalled.
Fortunately, his studies went well. “The doctor who had operated on me told me that another biopsy had to be done. He had a lot of pain, headaches, like he was in a rush. They did the biopsy and there was nothing, it was the effect of the rays, ”he pointed out.
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