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You never value time until you are forced to face the reality or realising that it is very limited and cannot be stopped at any time. As many other I have been slapped by reality and woke up into a never ending nightmare..
My father 54 years old, who was never sick before had this small cold and after 1 week of treatment realised that his cough did not go away. At my mum’s insistence, he went privately and did a MRI scan. The weird part about this is that he already had an X-ray 1 year previously and he was declared clean back then. This time the doctors saw something at the MRI and recommended more tests. He has done a CT scan, blood tests and also a bronchoscopy. After all tests were performed he has been diagnosed with lung cancer stage IIIA – squamous cell carcinoma. For those who do not know this type of cancer is, if we can call it like that – the less aggressive one but the worst positioned (it appears in the middle of the lung so it can spread immediately onto the second healthy organ).
We immediately started treatment (this was all happening in Romania*).
*Of course I am ashamed to admit it but in Romania the system is very poorly managed. Literally the Government only allows the cheapest drug for each disease to be administrated free of cost, everything else that might be helpful should be purchased and the costs we are discussing here are impossible to be covered when you have a Romanian salary (even with a UK salary this would be hard to manage). Basically this is how this works, all patience with the same disease get the same treatment – 3 sets of chemo – surgery (if possible) – 3 sets of chemo. Nobody however checks to see if this works or not and nobody gives you clear guidance. When you are sick you at least want to be informed about the possibilities so that you can at least take a decision and go into the right direction. Unfortunately the principle applied by Romanian Government is that the strongest will live while other, which will not respond to this product will die. When in this game we are talking about one of the most important person in your life you get to see what this approach brings to you..believe me it’s not easy to be there and not to have a choice.
The doctors already released this medicine I was telling you about for him and he did set 1 of chemo and was sent home (he did the chemo sitting in a chair for 4 and a half hours, together with 10 other people in this situation). Because his state of health seemed to be worst day after day, we have decided to consider other alternatives and even if the doctor did not guide us in any direction we did some research. We read about a vaccine in Cuba but also about this great hospital in Germany. Managed to discuss with both of them and decided to choose Germany (distance purpose and cost effective based on what was initially explained) but it took 2 weeks for us to get an appointment there.
In the meantime because his state was deteriorating, we decided to continue treatment in Romania and we took him for the second set of chemo. He never did this because he started having complications. Because he had a bad pain in his legs and even paralyzed at some point we started to do more checking. We found out that he has a big issue on one of his legs. At cardiology they were able to discover a very severe and extended thrombosis (big deep blood clots on his legs). Therefore flying by plane was forbidden ( and in the meantime we bought tickets to send him to Germany which we cancelled but still have not recovered money on them – this is yet another story to tell). We managed to find a solution and sent him by car. It was a nightmare 3 days to Germany in a car with all the pain and sickness..
We managed to get him in Germany where originally they did not want us to remain. We insisted a lot and after more tests (10 hours he was kept waiting in the hospital for different tests to be performed again) we had again shocking news. The tumour has spread and was now bigger by 1.5cm even if we have discovered the cancer a month back and he already had one set of chemo. The doctors got scared of the aggressivity of the disease. Agreed to offer hospitalization and to treat him but continued to do more tests. They found water around his heart and the cancer has spread to the bone marrow and intestines. They gave us 8 months and have take surgery out of discussions now. I do not believe in statistics and I cannot believe in it anyway. We are talking about a person so full of life with so many plans made that did not even got to see his grandchildren. Please, I am begging you don’t let us loose him. We want to do what’s best for him but unfortunately the country we were born in is not offering us any support on it. We should all be equal and we should all have the right to live as much as it is given. Money should not make the difference but unfortunately we are born in a wold where money talks.
As an idea the whole treatment before finding out the cancer spread was estimated to 60000euro. Now we have to add immunotherapy which is another 8000euro per month (I am not even considering the other treatments he is doing for the other effects this disease has given him).
We already made a deposit with all the money we had saved and together with everything we had we managed to chip in and get 13000euro. This is going to end soon and the hospital will ask us to make a new deposit. We have all went to the bank to get as much as we can as a landing but based on some estimations we got we are not even going to get half.
I can’t ask you to do an effort but please remember every little helps. If you have the possibility to help in anyway, your help will be much appreciated.
With respect and gratitude,
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Ioana Raluca Sohodoleanu started crowdfunding