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My name is Karolina Dzienniak, and I am 34 years old. Since May of 2011, I have been diagnosed with an inoperable, malignant brain tumor.
I do not want to give up after battling this tumor for five years. In June of 2012, the tumor has grown so much that it caused the deterioration of my health. Then there was a life-saving operation that required ventriculo-periotneal into my brain.
After this surgery, there was a chance for me to go to Poland due to the fact there is a new treatment that may be able to cure my tumor. The only condition was that I would have to redo my biopsy. Unfortunately, due to the position of the tumor, the doctors in Poland didn’t guarantee the success of the operation, and that’s why they didn’t want to undertake the procedure. Due to all of this, I was disqualified for getting the new drug treatment.
After running out of treatment options in Poland, I came across an experimental treatment in a clinic in Berlin. They assigned me a four-month treatment, but it didn’t have the desired effect.
Thanks to my friends, they found me a gene therapy program in Houston, Texas, USA in February of 2013. Everything was going great. Just after six weeks of treatment, my tumor was reduced by twenty percent. Everyday I would take several dozens of different kinds of anticancer drugs, and every two weeks I would get intravenous infusion of monoclonal antibodies. The next few months brought good news, the tumor started to steadily decline. I became hopeful once again, and continued battling.
The tumor was reduced by fifty percent, but six months later more bad news came. My kidneys were under intense therapy and had to work really hard, and they gave out and refused to obey. I was forced to stop taking many of the anticancer drugs. It felt like I was struck by lightning. My situation has changed dramatically. Three years fighting across the ocean from my home came to a question. All that I was able to achieve up until this point would just disappear. I broke down…I realized that my life now was just hanging on by a thread.
The fortune in the misfortune is that I still have a chance… I can still win and defeat this tumor inside my head. The only option left for me is to start the next phase, but it costs more than I can imagine.
The first month of this treatment costs approximately twenty-three thousand dollars, and the other months will cost about seventeen thousand. These prices don’t include tests or anything else. This would be going on for at least a year.
I’m terrified because the last break in the treatment due to the poor condition of my kidney caused the tumor to become more active. I’m living like a time bomb.
More and more often these thoughts come to me… that maybe I should give up. But I am so terrified of giving up. The worst thoughts are that there is a way to save yourself, that there is a way to deal with cancer, but simply you can’t afford it.
I don’t want to…
I really wish to stay alive. To find love, start a family, and to simply just enjoy life. Money and hellish times work to my disadvantage. The clock is ticking in the wrong way.