Karolina's nasty lymphoma
Zakup nierefundowanego leku
Ends at: 01 May 2016
My name is Karolina Linde, I'm 20 years old. Two years ago, on the last year of high school, I noticed an enlarged lymph node on my neck. I assumed that it was nothing serious. Who, at the age of 18 suspects they have cancer? I was waiting for it to disperse by itself...
When it didn't happen I went to see my GP. I got a referral to a neck USG, and then to an oncologist, I got MRI and finally a biopsy. It took six months to make the diagnosis: cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma. Do I have to add that in the very second my whole world collapsed? I had to abandon all my dreams and plans. Such diagnosis is a tragedy for everyone, regardless of age. However I was about to start my university studies – allegedly the most beautiful period of one's life. Moving out to a big city, living with friends, meeting new people, everything so new and exciting. I was terrified and despaired as I thought that cancer is a death sentence.
However it turned out that I had good chances of healing, my doctors were very confident. “That may sound weird but you should be happy that it's lymphoma. That's the best possible type of cancer, you have 80% chances of full recovery. In two years you won't even remember your illness”. Well, I still remember. It's been two years and I still struggle with my nasty little cancer. It turned out that I'm the (un)lucky 20% which is immune to conventional treatment. My first (then I was hoping that also the last) chemo was ABVD. 12 doses, six months of therapy. When I look at it now, in hindsight I think it's no big deal but then the therapy was horrible. I was suffering not only physically but most of all mentally. After a few doses I was puking at the first sight of a drip or a syringe. I also lost my hair of which I had always been so proud. No one who never experienced it can understand what it means to undergo chemotherapy. Thanks to the support of my family and friends I managed to survive that half a year of tortures.
It's easy to imagine my joy when I heard doctor's words “patient cured”. The doctors were considering an additional radiotherapy but eventually they decided not to finish off my, already exhausted, body. That was an unfortunate decision. Who knows? Maybe if the radiotherapy had been applied I would have had a normal life now instead of writing these words? Anyway, there's no point in speculating “what if”. I didn't have the radiotherapy and after three months I suffered a relapse. For some reason I wasn't even surprised. The day after the diagnosis I was admitted to a oncology clinic. This time I took two doses of DHAP scheme chemo and, when those failed, two other – IGEV – ineffective as well. The main thing though is that after the relapse chemo was only a preparation for the doctor's greatest weapon – autologous stem cell rescue. Four attempts of separation of stem cells were conducted but still we didn't manage to collect the necessary amount of cells.
Now my last resort is a therapy with a new drug – Adcetris. Unfortunately it isn't refunded by the public healthcare system and 6 doses of the medicine cost over 200 000 PLN (that is approx. 53 000 USD). We are not able to raise such sum by ourselves and without this therapy there's no chance for me to recover. I believe that with the support of good people I will collect the money and, instead of a bucket list, I'll make a list of “things to do and see after healing”.