- And what about you, doctor, would you like to spend the last months of your life in flip-flops on the beach or at the hospital connected to the drip? – that reaction to a palliative care proposal shocked the doctor. He didn’t know that he came across a very loving and positive family whose love and optimism is beyond any medical procedures. He didn’t thought of a plan B because in Poland very often there is neither plan A nor plan B.
The cancer came back in August, just before Olaf’s 20th birthday. After 3 years it came back but not in the same place. This time closer to the heart – in mediastinum. But Olaf’s heart has already been taken, not by the illness but by his girlfriend, so there is no place for tumour. Although it’s huge – 10/13 cm – and twines around pulmonary vein which is the biggest concern. Doctors in Poland have no solutions saying that it’s ‘inoperable’.
Olaf broke his femur jumping off a stair 4 years ago. It was enough to find osteosarcoma - bone malignant tumour - during medical tests. It’s called a youth thief because it usually attacks people in their most beautiful time, turbulent but eventful. After a successful treatment in 2014 he started studying and fell in love. On his last holiday he went to work in London. It was easy to get stressed and get a cold. The cough seemed innocuous and harmless enough, just usual cough. But after neoplastic disease it’s still better to check, to be sure that everything is all right. A few doctors said that’s just a bug and there was nothing to worry about, although the cough had been lingering for 1,5 month. – When subfebrile states started in the evenings and at nights, we sat down and started talking – says Olaf’s mum – there are dark clouds hanging over us, so it’s better to check it. That’s what we have decided. We did sectional roentgenography on our own in in a private clinic so not to wait, not to get more stressed. I was sitting and waiting at the door Olaf went through. At that moment I was feeling what I had already felt a few years before – I had already sat like that. It was a strange connection, I just can’t describe it. The fear has started to mount. Intertwined with calm and love. I didn’t know then that there was going to be recurrence. When Olaf came back from the office, he didn’t know yet but I felt it with my whole being. Then they asked me to come inside and everything was clear.
There was fear, rebellion, uncertainty. Grief, anger. But it didn’t defeat us, all those feelings we turn into doing, into love. That’s what we have decided so they won’t overcome us, so we have strength. We started to look for help here, where it’s the closest. But palliative care is no help in our opinion. We were looking for it further and further – abroad. Luckily, doctors from Germany see many ways of treatment for Olaf including a surgery in a clinic in Stuttgart. Unfortunately, the treatments are very expensive and non-refundable by polish National Health Fund (NFZ), moreover evaluated constantly on par with Olaf’s examinations findings. At the moment estimated cost of treatment helping Olaf to prepare to surgery is 60 000 PLN (about 14 500€, 13 000£, 17 000$) a month. The surgery cost isn’t yet known, but it’s the only way to get his health back.
3 years ago Olaf defeated a tumour. He hadn’t needed money, so those collected were given out to others still fighting. They helped many people. This time it’s him needing support, because despite his inner confidence in winning this fight, he needs help to do it. We kindly ask you to financially support Olaf’s way to recovery, taking away his worries and stress if there would be enough money for his treatment. Olaf has two great loves – his sweetheart and his guitar. He is planning to live long with them. Let’s help him achieve this!