The photographs below is my daughter Paulina. Since the day she was born I have been dying; fighting to live each day. Maybe that is why I love her so much- more than my life! For the last 8 years I’ve had only one dram, one that I would like everyone to hear. I want to live!
My daughter Paulina means the world to me, because of her my life has meaning. If I disappear from her life now, I will become a vague memory in her adult life. I remember moments when tears were coming down my face, happy tears and tears of pain. I was happy when my daughter was born, and I just had my first surgery. Today, 8 years later, I want to win one more time with the tumor I carry every day. If I do win this fight, it will only be because of you and only to rejoice in the victory with my daughter. The picture below is me with my daughter and tumor that is trying to kill me! Please help me as this could be last photo with her.
One day I looked in the mirror and I told myself- I can do this! I made it this far, I have survived two times! But then the fear comes over me. When I look at my stomach “it” looks huge and terrifying. Then I think to myself, do I have what it takes, and do I have the strength? I start to doubt myself, I become weak, I am losing my hope… then I look at my daughter, my life, my everything- and she inspires me to fight for life again! This vicious circle keeps rolling, my chances are fading away and with every moment I am becoming weaker and the tumor stronger and more aggressive. If you think you don’t have enough time in life, think about what I feel…
In 2011 I was getting ready for Christmas and welcomed my daughter to this world…not death. However, death knocked on my door when I decided to get some tests done because I wasn’t feeling well. Like everyone else, I was busy with every day chores, work, and home life and the feeling that you will find time to get to it. I delayed when my body was sending me signals that something was wrong, until the pain knocked me off my feet. First tests, then CT scans, many stressful days during the holidays and then kick in the gut… a tumor- Retroperitoneal Sarcoma, at the same time as my little angel was welcomed to this world! There was nothing left but to find a doctor that would do the surgery. That proved to be quite difficult as a result of the placement of the tumor. Finally, I was able to get the surgery in Warsaw, success! It turns out the tumor I was carrying in my stomach was over 45lbs. Shortly after the surgery, my daughter was born into this world. We named her Paulina. Nothing can describe that feeling of becoming a new parent. Suddenly, nothing else matters and you find strength you never believe you had. I think every parent knows what I’m talking about. After my surgery I laid in the hospital bed dreaming of being able to pick her up and hug her.
Everyone who fights cancer is afraid of one phrase – we’re sorry, the cancer has come out of remission – and unfortunately that happened to me. I needed a much more serious surgery this time as the cancer was more aggressive and located in an area that was complicated to operate on. I lost a kidney, spleen, and part of my pancreas. I spent three months in the hospital with a feeding tube, praying for another chance at life. Ultimately, I won that battle and was granted more time. I got every cancer patient’s favorite phrase – remission.
Over time, I was able to return to somewhat of a normal life. I returned to work and went back to be a full-time husband and father. The dark clouds seemed to part, and I was able to breathe again.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t done. I don’t know many people with my bad luck and that’s good, because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s impossible to describe the stress and anguish of wondering every day if the cancer will come back. For me, my nightmare returned, and I once again am in a fight for my life. This time is different, the cancer is even more aggressive and the doctors here in Poland have run out of options. We simply don’t have the tools and technology available here to combat my condition. Yet again, I’m faced with the decision to fight or succumb. I’m choosing to fight, and I need your help.
I’m no longer able to hide my condition. The tumor has grown to the point where it is impossible to conceal. When I’m in public, it is impossible for people not to notice and stare. Their interest is first in the abnormality and then quickly their facial expressions turn to despair as they recognize the fight, I am in. Everyone knows, and I’m frequently provided words of encouragement from people whom I don’t know but recognize the condition.
I know if I don’t get help soon, I will lose this battle and leave my family alone. It’s difficult to consider failing my responsibilities as a father and I simply can’t except it. I have the mental toughness in the physical stamina to win this fight.
After countless days of research, I found a doctor and hospital in the United States that has the tools and technology required for me to win this fight. It is incredibly expensive, and they have been heartfelt in there discounting of the costs. Without the surgery I have no chance, but with this medical treatment I have a chance. The cost is $140,000 which is far beyond our financial ability. The doctor has assured me that my condition is operable successfully and they have many patients that have survived an continue to live after treatment. Their compassion and results give me hope.
As of now, the tumor continues to grow in me, so I need to act as fast as possible to have a chance. My daughter and family need me to win this fight. It gives me hope that there’s a treatment out there that will allow me to live and fulfill my responsibilities as a husband and father. It’s scary to think if I can’t raise the money, I will fail them. With your help I can get the surgery and win this fight. But only with your help.
Please help my family and me win this fight.
Przemek (a.k.a. Dad)