When I was 3, I was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer with distant metastasis in the lungs. I had to undergo a long course of treatment, including chemotherapy and two surgeries. My right kidney was removed, and now the scar occupies the largest part of my abdomen. Thanks to the professionalism of doctors and my parents, we were able to cope with this disease.
I went to school and grew up like other children, life went on. Then cancer took my parents. First my mother passed away, then my father. I had a strong fear of having cancer again, because I understood that something in our family contributed to the disease.
I was 24 when I was taking a shower and felt a lump in my breast. It was breast cancer. Again, a cycle of treatment followed: chemotherapy, breast removal, hormone therapy. Everything went well, and I returned to my normal routine, started taking photographs.
But two years later, a routine ultrasound scan revealed liver metastases. I was shocked, to put it mildly. After a detailed examination it turned out that not only my liver was affected, but also my spine, ribs, and pelvic bones. At this point, my life fell apart.
Doctors referred me to other doctors, but time was lost: I already had neck pain. One night, as I was getting out of bed, my cervical vertebra broke. The pain was excruciating. As soon as my neck was stabilized, the lumbar vertebrae broke. I really thought that was the end.
But we continued the treatment, and it showed results. I got back on my feet, the pain slowly went away. Recently I have had another surgery to fix my cervical vertebrae, and I feel much better. Now I can walk, and even take small photoshoots. This is a blessing for me.
There is still a lot of treatment ahead: hormonal treatment, radiotherapy. There is no prognosis right now. No one can say anything, because they won’t take responsibility. Metastases in the bones sounds like a verdict. But some people live with it from 5 to 10 years.
I know I could die any moment.
Just like any other person on Earth, only my chances are much higher.
When you hear that you have cancer, of course, at first you are completely shocked. The hardest part is realizing that you won’t just die, you will die painfully. You begin to hate people, thinking “Why me?”
At this point, it is important to experience the full range of emotions, to go through every stage of grief.
Do not neglect treatment, see a doctor immediately. Everything can be cured now. Of course, you can go to shamans and holy relics, but together with treatment. Time is valuable.
In general, oncology treatment in our country has improved a lot, even in the last few years. Chemistry and drugs are based on the same protocols as in the West. Surgery is also at a very good level. Medications can be provided for free (for example, the injection I get every six months costs about 10,000$).
You need to fight even for one extra day, week or month of your life. It’s worth it.
Today I have learned to live slowly, enjoy the good weather and care about my comfort. There is no longer a need to keep up with everything.
Frankly speaking, there is no point overworking all the time, because all the extra money will be used to relieve stress and treat diseases that developed in the process. This is a curse of our times.
I think we all overvalue ourselves and our lives. We all die. This is the law of nature.
Death is natural. You simply fall asleep and it’s over. The journey matters more”.
25.12.2021 Anastasia passed away