Liliya’s last days

Posts like this one are very hard to write and we put them off until the end. I was srecently asked how Liliya was doing and I realized that I was subconsciously evading talking about it. Liliya has been dying and everyone, including herself, know that but there is nothing to be done. Liliya has terminal cancer which is irreversible. Moreover, the woman has no relatives who could help and visit her. Only her son, who is in need of assistance himself. When I was in Lugansk in late April I was not able to visit Liliya. I couldn’t find the strength.
Liliya is burning out and we realize she can die at any moment. I wanted to write that Liliya is alive thanks to a miracle and it’s improbable that she’s still alive at all given her diagnosis. Last fall she was given weeks. But I know this miracle has a name–our Lena.
She visits Liliya three times a week. Three times a week she spends hours with Liliya, supporting her, keeping her company. Three times a week she brings Liliya food, diapers, which are indispensable. Also brings medications which the hospice can’t provide. And she’s like a squeezed out lemon after every visit.
Lena, there are no words which can express that kind of gratitude.

She was at the Novosvetlovka hospice. It’s not a cancer one, which means it unfortunately can’t provide her with drugs she needs. Liliya needs periodic drainage, but the hospice lacks the necessary specialists. Doctors say she’s got days left to live.
Novosvetlovka has communications problems and there’s still no TV, which was her only distraction. Zhenya calls the village “a black hole” where there is no reception at all, so it’s hard to call and find out how things are.

She spent 4 months at a cancer hospice in Lugansk, not the standard 28 days. That was a miracle in itself. I don’t know who came up with these regulations, but they are savagely harsh. What can be done in that less-than-a-month, after which you are discharged into a vacuum? And there are also waiting lists, so getting in in the first place is nearly impossible.

But in the end, our friends managed to get Liliya back into the cancer hospice. I won’t say what it took. But trust me, it was a complex process.

But you know what was the saddest part? Liliya dreamed of going back there. And now her dream came true…

The photos are our aid report for Liliya for the last month. Thanks to everyone who sends money, who reads these difficult posts. It’s impossibly difficult for everyone, and no matter how hard the defense mechanisms are working, it always gets to you. Even to the doctors and caregivers who work there.

It’s probably better that way, that one can never fully get used to it. And  people who work there are of a special kind.
And I also realized that it’s beyond my strength to be in such places.

Liliya is alone, and there are many like her. Who have nobody, who has nobody to visit them and simply bring a chocolate about which they’ve been dreaming. During the winter Liliya was kept company by Nina who died a few days after our visit. When we asked her about what she needed, she asked for sausages….Lena cried for a long time after these “sausages”.

There are other cancer patients here too. If you want to help them, please label your contributions “cancer”. There’s nobody else to help them but us. Thank you…

P.S. I just learned that Liliya had died. Thanks to everyone who worried about and helped this woman.
I remember her the way she is in this photo, not despairing and not giving in.
Smiling and happy for everything, through the pain and suffering.


If you want to join the aid effort for the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: Paypal address:

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