More good news!

Remember Nellie, who looks like a vixen? She’s raising a 9-year-old daughter on her own. Her parents had a heart attack and a stroke right after the bombardment of Lugansk, and she’s been taking care of them every since–they can’t do it themselves. The whole family is hanging together. But then a swelling was discovered in her body, which was soon diagnosed as cancer. We’ve been helping her with medications.
I wrote about her in October.
She’s undergone a surgery and a course of treatment.
And…


Olya’s Mom

What to write? And how to write it?
One story after another. One after another. And then you sit in front of the photos and your fingers don’t know what to write.
I simply can’t convey the feelings inside me when I write about the cancer patients we care for. The words themselves disappear into thin air due to their ordinariness and overuse. And that’s the most awful thing.
This is Lyudmila Nikolayevna. Her condition is bad.
We are trying as best we can to help her deal with cancer. When people tell you that the volunteers, the doctors, have gotten used to it, it’s true. Of course you get used to it, and sometimes you are even surprised such things don’t affect you. But at some point you are overcome. Nobody can avoid that. It happened to me when I saw the photos of Lyudmila Nikolayevna after the chemo.
You have seen that woman in our reports. We regularly provide her with medications from Moscow. Because they can’t be obtained locally.
Doctors in Lugansk recently said they can’t do anything else and sent her to the Donetsk Republic Oncology Center.


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Pretty good news

That happens too. We have pretty good news, although maybe that’s not the right phrase to use when you are talking about someone with advanced cancer…In mid November, I wrote about Lilya, a woman who got cancer in ’14 and wasn’t able to obtain treatment because her house was right in the line of fire during the bombardment of Lugansk in the summer and fall of ’14. Time was lost, and all the evaluations said the case was hopeless. She remained home to die–there are lines to get into the hospice, people are laying in the corridors….((( She lost control over her legs and can no longer take care of her basic needs. We decided to try to make her life easier during her final days by finding money for a caregiver. But we also decided not to give in and try to talk to the doctors.
We spoke to the head of the cancer clinic and…


She’s now at the ward (it’s a miracle she was admitted) and is undergoing tests which will determine the type of chemo. I won’t lie–Lilya is past being curable. But the doctors said it might extend her life greatly if everything turns out well. She first has to raise her hemoglobin which is not simple to do.
It’s important Lilya keeps on living. She has a young son who is undergoing a difficult period. No father, no relatives to help them.
The boy would end up in a shelter, then an orphanage, he’d be all alone in a wartime Lugansk…What else is there to say?
But if Lilya lives for the next few years, these very important years in her son’s life, it will be an important accomplishment.

I want to thank everyone who sent money for Lilya. We are continuing our assistance, we bring medications, diapers, food, all of which she needs to raise hemoglobin. The family is broke.
We found a caregiver, she’ll start working soon. She’ll also take care of Lilya at the hospital. Cooking, feeding, washing. Zhenya and Lena spent a long time looking, one had to find someone who would not merely perform the functions but also someone to talk to. They will spent a lot of time together. That’s how it is.
Big thanks to everyone!
There’s one more key detail–Lilya is in the hospice for tests, the very same spot that was occupied by Ira where she was only a few months. We thought that’s a good sign. Ira was given a few months to live, but two years later she’s walking, taking care of herself, and living with her amazing daughters.

If you want to help the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: littlehirosima@gmail.com. Paypal address: littlehirosima@gmail.com.

Please label any contributions intended for Lilya “Lilya”.

“How are things over there?”

After every trip to Lugansk I get asked: “how are things over there?” Well, let me tell you–as usual. In other words, bad.
In actuality, things are going this way and that way, and life goes on. Roads are better, many damaged buildings were rebuilt or restored. Some shattered schools or kindergartens were reopened. New shops and cafes are opening. It’s hard to imagine, but there’s nowhere to park downtown. These are good signs. Signs of life. And it would be dishonest for me to write there’s hunger, it’s horrible. Not, it’s not sheer horror. You can find expensive sausage, even caviar, as well as expensive imported cars.
There are people who can afford these delicacies and drive such cars. Those who can will rise to the surface in any situation. Such people only need to be given a hand to jump up and take-off running again.

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Lilya

No matter how hard one tries not to have anything to do with incurable diseases, life disposes otherwise.
Lilya lives in a Lugansk suburb. She fell ill in ’14, right before the shelling. UAF were only 1.5km away, and there was no way she could be treated. Who could think of treatment anyway when shells were falling all over the place. So time was irretrievably lose. That’s how it is with cancer–it does not tolerate delays.
Now she’s in fourth stage and there’s nothing to be done. Worst of all, the hospice is full, people have to be housed in corridors. So Lilya stayed home.
On the photo, Lilya and her 14-year-old son.


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At Ira’s

Ira was sad. And also very tired. The weariness was evident in everything–her walk, her smile. It seemed she had shrunk. So tiny, so fragile.
The door was opened by a funny zebra, Ira’s older daughter. The zebra was only missing a tail, but did have funny ears and a long mane hidden under the hood.
There was another little girl running around, very funny even though not a zebra.
The younger daughter.


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Their War

I must have started this post, erased it, and started over, at least ten times.
It’s hard to write things differently. So that people would notice and read.
It is…I don’t know…
These women are at war every day. Every day they are in their own trenches.
They fight, they struggle for every moment. With their kids, loved ones.
“Our girls”–that’s how Zhenya refers to them, irrespective of age.
Our girls have cancer. They live in Lugansk…They have their own war. They are at war…
We try to do everything we can in this situation. We try to help…
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Nellya’s War

I don’t know if you remember Nellya. We helped her with this and that–she appears in the general reports.
Face with sharp features, freckles, a tired gaze–one remembers that.
In ’14, right after the “ceasefire” her parents suffered a stroke. Both of them. They couldn’t take the horror of that summer and fall in Lugansk. What’s there to add? Those who were in Lugansk during those months know what it was like. No need to explain…No telephone service, no electricity, no water…Bombardment day and night, night and day….The city is encircled, impossible to leave it. You are being killed by Uragans, Grads, aerial bombs–the so-called “exploding air conditioners” of Ukrainian propaganda. The elderly, who lived through the Great Patriotic War, find it impossible to believe, and there is no way to explain it to them..

Nellya has been taking care of her parents ever since–they can’t take care of themselves…
The woman herself has a 9 year old daughter. Whom she’s raising without husband’s assistance. And she has to worry about her own parents…
Now she herself has developed problems…


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Helping Yaroslav

Friends, I have an unexpected request.
Unexpected even for me.
As you know, we and our friends and readers assist the people of Donbass.
During these past years we’ve done much, including taking people to Russia for treatment.
Recently I was asked to help, as someone with ties to benevolent activities.
I was somewhat taken aback, since the matter concerned a young boy from Kiev.
Actually, I was stunned, because I have no idea how aid organizations function in Ukraine, and moreover me writing about this could hurt the boy’s family. But then I realized how absurd this situation was. Kids are beyond politics, and I hope that people from various points of view will comprehend that.
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Ira and Tanya

I really don’t like the word “wards”, but how else should one call the people we help?
Needy?
There are many people whom we help constantly and since long ago. Among them are cancer sufferers. Those are the most difficult cases. Helping the doomed. The number of those who are already gone is unfortunately large. But in each case we keep faith and hope.
This is Ira and Tanya.
Both are fighting. And I have faith in them.
Ira is very young. She’s so beautiful, so bright, so kind…I recently wrote about her–she’s had major improvements, even could walk again. Without a walker or cane. But her temperature has increased again, and it turned out she’s suffering from a major relapse with metastasis. Again time for Chemo.
She needed a medication to increase hemoglobin. Thanks to those who sent money for Ira, and a separate thanks to my friend who helped find the preparation at a reasonable price.
Just look at this beauty! How can this be?

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