When we were in Lugansk, I really wanted to visit our lovely Ira. Listen to her guitar and singing and have tea with her. She’s a person of rare kindness, and one always wants to be around her. She has cancer and, to be honest, when we thought of bringing her to Moscow, the doctors said she was in a bad shape. But Ira never lost hope. She smiled unforcedly, genuinely, sincerely. Such smiles are becoming ever more rare.
Back during the winter she was in bed, never got out, and she was given no chances of survival when she and her husband started treatment. We were not told what kind of treatment. The husband, who is an emergency care medic, helped her a lot.
And then she started to get better. In a big way. We and Zhenya even agreed not to write about it, only mention it obliquely. We were afraid to even speak about it.
After all, she didn’t simply start to get up. She blossomed, improved in every way.
Tanya had her surgery. Samples were sent for analysis and the results will be known on July 29. The further treatment will depend on the results. Tatyana has cancer. She needed several surgeries, but opted to only remove the breast. Then either chemo or radiation. Depending on the analyses.
Today Tanya will finally have her surgery in Lugansk to remove her breast. They were supposed to remove both, but they decided to postpone it until after the chemo. The second breast is also suspect, tests came out poorly…
The surgery has been delayed since May. She’s in the hospital for the third time to have the surgery. We’re asking everyone who can clench their fists to pray or simply think of Tanya. She’s alone with her son. There’s no-one to help them aside from us. It so happens…
She needed a transfusion before the surgery, but there was no blood.
Our Lena spent 7 hours at the blood bank searching for donors.
Tanya and Maksim.
I recently corresponded with the chief of the cancer clinic in Lugansk. We’re shocked. Every week, they perform 45(!) breast removal operations. As opposed to no more than 3 before the war. And keep in mind that LPR is less than half of the Lugansk region which the clinic serviced, and moreover many people have since left. What’s most horrifying is that the clinic is full of young girls. Half of them are under 25.
Inna had died on Sunday, on Easter.
Zhenya has a lump in his throat can’t find the strength to say anything. I don’t have a lump, nor do I have tears. Only the desire to slap upside the head everyone who complains about their life.
I realize almost nobody will read the story of Inna’s family.
Because the situation was so hopeless it was hard to believe. The frightful diagnoses, illnesses, incurably ill children, disabled parents, and war.
And I’m not angry you don’t read such stories.
That’s normal. I wouldn’t read them either. I would have preferred to not know about them, but life decided otherwise.
Those things from which I turned my head away my whole conscious life is now right in front of me.
Inna and son Egor.
People like Sofia make an impression. They do, because they believe in a better future when there are no chances for one. Or perhaps they don’t believe, but act in such a way that nobody suspects otherwise.
Her room is a dark lair with no light. Or, rather, there is light, but when you are there you think you are somewhere deep underground, with the only light coming from candles.
When we came to visit, we walked down long and cold catacomb-like corridors, until we entered a room redolent of urine and hidden from the world behind a rug.
When Vika returned to Lugansk after her operation in Moscow, to be honest, we had no idea what would come next.
Upon discharge, she was prescribed a long list of antibiotics and hard-hitting TB drugs. She has to keep taking them for about a year, otherwise the surgery and the six months at the clinic will have been a waste of time. Almost none of these drugs can be obtained in Lugansk. Not only are they not dispensed at hospitals, they can’t be purchased either.
I’m at a loss for words.
On the photo below: Vika in June 2014. Before the bombardment of Lugansk.
A whole another person…
On September 29, DPR authorities issued a “temporary regulation” which basically makes private humanitarian operations impossible. The volunteer community is aghast. It was always difficult to bring anything in–crossing the border was always a major challenge. Now all the aid is to be monitored during the distribution as well. Which means that the authorities will be controlling every aspect of aid. Including where it comes from, where it’s going, and who is receiving it.
There are also bad news concerning the arrest of Aleksey Smirnov, the renowned humanitarian worker.
That put me in a pessimistic mood, to the point of having thoughts about letting the whole thing go.
But the universe sent me several signals. You read about one of them earlier, concerning the little Kolya.
Here’s a second one.
This is Ira from Lugansk, who has had a bout with cancer, and I’ve written about her before. She has two daughters and she needs medicine for treatment, but the family can’t afford them at all. Now Ira is in our care.
I don’t know where to begin. This is no time for waxing lyrical.
Kolya’s diagnosis runs several pages.
The worst of it is the purulent meningitis of, and a cyst on, the right brain lobe. He’s already head two surgeries in Lugansk.
He’s still alive. He can be saved. But they can’t do anything more for him in Lugansk. He requires a surgery of an entirely different type, a neurosurgery, in a special ward. If he is not taken out, he’ll die.
We’ve known about this case for several weeks, and to be honest, we were hoping to find solutions that did not require money. We were already able to take people to Moscow twice–Vika Zozulina and Sergey Baranov.
But now we were turned down.
The Burdenko clinic says they only accept paying patients.