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There is a song by a Russian band “Kino” that has this line: “Let me see that person who is the only survivor of the regiment”. This song is about how difficult it is to live after going through the mayhem that killed your companions but left you alive. This phrase brought a special meaning to me after I went through the oncohematology unit myself. And I recall this phrase every time when I hear about the psychological problems of the little patients of the oncohematology unit. I remember it when I think about the way to make the recovery from cancer easier.
I was 12 when I found out about my possible cancer diagnosis. Then I first stepped into the hospital oncohematology unit. I appeared in the world where children were deprived of the right for the common children’s weaknesses and whims. I got into the place where everything was subdued to the treatment process: difficult, painful and not very effective. It was frightening… It was 15 years ago but I still get goose bumps when I recollect my feelings of that time. Not the events themselves but emotions! The emotions that I couldn’t cope with on my own. And there was nobody to help me with it. And…I just ran away from the unit… For me it was the only way to escape the hospital horror at that time.
And then…I was brought back to the hospital and there were new challenges, new stressful moments… And when at last I was leaving the hematolology unit I said “I’m done!!! I don’t want to recall this horror ever, I don’t want even to hear about this unit!” Seven years passed… For 7 years this topic was a taboo and I couldn’t talk about it even with the closest people. That childhood horror was haunting me for those long 7 years!!!
Since I had left the hematology unit not one generation of patients has come there for treatment… And still when teenagers find themselves in the world of childhood oncology they begin to experience the same range of emotions. They are afraid of their diagnosis, they are afraid of death and disability, they protest against hard therapy and some freedom deprivation, weep for their friends who died etc. Modern treatment regimens make disease curing possible in many cases, up to 90% of them according to the diagnosis. However to undergo the therapy that is efficient but is rather difficult, having high spirit is extremely important. And while it is possible to kill the tumorous cell by the means of medicine, there is no miraculous pill to raise the spirit and bring the willingness to fight the disease. In this case the other kind of help is necessary – the psychological one.
A psychologist has been working in the hematology unit for a year and a half. He works with the children as well as with their parents. The oncology doctors turn to him with the requests to assist to “problem” patients, whose psychological state begins to interfere with the therapy and sometimes becomes life-threatening. And the doctors like the result of psychologist’s work. They want it to continue but…the work of a specialist should be paid for. This constitutes about 2000 hryvnyas a month (250 USD). And we cannot do without your help!
I don’t know how to explain why the project of psychological help to the oncohematology children is that important! I just know what it feels like in that hell… And I also know that it would have been many times easier for me if I could have got psychological help then. And I wish today’s patients of the unit could get this support in their life situation, to make it a little bit easier for them to get through.
That’s why I turn to you – please support the project of psychological help to the children with cancer diagnosis! Help them to ease their way to recovery!!!
Please contact Iryna Gavrysheva to find out the details on how to support the project. By phone: +38 097 136 41 82, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, icq: 339500957, Skype: irinkag84.
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Publications made by Happy Child, Ukraine Regional Zaporozhye Children Hospital Haemoltology and oncology department (ward), Zaporozhye, Ukraine Articles about foundation projects