“INNER CONFIDENCE, WILLPOWER AND SELF-BELIEF BEAR THEIR FRUITS”
Dear friends! The series of stories of our patients, which we talk about at the Patient School project, dedicated to World Breast Cancer Month, will be completed by the story of Olga, who has been treated with us since 1991.
A little over a year ago we told you about it. But Olga’s fate and attitude to life are so inspiring, they are permeated with willpower and belief, that we decided to repeat her story for you.
So, third story. Olga, 41 years old.
She first encountered an oncological diagnosis as a child. When the little girl was only 9 years old, doctors made a terrible diagnosis – sarcoma of the left femur. After a short treatment, doctors concluded that the child could no longer be saved.
-Then my parents and I refused to help everywhere – the doctors said that the treatment had exhausted itself. And even with amputation, I won’t live even three months,” Olga recalls. Then the parents went for help to the A. Tsyb Medical Radiological Research Centre, where the child came in 1991. Obninsk became the only hope for Olya’s family. Here they found the help they were looking for. Professor Vladimir Bizer began treatment for the girl, and he not only saved the baby’s life, but also became her best friend. Olga underwent radiation and chemotherapy, while saving her leg.
Time passed, the child grew and developed, but due to radiation therapy, the bone became very fragile and could not withstand the girl’s active lifestyle. The first time, the professor placed the pin from the hip to the knee, and the second time, from the hip to the heel, after which the leg stopped bending.
-In 2004, I gave birth to a son, but apparently, due to the severity and stress, the pin shifted and began to irritate the soft tissues, and I developed gangrene. When the child was six months old, I left for amputation,” Olga said. “I sometimes say that I exchanged my leg for my son, but he is the most beautiful thing in my life.”
Thanks to the support of her family and friends, Olga felt great: hiking, traveling, walking with a stroller, a normal lifestyle, where the girl did not deny herself anything. “You need to get up every morning, enjoy life, find happiness in any moment.” There are people who cannot pour tea for themselves, they have no arms. But I can do this, isn’t this happiness? When I was learning to walk after surgery, it was a joy for me to go outside and walk on my own.”
And in 2015, the girl not only learned to live in a new body, but also won the title of Russian champion in body fitness, and two years later won the world championship. Olga’s coach saw in her the will to win, like our doctors, and he suggested taking part in competitions and going on the big stage.
-How can I go on stage without a leg in front of hundreds of eyes, because it will be streamed everywhere on the Internet, everyone will see it?!” – Olga resisted. “But then I realized that I needed this to overcome myself. I didn’t go for a medal, but to show my body that the brain, my consciousness and my willpower are important here.”
And when it seemed that the cancer had retreated forever, Olya had to experience a new challenge. In 2021, cancer “came” to the girl again, and this time of the breast. When the diagnosis was confirmed, she immediately came to the A. Tsyb MRRC is now a branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of the “National Medical Research Radiological Centre” to “native” doctors: “When I came to Alexander Kurilchik, his attending physician, almost 30 years later, he recognized me! They tracked all of us, piece by piece collecting the stories of the children who were treated here.”
Olya got treated immediately, where at the first stage she was required to undergo several courses of chemotherapy. It turned out that her husband left her during this difficult period of her life. “I’m telling this so people understand that the way out of absolutely any situation, even such a seemingly hopeless one, can be found! For a couple of days, I cried that I would have to cope with this on my own, it was mentally difficult… And then I realized that I needed to pull myself together. If I don’t do it, no one will do it for me.”
Olga coped with this too; she completed the entire course of chemotherapy with dignity and recovered after life-saving surgery and radiation therapy. Today it has been a year since Olya completed her treatment, she is healthy, energetic and, as before, making plans, making dreams come true, traveling and just living!
According to tradition, Olga gave advice to our patients:
“When people hear the diagnosis of cancer, they immediately fear that this is a fatal disease, and patients give up. There is no need to do this, we need to encourage ourselves, say that everything is good, according to our faith, it is given to us. Devaluation of the disease plays its role, internal conviction, willpower and self-confidence definitely bear fruit. Doctors work from their side, and you work on yours.”