Former cancer patient and helping hand of the FC team
"Negativní mysl vám nikdy nedá pozitivní život."
1) What appealed to you about the FUCK CANCER project and why are you putting your energy into it?
It appealed to me because I have gone through cancer myself and because I want to show the world that this diagnosis does not only affect the elderly and I want to spread it among young people who, in my opinion, do not value their health (not all of them, of course).
2) What does the term FUCK CANCER mean or express to you?
It's a statement that even though I've had what I've had and can't handle what others my age can, I'm not a wimp and don't need anyone to feel sorry for me. It is also a statement of who I have become because of this "experience".
3) Can you imagine who you are fighting for here as a "SOLDIER"?
For all those who can no longer be with us, and for all the others, that they may be with us as long as possible.
4) What would you say to someone who says they find the phrase "FUCK CANCER" vulgar?
Of course everyone has their own limit of what is vulgar for them, but you can't be polite with cancer. Plus, it sounds more like words of support to me.
The story of Verča
In the fall of 2004, when I started first grade, my left eyelid swelled up, "thanks" to which my life changed forever.
Because of my eye, my mother and I visited the eye doctor at the clinic, who didn't know what to do with me and sent us to the children's hospital. After unsuccessful attempts with the compresses, the doctor sent us for X-rays and internal medicine and then it was on.
I still remember my mother picking me up at school and the teacher saying to me, "Verunka, pack your things, your mother is waiting for you downstairs, you are going to the hospital." I don't remember much from that time, it was quite a few years ago too. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia and ended up in the clinic of paediatric oncology and haematology in Brno. I know from my mom that I got the central line right away and within a few days they started chemotherapy.
Apparently the blasts ("purple hairs" as we used to call them) started forming behind my eyes and so in late January/February 2005 I had surgery to take samples from behind my eyes to see if they were still forming. No one admitted it at the time (and I don't blame anyone, I think there are, were and will be more important things) but apparently they damaged something at the time that helped lift my left eyelid and that's why I can't lift it anymore. However, thanks to this we found out that the cells are not malignant. But just to be sure, I still had radiation (which probably took its toll on my eyelid too) and other related tests. After a challenging series of lumbals, things finally started to get better, although I did have complications, this time in the form of some sort of parvovirus (which seemed to have killed off the rest of my immune system). We were finally able to go on a well-deserved vacation and enjoy the summer. I started school again in September, this time in second grade. But it wasn't a successful start this time either.
In the autumn, a follow-up bone marrow sample was taken and unfortunately a relapse was detected. And basically, it started all over again. Immediately, further treatment was started and at the same time I was included in the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. My good fortune was that a donor was found really quickly and I underwent a bone marrow transplant on March 1, 2006 in Motol, Prague. The transplant was successful, but there were a number of minor or major complications. It started with AIHOU (autoimmune disease of red blood cells), followed by epileptic seizures, fungal pneumonia or aseptic meningitis etc. But despite all this and despite my not-so-well-functioning immune system, I'm still here and enjoying life. Yes, I have "certain" limitations. I'm often tired, almost always breathless (not to mention coughing), my immune system needs to be "recharged" and not to mention my eye makes me squint (so if I ever bump into you, please don't be mad at me 😅).
There have been, there are and there will be problems, but the important thing is not to look for reasons why it cannot be done, but to go for your goal. And it will work.
Soldiers & Heroes
"This experience changes everything, closes one door called plans and opens a whole new world - a hospital world."
"It's good to ask the patient straight out what they're going through, what's going on, rather than having an awkward silence."
"It's easy enough these days to just surround yourself with carefree fun. Living in a bubble of positivity and good feelings."
"I will be undergoing treatment for the rest of my life, but that doesn't mean I have to sit at home on my ass. I want to enjoy life, not just survive."
"These people need tremendous support, and not just from me, not just from you, but from everyone."
"Fuck Cancer for me is a clear answer to this disease, which is definitely not easy."