To LIVE I need your HELP

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My name is Elena Kasyan and I have cancer.

 

This is not the name of a story, poem or an article.

I have CANCER. 

Cancer has been my world these past four years. 

I am a poet and musician, writer of short prose and performer of my own songs. All my conscious life I was engaged in creativity. The fruits of my work can be found now on the book shelves, on discs, in the Net and on video-hostings. For many years I was the head of art song club.
But now trouble happened with me ...
For the fourth year in a row I practically didn’t perform, did not go on tour, traveled or organized events and recitals.

I am alive - at the moment this is my greatest achievement.

This achievement - which despite the statistics keeps me afloat somehow – has happened only thanks to a difficult, relentless and very expensive treatment.

I beg you for help and support. 

Up until now I’ve been supported financially by those closest to me, my family and friends.
I was silent and hid the truth from my mom who lives in a different country.
I didn’t write an appeal or organise a campaign to collect money, I didn’t ask for anything.

Those who are dearest to me sacrificed everything, fought for my life and encouraged the belief that I would recover.

But now I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP.
We can’t cope anymore. 

It is the fourth year of the fight. The situation with my disease and the cost of treatment is worsening.

I really hoped that after the primary treatment I would go into remission and have some time to regain physical, moral and material strength.

But I don’t have any more time.

 

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I have stage 4 breast cancer with one of the most aggressive statuses.

For those familiar with the science, I can explain all the details of the diagnosis and show you scans, reports, statements, etc.

For those who are lucky enough not to know about cancer, since the time I was diagnosed I’ve had three operations: my right breast was radically removed, then 8 lymph nodes, and then all the gynaecology as well as metastasis in my brain were removed. 

In Ukraine I must have treatments at my own expense. Such are the realities of my life.

After the primary treatment I have been constantly on bisphosphonates. For 2.5 years, every 3 weeks I have been having a drip containing the targeting drug Herceptin - the best way to restrain the metastasis for my type of tumour.

Every month of life meant a 440 mg bottle costing $2000 (not to mention the cost of chemotherapy, radiation, operations, hospitalization and drugs). Every month! I had total of 42 i/v drips. This drug partially inhibits the growth of metastases, and thus it looked promising.


But now the life-saving Herceptin has stopped working as a monotherapy. 

 

 

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I’ve relapsed. The cancer has again returned…

Now they’ve found a new tumour in the breast and new metastases in the soft tissue, the lymph nodes, my skeletal structure and my abdomen. This is a new level of the disease’s activity.  And they can’t operate on it. 

At the beginning of the summer, a sample of tumour tissue was taken to send to the American “Caris Molecular Intelligence” laboratory for an individual test to determine a treatment plan.

This analysis cost $6100 and we are still in debt.

From July we have been trying to improve the situation by choosing drugs which will ease the condition and improve the prognosis. 

But money is desperately lacking.

I am in palliative care. At the moment that means Tyverb+Aromazin and Vinorelbine (via a drip once a week). My blood counts don’t allow me to have regular chemotherapy. I have problems with my heart, my liver, my blood vessels…

My body is exhausted and the disease is progressing. 

 

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In the coming month I am assigned a radiation therapy (20-25 sessions at least), to try to remove a large tumour in the muscle tissues. At this time chemotherapy will be paused.
But after thet the money will be needed again for a long course of treatment.
And I have a little time to collect the money with your help.

The best way to improve my situation and prolong my life is the program worked out by the specialists at “Caris Molecular Intelligence”, following their genetic analysis: Herceptin+Perjeta.
Currently, one bottle of Perjeta costs 92,000 Grivnas (around $3,600). Plus the Herceptin.
With an i/v drip once every three weeks this works out at $65,000 a year.

Sixty five thousand dollars a year!

The second variant, which is even better, is mono-therapy with KADCYLA® (ado-trastuzumab emtansine).But its cost is even higher!

Right now in Ukraine there’s a cancer patient program, under which if you buy one bottle of Perjeta you get a bottle of Herceptin free! $3,600 instead of $5,600: that’s already a miracle.

For me and for my Circle of Saviours even that is beyond us.
But all of us together could do it!
And that’s my CHANCE, if all together you give it to me.

You may be concerned about the fact that the treatment is not abroad but in Ukraine. However the prescribed scheme is based on the international standard. We have obtained several different opinions and had consultations in different clinics. There isn’t any difference between where these drugs are administered because Kadcyla, Perjeta and Herceptin are made by only one company (La Roche in Switzerland). Treatment abroad will be much more expensive.

In addition to these “golden” drugs, I have to pay for all the analyses, tests, observations, ultrasound, CT scans, MRI. And I have to buy the chemotherapy drugs and the medicines for treating the side-effects of the chemo and other related diseases. I have to pay for absolutely everything, from syringes and bandages to tablets and saline solution. This is on average 1-1.5 thousand dollars each month. I don’t know what I would have done without the people who have constantly been there for me. But we are all exhausted. 

 

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I’m not going into a literary discourse, telling detailed stories about what it’s like to lose one’s hair, fingernails, eyesight, coordination, memory, the ability to perform, to play on the guitar, and to move around…  About some of the side-effects of chemo and radiotherapy: the pain and the fear; the sickness and insomnia; the breaks and tremors; about how my veins burning and how there’s nowhere to insert the drip…

I could describe this in "great and gruesome detail", but I won’t do so here. Not now.

The expected survival rates in my case are depressing (up to five years, and almost four of those have already passed). I believe in a Miracle and that God may have some other plan for me; but for now all I can do is leave no stone unturned and simply not sink to the bottom. 

Throughout the course of the treatment, I wrote and published a collection of poems and a book of fairytales for adults; I won a prize at a song festival in Estonia and even performed several times on different stages.

But now everything is getting harder.

I am almost unable to play and I write very little…

I have so many things: a daughter who needs me; a mother; people, friends, readers and listeners who are close and dear to me; my creativity; and my great life which I love and treasure.

I have so many creative ideas, unfulfilled desires, unfinished projects. I want to write poems, sing songs, embrace friends, look at the world and see my grandchildren.

I have yet to learn and discover all of life’s lessons.
I really need to live and stay here with you all!

Help me, please. I love you.

I know that the majority of people think such requests are scams, or they distrust the way the funds are collected. I know that many people don’t like to read about cancer, and don’t like reposting and spreading requests for help. That’s why I first turned to those who know me personally, who have for many years read my work, come to my concerts, listened to my songs and subscribe to my blog…

PLEASE share this information! If you are unable to help, then someone else might. All help is welcomed gratefully, no matter how small. 
I’ve seen the success of fundraising concerts and auctions, various promotions and events, and crowd funding pages. Please do this for me! I don’t have anyone else except you.

I apologise in advance if I don’t immediately reply to all messages, I’m very ill.

But I’m really fighting.

I do what I can.

I am really fighting to do everything I can’t. 

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The personal comments section on this webpage not active at the moment. If anyone has any more ideas, advice or ways of fundraising, please write to me ekasyan70@gmail.com, or any other my web-links and resourses. I would like to respond to everyone who helps and supports me. Unfortunately, this is not always physically possible. But I will try. Thank you everybody!

Reports about treatment, scans of documents and the latest news will be published on web-page reports.elenakasyan.com, it is already functioning.

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