30 March 2017
One of my friends suffered a serious stroke when he was in the very strength of his life. Since then he had been paralysed. Doctors said that there was a high risk of an occasional stroke. This man came to the conclusion that if it happened so, he would take measures to end such an existence. He was sure he was a wise person and called this decision ‘a matter of strength’. Though, he was lucky enough not to put this idea into life. Anyway, this story is not about him — it just came to my mind while I was reading Julia’s letter.
Julia was paralysed when she was 15 — it was for the first time. Then she underwent several spine surgeries; the first two of them resulted into deterioration in the condition, after the third one her state of health began to improve. They were followed by several courses of rehabilitation. To pay for them Julia had to ask for help and to hope for people’s kindness, since quotas were provided rarely, then the providing was stopped completely. Julia herself had no opportunity to work, so that her mother had nothing to do but leave her job. The rehabilitation course was quite effective, and Julia even began to move by herself. The obstacle for the training sessions was a constant, intolerable pain, which could not be relieved by any drug. Julia was putting up with it as long as she could; then the rehabilitation was to be delayed for some time, and Julia had to accept the fact that the weakness in her arms and legs returned, that she was to use a wheelchair again. Only this year among the numerous drugs she had used Julia managed to find the one that worked. She hoped to restart the rehabilitation course, when suddenly another problem occurred — cancer. Doctors said that Julia would not be able to come through the operation; her only chance was chemotherapy. The pain returned — Julia hardly tolerated the first course of chemo. She lost her hair. Soon she is having a medical check and another course...
While I was reading Julia’s letter, I remembered my acquaintance and his decision — was it really a matter of strength? How much strength does one need to make up one’s mind and at once stop fighting, even though such a decision is not an easy one; and how strong should one be to go on living despite pain and despair, to live and maintain one’s hope for the best. Julia is an immensely strong person. She chooses life irrespective of a great number of chemo courses she will have to take. Her hair will grow again, and she will certainly walk by herself.
Undoubtedly, Julia leads a hard life; and now she has the hardest times ever. Her state of health depends on doctors and on Julia herself, but we can considerably improve the conditions under which her treatment will be performed — that will facilitate the process greatly! Thus, for instance, as far as using transport is concerned: Julia cannot walk, her mother cannot carry her from the wheelchair to the car and vice versa. Public transport is out of question for her. Earlier Julia could stay at home all the time and ask her neighbors for help, if it was the case; but now it is impossible — to rely on others, taking into account that she has to travel all the time and to come to the doctor on time. There is, however, a special hoisting device that will enable Julia and her mother to cope with the travelling by their own. The trouble is it costs RUB 110 000, and the women, living on two benefits and hardly making ends meet, simply cannot afford it. That is why we beg you to help Julia. She desperately needs your support!