My name is Monika and I started my struggle with lymph node metastases cancer in 2012. I remember the fear after hearing the first diagnosis – fear for my life, and for my daughter, who was very young at the time. I knew the odds were against me.

I was lucky and the standard treatment, chemo- and radiotherapy allowed for a year-long respite. But with a recurrence in 2014, I had to fight and search for new treatments, new ways to save my life. Those therapies allowed me to return to my everyday routine, to work, sometimes even to go for a dance. More importantly they allowed me to see my daughter finish high-school and grow into adulthood. I have seen my daughter go to her high-school prom. I hope to see her wedding.

Now, after almost 5 years I feel well, my latest test shows no relapse. But it has a price – the side effects. They are most unpleasant – the everyday headaches, sometimes nausea, weakness.

Without the help of many wonderful benefactors, financial problems would not allow me to continue with the treatment. I still have to ask for financial support to cover the costs of transport which come with additional tests and medication to counter side effects.

I wish for a better “after treatment” support system. I wish for easy to understand, accessible information in every stage of the treatment. I had to find out on my own about possible genetic tests and targeted therapies – in 10 years it should be standard procedure. I also wish that finances will not stand in the way for anyone who is fighting for their life.