My Story is about Kasia Chmielewska

This event took place from 03 Jul 2014 until now.

The Discovery

It all happened unexpected. I was at work and I felt strange stomach ache. I knew it was a kind of pain I’ve never felt before… I took a step and I went to a doctor. However since that moment it has took a year until I’ve heard that I had a pancreatic cancer. I haven’t suffered from any serious disease or chronic condition till then. I was 33, a mom of two years old boy, married to love of my life and my best friend, getting promotion at work. It was all not what I have planned …

This is My Story

At the beginning rather unconsciously, after some time with all that new experience of chemotherapy, surgeries and psycho-oncologic therapy I’ve started to build a strategy to stand up to the monster the disease seemed to be. I’ve started to gain knowledge about pancreatic cancer and cancer at all. My husband motivated me searching for successful stories. I’d discovered that my attitude had an influence on how I feel and how I cope with all the difficult treatment.

Healthy diet, physical activity both adjusted to my conditions and actual preferences, and celebration of everyday life had become a solid mainstay of my strategy. Being on the chemo I’ve started running. I’ve started very cautiously, from 300 meters. Quickly it turned out that I can do better. Day after day, week after week I had trained and after couple of months I run first in my life 10 km distance. I’m still trying to jog at least twice a week. In July 2016 to fulfil my dream I climbed Glossglockner (3798), Austria highest mountain. It was challenging, however it also gave me wings.

My fight isn’t finished yet. I’m still facing the disease believing I can fly just a little bit longer. Hoping all pancreatic cancer patients can.

The Impact of Time

You know the feeling when you go on a vacation to some exotic place and first few days seem so long and fulfilled. Time is extending because there is a new territory that you need to recognise. It’s similar to what I had felt at the time of diagnosis. I clearly remember how it was like.

Like in many cases as mine life brings an experience of a disease not waiting for one’s consent. Not bothering if we are ready or not. And naturally we are not … All I felt at the beginning was fear. Fear coming from the bottom of my heart. Strait from my guts. For a couple of days I’d felt like hounded animal.

Luckily for me when I heard the diagnosis I had already been after a successful Whipple procedure (July 2014). So soon, with a “little” help of my wonderful husband, family and friends, it allowed me to rise in HOPE. Although the reality didn’t give me much reason to hope. Soon before I begun the chemo it turned out there are four metastasis in my liver. But HOPE already aroused and I wasn’t giving in I had too much to lose. In January 2015 I had a surgery, as a result a right lobe of my liver had been resected. Three months later in April 2015 I had to have laparotomy due to intestinal obstruction. It was adhesion on the peritoneum that had to be operated. To sum up in last five years I had 5 big surgeries, 5 smaller medical interventions, chemotherapy total lasting for over a year. Since April 2017 I have diabetes as I had my pancreas totally resected. I can hardly believe I’ve survived it. But I did. And I believe that others can do as well.