Institutia Medico-Sanitara Publica Oncologic, Chisinau, Moldova
Recently out of surgery Sizetsiana is still trying to figure out where she is. Her mother, Tatiana, speaks softly so as not to unduly disturb her daughter.
A recent trip to the seaside had revealed a large and unsightly mole on Sizetsiana that had previously gone unnoticed.
Alarmed, her parents brought her to see a doctor immediately upon their return. Not surprisingly her doctor recommended the mole be removed as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, mostly due to financial issues, the surgery was not actually performed for five long months.
Now post-surgery, Tatiana is frightened. A pathologist must analyse the mole and if it’s a malignancy, which her doctor is fairly sure of, then the extent, if any, of the metastasis.
The fear and uncertainty are plain to see in Tatiana. Her husband is not there to help calm her. His job at the customs office would not allow him time off from work to see his daughter.
His salary is very modest and their future, especially with this new development, depends on his ability to continue in his job. Even with his job they have no savings and no way to pay for cancer treatments for Sizetsiana if she needs them.
With two children, - Sizetsiana’s sister is sixteen, - they already barely make ends meet.
A hundred things tumble out of Tatiana as she speaks. She doesn’t know what to think the future will be hold, she fears everything, and can’t even figure out how they will pay to get back to the hospital from their town of Strasheni for follow up visits.
If Sizetsiana needs to undergo further cancer treatment the family’s only option is free care from the hospital.
The availability of this chemotherapy is very dependant on donations of chemotherapy medications made to the hospital.
Without such donations there is not enough funding available to treat low-income patients like Sizetsiana.
Many families in Moldova have tried purchasing generic chemotherapy medications made in unregulated laboratories and countries with disastrous results.
Many of the best and most effective drugs are not even available for purchase at market prices in Moldova.
The choices and opportunities for poor and working class families are few. The donations are a true blessing to these same patients.
Sizetsiana is groggy but gracious. An extremely polite girl of thirteen, she is blond with crystal clear blue eyes.
She studies English avidly in school and is proud to demonstrate her abilities. She declares that she is not worried, although her mother clearly is.
She lies patiently while the nurse adjusts her I.V. and when asked if she was nervous before her surgery she answers, "of course not”