Małgorzata and Aleksandra live with cancer. Both emphasize: “Don’t tell us we have to be strong. We don’t have to”

Małgorzata and Aleksandra live with cancer. Both emphasize: "Don't tell us we have to be strong. We don't have to"

It happens all the time that someone will say “it’ll be fine”, “don’t worry, you have to be strong”. This “you have to be strong” is probably the hardest, because sometimes I really have a bad moment and what I want at that moment is not to be strong – confessed Aleksandra Wiederek-Barańska. – Sometimes, when someone tells me that “I have to be strong”, I respond, I write back that I don’t have to do anything. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I’m not. Because what if someone tells me that it will be fine, and I don’t know how it will be? And then, when it gets bad, what am I supposed to tell that person? Once I heard “Mrs. Małgorzata, this will be the last chemotherapy in your life”. Four years later it turned out that it wasn’t… – added Małgorzata Sajan. A conversation about the strength of “onco-sisters” can be heard in the latest episode of the podcast “Wprost Stanowinie”.

Paulina Socha-Jakubowska: Ola, in 2021 you told me so: “I never asked how old the statistics were giving me. If I had started living five years ago with the message that I would die in 95% of those five years, I would probably have completely broken down.” Another four years passed…

Aleksandra Wiederek-Baranska: If you asked me today if I was afraid of death, I would say that at the moment I am not afraid, but what will happen when I am in such a state that I will feel it approaching? I will behave completely differently.

I am still in treatment. This treatment will not end, I mean it will end, but then I will end too. From the perspective of a healthy person, you could say, “oh my,” that it lasts all the time.

I also sometimes have such thoughts, but I approach it on the principle: “Okay, if it works, then let it work as long as possible, because I can live forever.” And this life is different. There are worse moments, much worse, very bad, but there are also much better moments and I stick to that.

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What is important to me is that your story is a story about changing awareness about cancer and starting to treat it as a chronic disease, with which, as you can see, you can live so beautifully. But before we get back to this topic, I will quote Gosia’s words: “I’m not afraid of death, at least I know that in recent years I’ve experienced the most wonderful moments of my life. The little grey one has started living a million percent.”

Margaret Sajan: Yes. And now it’s probably a million thousand percent. This quote from me is from a year ago, when I found out that I had metastases. And back then we didn’t really know if the treatment was working. Now I know that it is working. I’m still undergoing treatment and – as Ola said – I also hope that I will be in this treatment as long as possible. Because as long as the drugs work, I will be with you.

I’m still not afraid of death, I know it can happen at any moment, but I’m here, I came to Warsaw, tomorrow I’m going to a concert. It’s great.

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