Monday, October 21, 2013

A few words... :)

I wasn’t really planning to write such a post, but the messages I receive, the comments you keep writing made me want to share some thoughts about my illness with you.

Being diagnosed with cancer usually changes the life completely. Even the early stages of cancer, that are usually fully curable, cause fear, uncertainty and anger. It makes you ask questions “Why me?”. It makes you really scared of death, especially when you are young and there is still so much for you to do.

It is even worse, when you know that you just can’t be cured. I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, with several metastases to the liver. This stage is incurable, no matter how hard the doctors would try, they just can’t cure me. They can prolong my life with one chemotherapy after another, but this is all they can do. What a person is supposed to do in this case?

It seems there are only two solutions to this problem. It’s either fighting, at any price, or giving up and waiting for death to come. These two things, in one way or another, determine your life. And even if you choose to fight, or choose to give up, the illness has already won over you. You can say “No, I am fighting it, so how could it win?”. But what else can it be if you sacrifice the rest of your life to fight? The illness becomes the most important thing in your life. And I think you should never ever allow it to happen.

One can say, that sometimes cancer can teach you to appreciate your life. It wasn’t like this in my case. I learnt to appreciate my life long time ago. Many years ago, when I was barely over 20, I lost my parents and was left with no family at all. It taught me that only me and no one else is responsible for my life. I learnt how to live a life, because it is too precious to be wasted. So could I waste it on just being ill? No, I couldn’t.

From the very beginning I knew that my illness wouldn’t determine my life. Instead of asking myself a question “Why me?”, I kept saying “Good it is me and not a mother with little children”. Instead of being scared of death I kept convincing myself that if this is my destiny, I will just accept it. I went through six rounds of chemotherapy while still working full time. I could feel really awful during the first two or three days after the chemo, and then I was desperately searching in my body for enough strength to get up and go to work. You don’t really know how strong you are until you have to find the strength in you. I can’t say that the treatment was easy though, I paid a really high price and I still pay the price every single day. But I didn’t allow it to change my life. That was the most important thing I was aiming for and I succeeded.

My decision about not continuing the treatment was hard. Not for me though, but for everyone else, for people who just don’t want to accept the fact that I may die. But this time I know that getting another chemo wouldn’t just make much sense, because sooner or later it would make my life unbearable, more than cancer itself. I don’t want to prolong my life at any price, and I’d rather have the illness, not the treatment, kill me. It is my decision though, and I know it is a right decision.

But what I want to tell you isn’t about me continuing the treatment or not. I want to tell you that I hope that none of you will ever have to face such an illness. But if something like that will ever happen to you or to a member of your family, or to a friend, please just remember, that whether fought or not, cancer just can’t be allowed to win. It is life, that is the goal, the health, not defeating an illness. Can you see the difference here?

I meet many people suffering from cancer. When I look at 99% of them I feel like the illness is the only thing that keeps them alive. They can talk about it for hours. They spend entire days searching for information about cancer in the internet. They just live with cancer and for cancer. Maybe this is their way to cope with the illness, but for me the acceptance is the key. At least I can keep my inner balance this way.

I will be turning 35 later this week. I found out that I have cancer almost exactly a year ago. An average lifespan for my stage is three months. According to the doctors, I should have died long ago. Yet I still live. Of course, I don’t do heroic deeds, I don’t save the world, I just live a normal, everyday life which I enjoy – I live, I laugh, I love. Sure, I don’t know for how long, but this is something that nobody knows. But, the time I have left I’m going to spend on LIVING.

And on smiling. Because no illness can take it away from me.


After a few e-mails I want to add a short summary. Or maybe not a summary, but just one advice. Live your life and enjoy it, no matter what. Be happy with what you have. That is what I wanted to tell you. :)


  1. I take off my hat to you. Your brave words touched my heart. I can only wish you to
    stay brave and keep enjoying life. This is also an opportunity to let you know how much I enjoy your tutorials although I'm not a jewelry wearing person. I love to know how these beautiful items are created.
    Hugs, Drora

  2. You are a woman of great courage love for life is overflowing from this post.....thanks thanks thanks Justyna your story is full of are a great lesson in courage and strength, I thank you again for sharing all this! I embrace you!

  3. Mój lekarz powtarza, że jak pacjent chce żyć to medycyna jest bezsilna. Moim zdaniem ma rację. A Ty jesteś kimś niesamowitym, kobietą jakich mało, Twoi rodzice byliby z Ciebie dumni!

    1. Asia trafiłaś w samo sedno:) Justyna- Ty mu się nie dajesz, więc prognozy lekarzy na szczęście nie mają nic wspólnego z rzeczywistością:)))

  4. I respect your decision. You are a strong woman. Take care.

  5. Dear Justyna
    I admire you for your power. Unfortunately my english is not so good. I can not express what I want to say. But I wish you all the best.
    Your post has really touched me.

  6. Im impressed! So much of power and so many difficult thoughts .Im sending best wishes from all my heart

  7. Dear Eridhan,
    why only my English is so bad that I can not describe to you what I feel when I read your lines and also understand.
    I admire you for your openness and your will to live and your wise words.
    I don`t know how I would decide, but I understand your decision.
    I wish you that you have quite a lot of days, weeks, months, maybe years with laughter, love, work, creative ideas. I wish you much more good than bad days. Please stay with us long and keep the inner balance.
    And do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to speak.
    You're a great person!
    Greetings and hugs

  8. My best, large, sweet and lovely smile for YOU.
    The same you always give to all of us, the same you have whatever happens.
    My tears drop, but I'm smiling to you.
    A huge with all my heart

  9. I could not agree more to what you wrote. We only have this one life After all we know... Thanks for the joy you are bringing to me with your bead work and patterns. Wie will cry when it is time to cry - and enjoy every moment now!

  10. Mi querida Justyna,
    siento una gran pena al leer tus palabras, pero quiero decirte que estoy de acuerdo contigo, si algún día me pasa lo mismo, haré como tú.
    Quiero decirte que mi corazón está contigo, que te mando toda mi energía y mi cariño, que los tutoriales que gané en tu sorteo y que me dió tanta alegría recibir, los guardaré como un gran tesoro que es lo que son, tesoros, verdaderas joyas.
    Ha sido un gran honor conocerte y he aprendido tanto de ti, tanto, tanto que te doy las gracias por esta oportunidad.
    Justyna sabes qué me gustaría, que siempre y en cada momento seas feliz, no pienses, solo vive la vida con pasión y haz siempre lo que te gusta, espero y deseo seguir disfrutando de tu arte muchísimos años, te mando muchos besos y abrazos,
    eres un gran ejemplo de fortaleza.

  11. I read your story and once again you have touched my heart so deeply and proven what an admirable woman you are. You are the most amazing woman I have ever known in my life. Your strength and determination for life and happiness is what connected us. From the day we bonded I have felt as if someone was looking out for me because you appeared when I needed a friend the most, You GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK JUSTYNA. You cared and listened when you were diagnosed with terminal cancer yet you took time to reach out to me and be kind and decent. You have done so much more for me than I can ever repay and I feel embarrassed I can not do more for you. Our bond shall never be broken. You are so logical and embraced with positive energy. Your words of honesty I am certain was not easy to share and yet you tell the world what you have endured and lived this past year, that alone takes more courage than most have. You are so respected and appreciated by so many who do not even know you yet they admire you enormously. I want to let you know I am proud of you Sis. We only get one life and to spend it in agony and suffering is very difficult. I watched my mum be tormented with fighting lung cancer and she lost the fight and gave up 2 years of life. I already know what I would have done. I know this was not an easy choice to make so now that you have made it you need to concentrate on marking the X's off that bucket list and doing the things you have always dreamed of. Like coming to the USA, beading and smiling with someone who would take your cancer away if I could and give you my healthy body. Like designing new creations because you are so gifted and talented. Like smiling and seeing the sunshine and the crystal blue water of Miami Beach Florida and beading all night long with a person who would give up there life 4 you. Like meeting your Big Sister and seeing her face to face and hearing her voice for the very first time. Dreams do come true you just have to make them happen. Please believe that and give yourself a joyful time.and live your life to its fullest. I admire you beyond words. I will never forget reading this story. It will stay in my heart for eternity and carry me along my path for eternity, your words have given me hope and the power to determine my future. Thank you Justyna. You have made my world a better place just by simply being the kind, sincere, decent, compassionate, caring, intelligent, sweet, decent and genuine woman you know you are. I am blessed for your presence and grateful you beloved in me. I live in sunshine ALL because of you and your true story. Much love and a million and one hugs sis...................Marcie Lynne xoxoxoxoxoxo

  12. I am printing your words so I can keep them with me. Thank you.

  13. Sei forte! la tua forza ci da tanta forza!
    Coraggio è quello che posso dirti, ti sono vicina

  14. You may not think you do heroic deeds, but you are a hero to me! I have a similar situation. I was hurt in Iraq in the Army. I have had to choose quality over quantity of life, I think I know at least partly how you feel. You have touched my life and are truly a hero to me!

  15. Dear Justyna!
    I read your words a few days ago! And first I had to think of them. Would I be this strong in a similar situation? Would I go the same way as you do? Or would I try to extend my life on all costs?
    I had to think a lot, and reached a conclusion, that living my live intensively is better than trying to extend it. But this should be valid everyday for everyone, ill, or not.
    Hoping to remember your words ever I feel sad!
    I wish you all the best, keep your strength and enjoy life as long as it is possible.
    Hugs and kisses

  16. Dear Justyna, I read your words with tears in my eyes. You are a wonderful person, strong and fragile at the same time. I admire you for your strength, your courage and your words hit my heart. Health is a precious gift. Sometimes we fail to understand that we are really lucky. Thank you for your words and for your example to us all.

  17. First off, I wish I'd written everything that Marcie said. So just insert what she said here.

    Second, I think that living a happy and loving life *is* heroic for most people. My mom died of cancer in September of 2009, and I can't tell you how much I wish she could read what you wrote.

    Keep on shining, bright star - love, t.

  18. Zastanawiałam się co napisać by nie zabrzmiało banalnie i mam nadzieję, że tak nie zabrzmi. Olej wszystko i wszystkich, bądź egoistką i zrób dla samej siebie to czego pragniesz by być szczęśliwszą. Wykorzystaj każdą chwilę na maksa, nie patrz wstecz tylko przed siebie, wyduś z każdej minuty to co najlepsze dla Ciebie. Dziękuję za twórczość i prawdę

  19. Nie wiem co napisać. Słowa nie opiszą, co czuję......Myślę o Tobie Justynko i przesyłam moc dobrej energii i uścisków.

  20. I admire your courage and your optimism. After reading this, as person your as beautiful as your jewellery creations. I wish you all the best and hope you stay strong like this.

  21. la vita è un dono e tu la stai vivendo nel migliore dei modi.Sei unica e generosa.Ti ammiro ma davvero tanto.
    Un abbraccio forte

  22. Hello Eridhan,
    a few girls and I have a small surprise for you on my blog. A little try to say thank you for given us your tutorials and let us look in your soul with your situation. Thank you for the power.

  23. An inspiring post that explains very well the "trap" of becoming obsessed with one's illness, either through fighting it or fearing it - thank you for that! On Nov.6 it will be 1 year since my father died of lung cancer, after a short period of chemo that caused terrible suffering, it was stopped, and i'm so glad that it was! he enjoyed his remaining year of life so much more as a result. Kudos to you and to your very wise decision, indeed we should all live our lives that way.

  24. Tak jakbym czytała swoją historię. Też rok temu, też IV stopień, przerzuty do wątroby i kości. 6 cykli chemii i pamifosu. W tej chwili łykam nolvadex i sindronat na kości. Po ostatnich badaniach - wątroba się oczyściła z 12 ognisk, ogniska w kręgosłupie przestały być aktywne. Pogodziłam się z nieuniknionym ale staram się żyć normalnie. Znalazłam pasję koralikowania i oddaję się jej bez reszty. Dopóki Bóg da.
    Życzę Ci jak najdłuższego okresu remisji.


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