A resident of Novosibirsk was found to have a kidney tumor at the age of six. We learned the story of Ksyusha Proskuryakova thanks to the staff of the Protect Life charity foundation, which helps children with cancer.
The fund’s employees supervise children throughout their treatment, even if they need medical services and rehabilitation in other clinics, cities and countries.
Ksyusha Proskuryakova is 16 years old. She goes to school, loves to sing, plays the piano. Favorite bands are Queen and Abba. Sometimes a Siberian woman paints portraits of her idols – she’s great at it. But Ksyusha’s life is a little different from the usual life of a teenager – ten years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. The girl was taken out of the house in an ambulance and urgently operated on – one kidney was removed.
The next year, Ksyusha and her entire family bravely fought the disease and won. NGS correspondent Alena Zolotukhina learned the details of this story with a happy ending.
Olga Proskuryakova noticed the first strange symptoms in her daughter when the girl was 5 years old – Ksyusha was tormented by severe nausea and vomiting. The woman called an ambulance, they were taken to the children’s infectious diseases hospital, where the girl underwent gastric lavage, put on an IV and let her go home. Then it did not come to an ultrasound scan. Six months later, the symptoms reminded of themselves again – Olga called the local doctor from the clinic. The therapist came, felt Ksyusha’s stomach and said that the situation was serious, it was clearly something surgical, an ambulance had to be called. The ambulance doctors had already felt by touch that the situation was bad: at best, it was inflated appendicitis, at worst, oncology.
– By that time, Ksyusha already had the 4th degree with a breakup. It was impossible to hesitate, and the surgeon performed the operation on the same night – he removed the kidney along with the tumor. Perhaps, if they had noticed it earlier, the tumor could have been reduced with the help of chemotherapy, but there was no time for the procedure, – says Olga Proskuryakova.
The woman recalls that when she heard her daughter’s diagnosis, she almost slid down the wall into a swoon – the pressure jumped up, and it suddenly became bad. After the examination, Ksyusha had a CT scan – there was no doubt that it was an oncology.
– My husband and I understood everything and tried to accept what we heard. It was necessary to tune in to fight the disease. My health itself is rather precarious, so I pulled myself together as best I could: the strength of mind, willpower and the health of my parents were what we all needed at that moment. We understood that we would live in a hospital. They were constantly changing: either me, or my husband, or my grandmother, ” Ksyusha’s mother continues to recall.
Sometimes the parents lost heart, the disease behaved unstably and unexpectedly struck another blow – after the third chemotherapy block and another CT scan, Olga was told that Ksyusha’s lungs had begun to develop. It was decided to intensify the treatment.
– My husband always said that he felt – Ksyusha will get better, get well. With these thoughts, we charged from each other, held our fists and just believed, – says Olga.
The hospital provided Ksyusha with treatment free of charge, and one of the doctors advised Olga to contact a charitable foundation that helps children with oncology. The treatment was divided into several blocks of chemotherapy: a week at home, a week in the hospital, depending on the dynamics of the disease. Breaks between blocks of chemistry – a year. During the treatment, Ksyusha behaved very courageously, did not be capricious and did not cry, held firmly, as if nothing was happening, which surprised both parents and doctors.
– Maybe the child’s age affected, and Ksyusha did not fully understand what was happening. We did our best to brighten up her life and give her childhood – we brought toys, played games with her, read poems, sang songs. There was a children’s room in the hospital, volunteers came to the children and made them laugh. And we, parents, had patience and left our tears outside the door of the Ksyushin ward, – says Olga and adds that the most difficult thing was the unknown.
Shortly before her daughter’s illness, Olga began working as a holiday host. Now she believes that by virtue of her profession, her charge of courage and spirit, irrepressible energy was transferred to Ksyusha and the rest of the family, which helped to survive the difficult period. Olga had to leave her job – she no longer had the strength to amuse other people.
Nephroblastoma of the right kidney is a malignant tumor that was removed from Ksyusha in the fifth year of her life. Doctors cannot give an unambiguous answer where it came from – maybe genes, maybe hit, the reason could be whatever. Lung metastases were visible on CT for several more years, but they did not manifest themselves in any way – perhaps they were not them, but foci of pneumonia. Now the disease does not manifest itself in any way. Ksyusha is already 16 years old, she lives the usual life of a teenager, perhaps not as active as she could.
– The fact that she had cancer, Ksyusha realized at the age of 10-11. She did not ask questions, because she learned about what happened to her, gradually, from strangers, since she was in the midst of the same children as herself. Ksyusha went to a special camp from the aid fund, to Moscow for charity games for children who have overcome cancer. There she communicated with other children, heard the speech of the leaders into the microphone, but by that time she was already healthy. When the daughter finally realized what kind of illness she had, then there was a fear of a return of the tumor and mild panic attacks, – says Ksyusha’s mother.
Life with one kidney has its own unpleasant nuances, but you can get used to them. It is hard for Ksyusha to walk for a long time and a lot – her heart rate increases. There are problems with the thyroid gland, eyesight, legs quickly get tired, sometimes the stomach gets up from chemotherapy. The whole body is skewed to one side – with a working kidney, this is very noticeable on the back. Ksyusha is not allowed to engage in active sports; in bad weather, the girl has an unpleasant ache and a sore seam from the operation. The girl had a long thick braid, but it had to be cut off – it was too difficult to walk with such a shock because of the heavy load on the spine. Washing was also not easy, plus adolescence demanded changes – I wanted something new.
– To someone’s questions about health, we always answer: “Thank you, slowly.” We do not want to jinx it, we have become superstitious, – Olga explains the position of the family.
The terrible is over, but every year Ksyusha needs to go through a commission, be checked and carefully monitor her health. Doctors say that the more years go by, the less chances that everything will happen again. In the case of Ksyusha, 10 years have passed.
Ksyusha goes to school, but individual training is easier for her. She is a very creative person, she loves to sing, plays the piano and draws beautifully. Olga says that her daughter is a persistent and purposeful girl with a strong character, selective towards people, does not tolerate deception and betrayal. Ksyusha is very sociable and sociable, she has many friends on social networks, but there is only one close friend. The Siberian woman dreams of connecting her future with creativity – she wants to enter an architectural academy or a music college.