Canan II

I had a lot of pain and went to see a doctor. My doctor said to me: “You have a minor ailment but you can keep going on. It is not a big problem. Everything is OK. However, we should perform some tests.” They couldn’t find out what was wrong. They had just some predictions. One day, my friend Mehtap and I went on a walk and we were talking about my period term. Actually, I suspected that I was pregnant and she told me that I required to have a pregnancy test. After we left, I went home and I had the test. Yes, I was pregnant. After I learnt that I was pregnant, I called Zuhal, another friend of mine. We wept for joy. It was really amazing. I told my husband that I was pregnant. Everything was incredible.

A couple of days later, we went to the doctor to get my test results and he told me, “You have a cancer and you should have an abortion.” I was so upset that I didn’t know what to do. It was unbelievable. I did not want to have an abortion. And I said to my doctor that I had never had an abortion. My psychology was so bad. I was crying all the time. And one day, I had a miscarriage. My baby was dead. In the meantime, I did not have insurance since I was a refugee. Hence, I applied for an insurance to the state. After I applied, I got an insurance by the reason of pregnancy and I got it before I lost the baby. I certainly believe that my baby was sent by God to save my life and it actually saved my life.

Then, I began the chemotherapy process. It was so weird. Actually, it was so horrible; I had a lot of pain. My whole life suddenly changed. My habits changed. My skills changed. Everything changed. It was so different. Getting cancer… living with it… this feeling is really different… I had too much pain but I never complained. Never. I lived with my pain but I never told other people about it. It is true that the people around the one with cancer sorrow more than the one with cancer. My friends, my relatives, my family, my husband were all more worried than me. Since I knew that my family and my friends weren’t able to do anything, I had to be powerful.

Even though I used every medicine and every treatment, my cancer did not regress. Finally, thanks God, we found a donor. One family would give their child’s marrow to the marrow bank and this marrow adapted me. By the way, my insurance expired. As I had a special kind of cancer, I became a research patient at a research hospital. Thus, I did not pay for a year time. Before Barack Obama, patients with fatal diseases could not get special insurance; however, after Obama, they had the right to get that insurance and, consequently, I could get a special insurance. Meanwhile, I started to get better.

Chemotherapy process lasted for seven years and I was so accustomed to it that I could say it was like an appetizer for me. My hair… Losing my hair whenever I got the chemotherapy cycle extremely upset me. I tried every treatment and, finally, I managed to recover. During all this period, my husband was always supportive and understanding. I’m really grateful to him. We were refugees and we didn’t have anybody. I was away from home. My mom was away from me. Just think! You live in a different country, you have cancer, your family is away from you, and you have only hope, your husband and your friends. I am lucky to have him and my friends. I suffered too much. Nevertheless, everything was as it should be. I never gave up. I always had hope and I finally defeated it…

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Sumeyye Acikgoz
Sumeyye Acikgoz graduated Masters degree in NGO and Social Responsibility Management from Istanbul University with her master project about Turkey, Health NGOs in Volunteering and Volunteer Management in 2017 and also, she graduated with a masters degree in Sociology from Istanbul Commerce University with her master thesis on Spatial Cluster Dynamics of Irregular Migrants In Metropolitan Cities: Example of Afghan Refugees In Beykoz-Yenimahalle in 2018. She worked on a lot of projects as a writer, coordinator, and team member. She worked all refugee camps and migration foundations as a volunteer in Turkey. She lived in the US and got research techniques about migration studies in 2018. Also, she worked in the Heartland Alliance as a volunteer interpreter with migrant people. She has written about irregular migrants at different web sites and magazines. She has a consultant company which is the name Seena Project Consultancy. She founded this website in 2019. Currently, she is studying for a Ph.D. program on political science at Medeniyet University.