More than one month has past since I received the news that I was cured and at the end of my DR-TB treatment. The time since then has been great, I reached my aim with happiness! Since I received the news from my doctors I have found a job and I am working in a wood factory in Osh.
I still remember the day in the TB Centre when my MSF doctors told me that I was cured and could stop the treatment. I had a strange feeling of happiness which I really cannot find any words to describe. I still can’t believe that the treatment has finished. I have conquered death. I want to thank you all and to say that good people can save the world.
After the consultation with MSF staff members I went straight home. I was so under the effect of the good news, that I didn’t realize how was the long trip to my house was, I don’t remember it. When I arrived home and shared the news with my family they were very happy. They were so happy that they started crying. My wife congratulated me. She said: “New life has begun. Now everything will change. The difficult days are gone”. On the same day I also wanted to celebrate the news with my friends. I called all of them and we shared a “plov” (regional food) together in Papan, my village. Some days later I also celebrated in Osh, with other friends.
Now, when I review my treatment I consider the major difficulties were all related to pills and their side effects. Seeing a lot of people without any treatment die pushed me to receive the treatment and to be adherent. Also I wanted to get cured for my children, for my future. In those situations the support of my wife, Shirin, and of my doctors, nurses and social workers from MSF and Ministry of Health, was really important. I’m very thankful to all of them.
In addition to the pills and their side effects, the other main difficulty was how my disease affected all the members of my family. When I was severely sick with tuberculosis, my mom also fell ill because of issues related to her age. My poor wife had to take care of both of us and of course she could not work outside at that time. Nobody was working in the family. And perhaps still more painful was the information about the necessity of treatment for my children. Doctors said they might have to be treated because they were in contact with me. In that moment I felt guilty. Our relatives also start shunning us.
But thinking about the opposite, I mean, the things which supported me throughout my treatment was the emotional and financial care that MSF offered me. In my previous treatment I was suffering a lot. Doctors discharged me home thinking that I would die there. But the words of MSF staff, saying that I would get cured, strongly pushed me, convinced me, to get cured! To receive the proper treatment! To take all the pills! And not only MSF staff, my children also supported me a lot. They were saying not to worry about them. They were working and trying to improve the living conditions for the family.
There are two pictures which I still remember perfectly; the worst and the best of my treatment. The worst was the death of one patient. She was also in the hospital with me, but she didn’t take the pills. Her death and its reason are still in my mind. On the other hand, the best picture is of a trip to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, that MSF organised in order for me to participate in a television interview. Everything was well organised and I enjoyed a lot of the trip. I was still on treatment, it was a very important moment for me.
And now… now I am cured and full of plans for the future. I’m working in this wood factory but I really want to go back to my previous work, as worker of Culture in Papan or in Osh. I love music and culture. Also my oldest son is at the age to get married, so perhaps we will soon be celebrating a wedding!!
And at the end of my treatment I would like to say some words…
To people with TB I want to say all of you: “You will not die! TB can be cured! Take all pills!”...
To care providers: “Say good words to patients, because they are stronger then the drugs!” and also: “Provide correct information to all the population, especially related to ways of transmission!. Don’t tell lies and increase the stigma!” …
To general people: “Please support people with TB! They can be cured! They need your support!”