Fighting Lung Cancer Together

Aleksandr and Valentina – Fighting Lung Cancer Together

Aleksandr is a 57-year-old from Voronezh, Russian Federation and has been married to his wife, Valentina, for 36 years. In 2016, as part of an annual checkup, Aleksandr had a chest x-ray. The x-ray revealed a mass on his right lung. Further investigation by CT scan showed the mass to be a tumor.

Aleksandr: Our daughter and her husband went online and researched treatment options. They strongly advised me to choose Sheba Medical Center for my medical treatment. A week later, Valentina and I were at Sheba in Israel.

Arriving at Sheba Medical Center

Valentina:  We are so grateful to our son-in-law as he made all the calls and organized the logistics very quickly and efficiently. It felt like we were destined to go to Sheba, and the process was so easy and smooth.

When they arrived at Sheba, Aleksandr had a comprehensive examination including blood tests and a PET-CT scan, which showed that the tumor was indeed malignant.

Aleksandr: I was surprisingly calm when I heard the news. I wasn’t frightened.

Valentina: It was very hard on me. All I could think was that we should start the treatment as soon as possible. I believe that my husband’s optimism had played a major role in his recovery. His spirit was strong throughout everything as he fought the illness.

Aleksandr: We were in contact with our kids daily, and they supported us through the entire process. As soon as we arrived, we met Ilona Brom, our medical coordinator, who followed us every step of the way through the treatment. We received the best possible care with excellent attention to details. It was exactly what we needed during this difficult time of our lives.

<center>Alon Ben-Nun</center>

Alon Ben-Nun

MD, PhD

Going into Surgery

The examinations and tests that Aleksandr underwent at Sheba Medical Center revealed additional findings in his left lung. He was advised to have a biopsy and exploratory chest surgery, which revealed that the cancer had also infiltrated his left lung.

Dr. Nir Golan, with the assistance of Dr. David Simansky and under the supervision of Prof. Ben-Nun, performed the surgery on Aleksandr. Aleksandr then spent a week in the ICU and the Thoracic Surgery Department. He was then able to move to a hotel located inside Sheba Medical Center, where he recuperated and underwent further tests.

Aleksandr and Valentina spent a total of two months at Sheba Medical Center. They say they won’t ever forget the caring and professionalism of the medical staff that treated Aleksandr.

Aleksandr: I’m very grateful to the surgeons who operated on me as they truly saved my life. They are definitely highly qualified professionals and wonderful, attentive people. Everyone was just so nice to us, not only the medical staff and our coordinator, Ilona, but even the lady who brought us lunch and the transportation worker who drove me to the OR and back. It was incredibly reassuring to have all this support. The cancer had brought me low, but I got my life back thanks to the surgeons at Sheba.

Valentina: It was very nerve-wracking waiting for Aleksandr to come out of surgery. As I waited over the hours, Dr. Golan came out a few times to reassure me that everything was going alright. That made me feel so much more relaxed.

Now, that he is cancer- free, Aleksandr returns to Sheba for follow-up appointments once every three months. Eventually, he will only need to visit once a year.

Aleksandr: I have decided to make the most of my life. For example, I stopped smoking after 40 years of heavy smoking. We also love to travel, and since the surgery, we have visited Singapore and Thailand with our kids and grandkids.

Valentina: Our family was extremely involved in the entire process. They were always up to speed on what Aleksandr was going through. Even our granddaughter, the oldest of four we have, was worried for him and supported him in her own way.

Aleksandr: It is so important to do the yearly checkups. I didn’t feel anything before the illness was discovered – no symptoms, nothing. I was very active, working all the time. It was definitely a shock for me when the disease was discovered. You never think it will happen to you…

I strongly urge everyone to undergo annual checkups, and if you do discover an illness, Sheba is the place to come. The medical staff is highly professional, the technologies are cutting edge, and the medical consultants in the Medical Tourism Department are compassionate and attentive. I’m very grateful to all the people involved in my treatment and to my family for their support and for bringing me to Sheba Medical Center.

Valentina: We’ve never experienced such high-quality medical treatment combined with heartfelt care. We now have a life to live together, traveling and enjoying our kids and grandkids. We will make the most of each day.