Marta Satler's Story
Do not ask why me, better ask yourself why am I not?
I am a chemical engineer and was always full of energy. I married at 28 and had two daughters.
Whilst they were growing up, I was working very hard looking out for my family and helping with the physical work when we completely renovated our old house.
When I was 38 years old I went to study at the University and I started training different sport.
During Autumn 1999 I left my beloved research and laboratory work at the Biotechnical University (Department of Food Technology) and went on a 7 week long trip to the roadless areas of Tibet. Prior to the trip, I was examined by a doctor and he asked me to stop by upon my return because he never had a chance to follow anyone who spent so long in an area averaging 4,500 meters above sea level. The results showed that my metabolism was perfect. Doctor said that I do not need to worry about my health for at least 5 years. I was very healthy, despite the fact that I was now 54 years old. I was practicing winter and summer sports intensively and I felt wonderful.
In 2003 my doctor retired and a new one sent me for colonoscopy whereas there had been many cases of bowel cancer in the family of my father. Only one 8 mm polyp was found, which could not removed and after a week I went to surgery.
Analysis of the tissue showed colorectal cancer, III stadium and I had to undergo 6 months of chemotherapy with 5FU and leucovorin (Mayo protocol). Despite everything, I was very optimistic and felt good.
After completion of chemotherapy, I became depressed. Nobody talked to me about anything but my illness. It seemed to me that no one believed that I was healthy. At that time, the cancer was not a topic many spoke about, and only when someone died, we found out that he had cancer.
At that time, in Slovenia, it was not so usual to go to the Psychotherapist. When I felt the worse I decided to go to Africa, where people are willing to talk about everything. I went to Uganda to help children in primary school and after 5 weeks I came back home healthy.For the next six years I was under medical control and went for regular check up exams.
Ten years down the line, I feel very healthy and I enjoy painting, reading, writing, cycling, swimming and skiing. I volunteer in many different areas: in developing reading culture among children in Uganda where I go every year, in helping cancer patients at our hospital.
I am working at the museum, helping at the university for third life period, in discovering history of the Pyramides in Bosnia, ... I love what I'm doing, I enjoy time I spend with my five grandchildren and I like myself!