Help save Bertie's life
I was diagnosed with cancer in 1991 age 16.
Malignant germ cell tumor of the testis.
At the primary operation it was noted that I have retroperitoneal lymph node involvement as well as metastases to the lungs and liver.
I have received intensive chemotherapy.
Lymph nodes was removed with surgery, tumor was removed from the lungs and liver through surgery during 1991-1993.
I went into remission at the age of 18.
At age 25 in the year 2000 the cancer marker went up again, the cancer was microscopic, and we have done intensive chemotherapy again. It was successful and I was in remission once again.
At age 34 in the year 2009 the cancer marker went up again, the cancer was again microscopic, and I did a high dose chemotherapy treatment. White blood cells were removed and planted back after the treatment to build up the immune system.
This was successful and I was in remission again.
At age 43 in the year 2018 the cancer marker went up again, the cancer was on the esophagus. I went for surgery however, the surgent was unable to remove the tumor completely because it was against the esophagus. After surgery I did radiotherapy for a few months and went into remission again.
At age 45 in 2020 the cancer started growing again on the esophagus. Because of previous radiation I couldn’t do the treatment again. Because the tumor couldn’t or can’t be removed completely through surgery it’s not viable to do surgery again.
I have done chemotherapy treatment form March 2021 – end Nov 2021 however, the chemotherapy wasn’t successful this round. The cancer did spread to my left shoulder and lungs.
I did a biopsy and according to the biopsy immunotherapy can work and can respond to kill the cancer.
However, our medical aid is with Discovery, and they have covered the chemotherapy treatment costs in the past on our oncology benefit but doesn’t cover immunotherapy on our current plan.
We can’t move to the higher plan and need to wait for the end of the year to do so. Then there is no guarantee that they will approve the treatment and they might only cover 50%.
My cancer is very aggressive and spread fast. I currently have severe chest and shoulder pain; I struggle to swallow food and if I don’t start immediately with immunotherapy, it might be too late.
This is my cancer story in short over a period of 30 years and going….
Petrus Albertus Holtzhausen
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