I got here to the US as a 90-day fiancé. 2 weeks after getting permission to work, I discovered I had most cancers.

  • Anna Tower-Kovesdi immigrated to the US from Hungary on a fiancé visa.
  • At first, she could not work. Two weeks after she began, she was identified with most cancers.
  • She is now getting therapy in Denver.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Anna Tower-Kovesdi. It has been edited for size and readability.

In December 2021, a couple of days earlier than Christmas, I began to really feel exhausted. I assumed it was only a lengthy yr catching up with me. In July that yr, I moved to the US on a fiancé visa, the identical sort made well-known by the hit TLC present “90 Day Fiancé.” My then-fiancé and I had 90 days to get married, and through that point, I could not work.

Our marriage went off and not using a hitch, and as soon as we had been wed, I utilized for a short lived inexperienced card. That important immigration doc would imply I may work once more. With COVID-19, I had heard that the method was sluggish, however I used to be fortunate sufficient to get my inexperienced card solely 5 months after I arrived. I additionally utilized for a Social Safety quantity, although I did not technically want one.

It felt like our life within the US was actually getting began. So in December, I went with my husband for a piece journey to Chicago to have fun. In the course of the weekend, I began to really feel drained, and once we obtained residence, I knew one thing was very mistaken. I Googled my signs: exhaustion, unusual bruises, and hair loss. That is why I noticed the phrase leukemia. However I informed myself to not suppose the worst.

I visited pressing care. Then the hospital informed me to return in immediately.

A number of days later, my husband introduced me to pressing care. We hoped that will be extra inexpensive than going to my basic practitioner. The urgent-care heart did numerous blood work and informed me a health care provider can be in contact the following day.

That evening at 9 p.m., the native emergency room referred to as. They informed me to pack a bag and be on the hospital inside an hour with my husband. At that time, we each knew one thing was significantly mistaken.

After we arrived, a health care provider introduced me again for testing. I used to be alone due to COVID-19 precautions. She informed me there was an 80% likelihood that this was leukemia. Attempting to be an optimist, I requested her in regards to the different 20%. She simply checked out me and mentioned, “It is leukemia.”

That evening, I used to be airlifted to a much bigger hospital in Denver.

Being an immigrant with most cancers was terrifying

Most cancers is at all times scary. However most cancers as an immigrant is especially terrifying. I wasn’t acquainted in any respect with the American medical system, not to mention insurance coverage. I used to be digesting complicated info in a language that is not my native tongue.

The funds had been tough, too. I had simply began working once more after months with out revenue. Whereas I am right here legally as a everlasting resident, I am not entitled to authorities advantages like unemployment insurance coverage. I did not have incapacity pay as a result of I had been working right here for less than two weeks — my many years of labor in Hungary did not rely for something. We needed to flip to crowdfunding to assist pay our payments.

But if I’ve to face most cancers, I am glad I am doing it within the US relatively than Hungary. I doubt my husband and I might be collectively if I had been identified earlier than we met: Orchestrating a world relationship whereas coping with most cancers would have been an excessive amount of.

Then, there’s the standard of care. In Denver, I am at a hospital that focuses on blood cancers. I’ve a non-public room, fantastic meals, and entry to train gear once I’m feeling as much as utilizing it. That made my 37-day hospital keep bearable. In Hungary, I might have been in a room with three different sufferers consuming bread and butter.

I fear about immigrants who haven’t got the sources I do

I am nonetheless in therapy and might be for months. I have never had the prospect to take pleasure in life in America but. However I do know I am getting the perfect care attainable. My oncologist, an immigrant from Italy, did his finest to ensure I understood every thing that was taking place. I appreciated that.

Once I’m not excited about my future, I fear in regards to the different immigrants going through most cancers. Lots of them haven’t got the privileges I do: talking English, having medical insurance and a Social Safety quantity, and having a partner that is aware of no less than a bit in regards to the system. It is so scary to be in a special nation talking a special language. It could possibly make you are feeling completely alone.