HELP restoring bak files - desperate

Hello fellow Cubase users. I’m not a frequent forum inhabitant therefore I’m not even sure whether this is the right place to ask for help but I’m desperate to the point of crying. I had a huge session loaded in cubase that had midi files and vst instruments. I didn’t export them to audio yet for mixing because the composition was not over. I renamed the main project, but the .bak files had the original name still. Once I opened the steinberg hub I stupidly tried to open the project from there using the old project name and it prompted to remove the file from recents since it didn’t exist anymore and I clicked, again I know stupidly, yes. Now all but 3 bak files are missing and I’ve lost months of work. No backup I can think of. What did Cubase do to the files and please tell me there’s a way to restore them.

Use ‘Open Other’ in the Hub to locate the project folder. Those 'bak files should still be there.

Removing a file from recents will not delete any files. I’ve renamed files, and removed the reference to the old files in recents, many times without problems. Something else must have happened, outside Cubase. To check the obvious, have you checked your recycle bin / trash?