Relive the experiences described in the inspiring stories told by people close to the foundation.
Lise Auger

Art therapy helped me find myself

In June 2013, I learned I had breast cancer. I was only 45 and the diagnosis hit me like a real tsunami. I was very much afraid of what lay ahead and I had a million questions. I looked for resources to guide me in learning about cancer and to help move forward in the face of such a huge challenge. Then, I called the Foundation’s Info-Cancer Line and there I found help to gain a better perspective on my situation. At the same time I learned that this organization offered art therapy.

Enthusiastically I took up the challenge of participating in the art therapy workshops, since I wanted to do everything possible to smooth out the road ahead in the unknown world of disease. When I stopped working, I told myself: “Your only full-time job is going to your treatments and taking care of yourself.” That’s what I did and art therapy helped me a great deal to navigate through the various stages of cancer. It was, beyond any doubt, the best gift I could have given myself.

What I enjoyed most in this activity was discovering all the “little surprises” that lay hidden in my creative efforts. I was always amazed to see everything that came forth from them and I learned a whole lot about myself through them. It made me aware of what was going on in my life, of who I was, how I was feeling or where I wanted to be. This undertaking went well beyond what I was living with the cancer – I gave myself permission to exist. At home, I was very proud to hang my paintings on the wall. They remind me of the many times I took stock and of the ways I managed to move forward and surpass my own limitations.

I very much appreciated the approach of art therapist Nadine Pinton. She always acknowledged where I was in my own journey and encouraged me in my creative expression and my introspection. At the start of each workshop, she asked us how we were feeling and what our need was. Sometimes I needed to express my anger, at other times to clear my head, to laugh or just to relax. During the session, she looked at what we were creating, came to see us, asked us questions to make us reflect more deeply. We were really well coached and that helped me to let go, be myself with my pain, my anger, my zest for life, etc.

I’m especially grateful to each of those wonderful people in whose company I progressed in art therapy. They were sources of inspiration for me, as we worked together to be fully supportive and interdependent in this journey of life, genuine in our strengths and weaknesses.

I hope that more people can get to know of this free and helpful service, and that they will try it at least once to determine for themselves all the benefits that it produces.


Lise Auger

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