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

“Keep on believing in life”

My name is Adèle; I'm 16 years old.

Two years ago, in March 2018, I had to go to the hospital because of incessant headaches, drowsiness, double vision, hearing problems (I lost my hearing on my left side), and epileptic seizures. I was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour that was lodged in my right temporal lobe. I was operated on at Sainte-Justine Hospital, where I continue to be monitored.

My targeted oral therapy allows me to go to school with no particular side effects other than some food aversions and an altered sense of smell. As of late fall 2018, the MRIs have detected no trace of a tumour.

In my case, it was the months prior to my diagnosis that were the hardest. Once I was taken care of in the hospital, I finally had some answers to help me understand what was going on.

That period was particularly challenging, but throughout the ordeal I was always able to count on my family and friends, who unfailingly listened and took care of me whenever things got tough. I was followed-up by a psychologist specialized in oncology, who helped me to accept my new reality.

Art also played a big role in my life: music, drawing and reading especially.

To better understand the disease in all its complexity, I relied on the support of several foundations. One of these was the Quebec Cancer Foundation, which I got to know through the Leucan Information Centre. I had also heard about the Foundation through brochures in the waiting room at the oncology centre.

I received information about cancer through the Foundation's online resources, especially its Programme à Félix for 15-39 year olds with cancer. The cancer15-39.com portal offers resources on various topics related to the disease: from diagnosis to post-cancer, advice for both the patient and those closest to them, topic files, etc. The Programme à Félix is one of the few resources in Quebec designed specifically for young adults with cancer.

Living with cancer when you're a teenager is no small matter. And it's not always easy to talk about it with young people your age. That's why, at first, I only told my closest friends that I was sick, but when I was hospitalized, everyone at school eventually found out. I realized that it wasn't that bad, and in the end, everyone was respectful and understanding.

This ordeal allowed me to learn how uncomfortable a subject cancer can be for the majority of young people. That was kind of what made me want to talk about it in a joking way; it made discussing it less heavy.

I encourage young people who are going through the same thing I am, to keep on believing in life despite the hardships it can bring, even though we’ll never understand. We can never give up thinking that we can get through this illness despite what the statistics and the newspapers say. The treatment that saved me didn't exist a few years ago, which proves there is always hope!

This ordeal has definitely made me stronger, made me mature more quickly, and has allowed me to truly discover myself.

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