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

I had my first breast surgery following a cancer diagnosis in October 2015. I had to have a second operation in December 2015 due to an infection.

After those two operations, my breast remained swollen as a result of inflammation. It hurt a lot. It was very painful. In addition, I was suffering from arthritis, which increased the pain. I therefore needed to get relief from the pain. The hospital recommended that I have massage therapy.

I received massage therapy throughout the chemotherapy sessions and targeted treatments. This took place in the hospital itself, because all this treatment caused great pressure in my head, and increased the rheumatic pain considerably. The therapy did me a lot of good, not just physically, but also emotionally. I had someone to talk to, someone who would listen to me, and I felt less alone. Because you can complain to your friends only so much. Cancer is a very scary disease, which makes it hard to talk about to those close to you. Especially when you feel they would rather not know.

Once the chemotherapy, targeted treatments, and radiotherapy were completed, I continued to receive massage therapy, but this time, it was on the premises of the Quebec Cancer Foundation in Montreal. Since both the pain and the inflammation persisted, the massages were essential to me!

The Quebec Cancer Foundation also gave me access to literature on the disease. It was mailed to me from Quebec City. I didn’t need to move. This made me feel better equipped in terms of my condition and better informed about symptoms and treatments. In addition, the literature was a source of sound advice. I felt less of a victim about what was happening to me, and more in control.

Thanks to the Foundation, I also received the help of Nicole Morin, a nurse in the Info-Cancer team. She helped me reduce my level of anxiety. She was very reassuring. Always listening. Most importantly, she understood the pain and the emotions that I was going through. With her, I could be myself. I could give vent to my emotions without being judged. Express my need to complain. Talking does not cure you, but it helps you bear the pain. And when you’re emotionally calm, you sleep better.

I would really like to emphasize the generosity of the professionals. And also their sensitivity and the high quality of their training. The services they offer go well beyond their mandate! These caregivers adapt their approach to the person they are dealing with and know how to find the right, comforting words.

I really felt respected during my experience with the disease, respected for my personality and for the way I acted when confronted with the disease. And most importantly, at no time did I feel any condescension on the part of the Info-Cancer professionals. This service is really essential!

I am full of gratitude to the Quebec Cancer Foundation and I thank them a thousand times for accompanying me throughout my illness and also during my slow recovery.

Jeannette Côté

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