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

“The Foundation helped me put my financial worries aside.”

The end of November 2011 marked the end of my two months of intensive radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy. Quite an intense cocktail! It also marked the end of my very pleasant stay at the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s Lodge in Trois-Rivières, where I was pampered, protected and wonderfully well supported.

I had tonsil cancer; I was intubated, I was bruised, I had less hair, and my body no longer belonged to me. All that was left in my soul was a tiny candle of love for myself fueled by an unshakable confidence, protected from adversity by a loving family and a dedicated medical team.

In December 2011, I thought I would be able to eat some Yule log, but with the pain and misery, that had to wait until Christmas 2012. I couldn’t even tolerate the ice cream that was once so comforting. Because Winesday had now become Milkday. Because my mouth howled out with pain even as my soul yearned to be soothed. The Foundation team was there for me during those times and so were the psychologists! All united around the same purpose: to help me find my new bearings.

I therefore wish to express a huge thank you to all those who have allowed me to get through this disease.

In addition to having benefited from accommodation at the Lodge in Trois-Rivières, I also had access to discounted meals. As a self-employed person with not much insurance, this assistance helped me put my financial worries aside. I also used the kitchen that was made available, and I participated in a very pleasant community meal at which we said goodbye to one of us who had finished her treatments.

In addition, being at the Lodge "forced" me to take care of myself full time, and I was able to forget about my business, which I had left in good hands. The fact that the accommodation is directly connected to the hospital also made my treatments easier and got me to walk every day, to get my vital energy flowing!

Also, and this is no small thing, there was the quality of the services that were offered and the little attentions paid by the staff; whether it was the attendant who made sure everything was in order, including our morale, the receptionist who ordered our medicine at the pharmacy or the nice janitor who came to wash the bathroom after a dramatic episode of post-chemo nausea in the middle of the night. In addition to cleaning up the mess, he reassured us and left the place spick and span and free of any unpleasant odor.

There were also all the activities: reading, puzzles, Qi Gong, massage therapy and more. I can’t tell what a joy it is to lie on a massage table when you have the impression that your body no longer belongs to you. Pure magic! And so very liberating emotionally. You can shed tears with no fear of being judged, the difficulty of the moment acknowledged. The kinesiologist also helped me, very simply and within my limits, to maintain a measure of physical fitness.

And then there were the TV rooms. And that wonderful empty third floor that allowed me to find solitude! Some new residents may have seen me go there and went to join me in that haven of peace and tranquility. We watched Shrek and Roger Rabbit in silence, smiles hovering on our lips. And those beautiful moments when friends came to visit me in the common room!

And what about the Foundation agreeing to put up my mother for my last week of treatment! She helped me stand up because I couldn't take it anymore. She also told me that she didn't know how I was doing. I appreciate how discreet and essential the Foundation’s support has been for me.

The Quebec Cancer Foundation is still included in my prayers every day. Simply writing this brings up a wave of immense, intense emotion in me. What sweetness and calm it has brought me!

The following years flew by at lightning speed, rebuilding myself, trying to find myself again, wanting to regain possession of this body and this head that were no longer mine. In 2017, I registered at UQTR. I wanted my life to be different, so I might as well think differently! I spoiled myself by doing a certificate in acting. In 2019, I rode a motorcycle to La Tuque. In 2020, I climbed Mont-Saint-Joseph, a 1,054-metre climb. It was a 5-hour snowshoe trek, with a sled harnessed to my waist.

The long shout that I let out at the summit was a final expression of all the pain that had been trapped inside me over the previous eight years, but also, and above all, was an expression of unspeakable joy, of extraordinary exhilaration, because finally, at the price of intense physical effort, I had found myself!

I am quietly becoming, gently and subtly, the person I’ve always dreamt of being, thanks to the introspection that was born in me at the Lodge. From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!

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