Marie-Pier Dubois

I was 17 when I was diagnosed with cancer in September 2008. I had pain in my neck and tests indicated that it was Ewing’s sarcoma.
 

Facing cancer with strength and hope

I was 17 when I was diagnosed with cancer in September 2008. I had pain in my neck and tests indicated that it was Ewing’s sarcoma. It was a cancer of the bone, which, in my case, is located in the 1st cervical vertebra. I had been in remission for nearly two years, when it recurred last January.

I underwent chemotherapy in Chicoutimi and, during the summer, I stayed four weeks in the Montreal Lodge of the Quebec Cancer Foundation to have radiation therapy. At the time of my first cancer, I lived with my mother in a downtown hotel for almost two months. At that time, we were not aware that the Foundation and its Lodge existed. That would have helped us so much!

Living at the Lodge is fantastic! You have much less worry and stress. No need to think about getting to the hospital or parking or the fear of being late for treatments. This brings stability and lets you relax. At the Lodge, we are all equal. We tell each other our experiences and people understand. I was able to clear my head by working on jigsaw puzzles, reading in the Foundation’s courtyard, taking part in the community dinners and the Look Good Feel Better workshops, and in getting massages.

Of course, the cancer scared me at the start. I worried a lot and saw myself losing my hair. But this ordeal also taught me a great deal.

I learned that you have to enjoy life to the maximum! I also appreciate the assistance that people around me can give. Through my journey with illness, I have met so many amazing people who were there to help me!

The staff at the Foundation, the doctors and nurses are extraordinary people! I had started CEGEP studies in history, but after seeing what a key role nurses play, I want to study to join that profession.

Now, I hope to again take up my studies in nursing next January and then work with cancer patients. I too want to make a difference in people’s lives!
I deal with my disease realistically, but I am very positive. I want to finish my studies, to travel and to see many projects become reality. I have lots of hope for the future!

Marie-Pier Dubois, 21 years of age, from Jonquière

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