Réjean Racine

I needed 38 radiation therapy sessions over eight weeks, so I decided to stay at the Sherbrooke Regional Centre and Lodge of the Quebec Cancer Foundation. That way, I didn’t have to make the long trip from my home to the hospital every day.
 
Cancer can knock on anyone’s door without any warning. I was in good shape, worked out regularly, did strength training and felt fine. Yet during a routine medical checkup, the news came: I had prostate cancer. After the initial shock, I got my bearings. After all, I had a wonderful life and was grateful for it.
 
I needed 38 radiation therapy sessions over eight weeks, so I decided to stay at the Sherbrooke Regional Centre and Lodge of the Quebec Cancer Foundation. That way, I didn’t have to make the long trip from my home to the hospital every day.
 
At the Lodge, I met people who were going through the same thing. I noticed that they all had their own way of reacting to their predicament and coping with the disease. Some considered it a trial to be endured, while others, like myself, went through the experience with more serenity.
 
During my stay, I spread good cheer all around and shared my positive outlook with the other residents. I also listened to them and served as their confident of sorts. I enjoyed moments of closeness, camaraderie and fun. That, too, is part of life at the Foundation!
 
I wanted to do more to help the residents feel better. I wanted to do something that would make a real difference. With another resident, Claude, I gave the Lodge a new swing so that everyone could get fresh air and enjoy the nice weather.
 
A little while after I went back home, I received a letter from one of the residents I met at the Lodge. She wrote me such a touching message: “Thank you for giving me courage and for lifting my spirits. You’re an angel who came into my life and I will never forget you.” Her words made me feel so wonderful. From then on, my stay at the Foundation took on a whole new meaning, since I not only received help, I was also able to reassure and comfort those who needed it.
 
The Quebec Cancer Foundation offers more than affordable room and board when you need to leave your home for cancer treatments. It puts you in touch with people facing the same ordeal, so you can support and encourage one another during the rough patches. I am really happy that I was able to make a positive contribution to the lives of other residents.

Réjean Racine

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