Open Heart Talks About Cancer

When the diagnosis falls

Each patient deals with the disease in a different way, but they all share one thing: the shock of diagnosis. This moment when everything changes, when life changes.

Patty Blanchard

Acadian runner and member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, Patty Blanchard, was diagnosed with cancer in 2021.

Photo: Rachelle Richard-Leger

For some, the diagnosis comes after numerous tests, as was the case for Acadian runner Patty Blanchard, who learned she had blood cancer after seven years of consultations with doctors.

For others, cancer has burst into their lives. This was the experience of artist agent Carole Chouinard – she learned she had colorectal cancer following a visit to the emergency room – and visual artist Madeleine Raiche – who suffered breast cancer, she quickly shared with her doctor her intention to have both breasts and ovaries removed.

Madeleine Raiche

The visual artist, Madeleine Raiche, learned in 2004 that she had breast cancer.

Photo: Rachelle Richard-Leger

For me, there were no questions, I had already decided everything. It was what was best for me and I really wanted to get into that trip with a bang. I wanted it done. awayit pressessays Madeleine Raiche.

Listen to the first report at l’Heure de pointe Acadie

Treatment time

Once the initial shock has passed, a new life experience awaits the patients. A reality that, until now, is unknown to them: the treatments and all that includes. In some people, the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments are laborious. The idea of ​​losing hair or being affected by severe nausea causes fear.

For Ginette Comeau, the first radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments for tonsil cancer were a source of fear. The first radiation, it worried me because it was new. The first treatments were difficultshe explains.

Ginette Comeau

Ginette Comeau’s treatments have caused difficult side effects. Her salivary glands and taste buds were affected for some time.

Photo: Rachelle Richard-Leger

Despite the fear, some people have made it their mission to see the positive side of treatments.

Carole Chouinard saw her treatments as a time for reflection. It was something that had to be done and I was trying to make him as happy as possible, shared my joie de vivre.

Carole Chouinard

Artist agent Carole Chouinard was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2016.

Photo: Rachelle Richard-Leger

For her part, Madeleine Raiche says she clung to the sounds that vibrated on her bald head and her sense of smell sharpened by chemotherapy.

I would walk through the store and smell like oranges, smell like bananas, and take a deep breath when things smelled strong. I said to myself: if it’s to get carried away and I’m not going to survive the experience, I will have lived at 100 miles an hour by going thereshe says.

Listen to the second report at l’Heure de pointe Acadie

Does cancer really change people?

Since 2017, Manon Lévesque has been diagnosed with liposarcoma three times. Heartbreaking news, but which she welcomed with positivism, saying that these diagnoses are new challenges.

Like her, many patients have seen their outlook on life change with the disease.

Manon Levesque

Manon Levesque

Photo: Courtesy of Rachelle Richard Léger

With a lot of emotion in her voice, runner Patty Blanchard remarks that she has a heightened sensitivity since battling cancer. We become more sensitive and we feel. It seems to me that I feel more deeply the suffering and the love of others.

Chantal Aktinson

Chantal Atkinson has blood cancer, multiple myeloma.

Photo: Rachelle Richard-Leger

For her part, Chantal Atkinson, suffering from multiple myeloma, has the impression of being a new person. She received two stem cell transplants. I am Chantal 2.0she says. I am a different Chantal. One who says “life is for living”.

Listen to the third report at l’Heure de pointe Acadie

Based on reports by Manon Lévesque

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