A little about me:
My interests have changed somewhat since I was diagnosed with cancer. I like sports, the outdoors, reading, volunteering with people who are going through a similar experience to me.
I love spending family time with my wife and son, it has become a priority for me. I’m passionate about sports and it’s helped me get through a lot of things. I force myself to stay as active as possible and lead by example.
My experience with blood cancer:
I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2017. Two days later and after various medical tests, the day of my 27th birthday, I started my treatment in a room in isolation for a month, at l’hôpital del’Enfant-Jésus. The treatment didn’t go as expected, and I started intense chemotherapy after that.
I had to go back to the hospital a few times for complications. I finish maintenance therapy in 2020. I have gotten chemo every Friday since October 2017.
Personally, cancer has brought me a lot of positivity despite all the difficulties that come with the disease. I went through difficult times, but I tried to be as positive as possible.
I feel like I have matured, to put the priorities in the right places. I take advantage more of the moments present with my loved ones.
Today I feel lucky to have a second chance. Saying "good night, I love you" to my son every night is a real joy. Life's priorities are changing. What fills me with pride and admiration is the role that my wife has played in all these years. The role of a caregiver should not be underestimated. I owe her everything.
Support during my experience with blood cancer:
The strongest support I have had has been from my partner, Katherine, who is a nurse at l’hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus and who knew what to expect. She supported me and coped with all of the collateral damage of my experience.
My circle of friends also supported me through their numerous visits, and my family and friends in France messaged me throughout my treatment. At no time did I feel alone.
I also encountered a survivor in the treatment room who had been through ALL treatment. He helped by explaining his experience with blood cancer, how it would unfold.
I really appreciated this moment, and it made me want to put my energy into sharing my cancer experience for the benefit of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and other patients who need someone to listen to them and support them.
The LLSC Peer Support Program:
I love this program because I feel like I am really helping someone who needs to talk to someone who has been there. There is nothing more concrete and comforting than connecting with someone who has had the same journey.
What strikes me most is how hard other patients are fighting. Despite the illness, the treatments, the various problems, the feeling of wanting to get out of it is above all.
Bringing my cancer experience into this process is valuable for me because I have the feeling of participating in the healing, of being a listener for the patient. Our focus is on listening, openness, sincerity and respect.