Let's free the word
When we are in the middle of treatment for cancer, our entourage and doctors constantly ask us how we are doing and where we are in this battle. But, when one enters the remission phase, these attentions gradually disappear. However, the body continues this inner struggle and the freedom of speech, without judgment, allows us to move faster towards healing.
I remember a sentence that marked me deeply when I was fighting against my breast cancer. During a session with the first oncologist who followed me, she explained to me that she could give me all the drugs in the world, but that 80% of the work, it is I who will do it thanks to my mind . This sentence has been a driving force for me during all these long months of this battle against cancer.
My other driving force was the support of those around me who regularly asked me how I felt. I was able almost daily to talk about my illness, its evolution, my state of mind… We're not going to lie to each other, it feels a lot of good!
Then, one day, I was told that I was in remission, that the cancer was gone. And there, it was a huge deliverance. We finally see the little light at the end of the tunnel. However, our body does not quite hear it that way. With the various treatments that we are still following or that we have followed, the side effects are always very present.
Enjoy talking about your illness and being understood
For my part, I really felt a before and an after remission. Suddenly, when you announce that the cancer has disappeared, those around you stop asking how you are doing. And basically, it's understandable. They also need to move on. They don't know that your body hasn't moved on yet and is still playing tricks on you. So, in order not to get bored, you stop talking about it. A cancer, me? What cancer?
However, freeing up speech is extremely important, even more so in times like these. I remember that, a few months before creating Les Minettes en Goguette, I had met several patients in my oncologist's waiting room. Explaining to them that I wanted to create clothes adapted to the side effects of the disease, I saw eyes shining and tongues wagging.
Within minutes, I learned that one of them had difficulty putting on a T-shirt when she had a swollen arm because the garment did not slip on the sleeve she was wearing. That another put a compress between her bra and her scar to prevent burns. Or that another had opted for safety pins on her T-shirt to prevent people from seeing her mastectomy when she leaned forward (like me!).
Review the course of care after cancer
In no time, these women had just confided in themselves as they had not done for months or even years. And the smiles I saw testified to the happiness they had in speaking without being judged or denigrated. I repeated the experience several times, for example during clothing design workshops in Marseille, and the result is always the same: it's a real breath of fresh air for his women to free speech.
I also think that there is a lot of work to be done in terms of medical support. When you are in your treatment, the follow-up is almost daily. You go from one medical appointment to another by letting yourself be guided by doctors, nurses, physiotherapists.. .
Then, when remission occurs, everything stops as well. No more regular appointments with the oncologist. Phew! No more chemotherapy, no more radiotherapy, but overnight, you find yourself alone while you have lots of questions about how to manage these side effects that are triggered. Because very often, we don't understand right away that it's a side effect... And now it's up to you to take the steps to put your ailments into words.
Fortunately, great associations there to advise us during this time and they are doing a wonderful job. But I think it would be good to review the course of "After" so that we don't feel so left to ourselves.
In the meantime, if I have any advice to give you, it would be to keep talking about it to those around you. If your loved ones want to move on, they can understand that you need their support if you explain to them what you are going through. Remember that 80% of the way, your mind will do it. But he will do it even more easily if you are not alone in this daily fight.