According to her, you cannot underestimate the role of mental health in this ordeal. Native of Campbellton, she has supported the Tree of Hope campaign for many years, but her stay at the Mgr. Henri-Cormier Lodge was what touched her the most.
One thing that really upsets me, is that when you learn that you have cancer, people will tell you that everything will be OK. That frustrates me because, in reality, it’s not that simple, and I think that those sayings contribute nothing to the mental health of those affected by a diagnosis. That simply isn’t true. The truth is that it won’t be easy, it won’t be a walk in the park, and there will be moments where everything will not be OK. For me, the crucial thing is to accept the reality of cancer and to find a reason to push forward and fight.
In movies, shows, and even commercials, we often see the moment a cancer diagnosis is being delivered as a slow motion for the patient. That is how I felt. I knew the doctor was talking, but I could not hear what he was saying through the shock of the news I had received. I spent the first weeks following my diagnosis crying and asking myself why this was happening to me. I was a mother of two young children. They needed me. Finally, after those few weeks, I told myself I had to accept the reality of my cancer, and I chose to fight for my children and my family.
Looking back, I realize that through all the hardships I had to face in this battle, the most important for me where my kids and loved ones. I wasn’t really thinking of myself. On one hand, I wanted to be strong and prevail for them. On the other hand, seeing my loved ones daily gave me the strength to keep fighting.
That’s why one of my most difficult challenges was to leave my children at home for six weeks to travel to Moncton to undergo radiotherapy treatments. Seeing my kids made me stronger. It cheered me up. Not being able to see them every day was very hard. Luckily, this led me to the Mgr. Henri-Cormier Lodge.
What to say of the Lodge? I build relationships during those six weeks that remain. You live so many emotions together. A few years later, I invited some of the friends I met at the Lodge to my wedding. You cannot underestimate the impact of mental health on your capacity to overcome these challenges, and that place helped me so much mentally. There is a great sense of understanding at the Lodge. We’re all ill. Many have lost all their hair, and that’s normal. Even in those trying times, we can laugh and have fun together.
I feared leaving my loved ones behind to undergo these treatments in Moncton, but the Lodge was a light on my path. That is why I proudly support the Tree of Hope campaign. I have experienced the care available to us, thanks to this campaign. For those living outside of Moncton, the Lodge is a crucial, incredible, place. It’s a family for when you must leave yours behind. Without the Tree of Hope, there would be no Lodge; not forgetting all the other contributions of the campaign. That said, I sincerely hope that the community will keep being generous, and to contribute to the Tree of Hope.
The Tree of Hope is an annual fundraiser whose mission is to provide increased comfort and care for cancer patients.