ITW n°15: Nalie K fighter.
First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to share the story of your K & your precious tips,
Let's get started:
interview translated from English (click at the top of the post to read it in English :))
Who are you ?
First name: Nalie
Where do you live: Montreal, Canada
Can you summarize your (K fighter) story for us?
What K (what cancer - grade if you wish / stage ditto):
Stage 2B breast cancer
When was it discovered ? How old were you ?
In 2013, I was 24 years old
Under what circumstances was it discovered ?
I felt a lump in my left breast while taking a shower....
If you are currently undergoing treatment, or in remission (for how long?)
In Remission since July, 2014!
What treatment did you have?
4 sessions of FEC and 12 of Taxol
29 radiotherapy sessions
1 total mastectomy, 1 day of hospitalization
I had my reconstruction 1 month ago :)!!!
What tips directly related to K do you want to share ?
how did you live the day before, the same day, the days after ?
and what were your tips?
Enjoy life day by day! Do not be prejudiced, every day is different and each treatment will create different symptoms for you. Some days are easier than others. Have gratitude for these! My tip was to count up my treatments. For example, I knew I had 16 Chemo sessions! So I started counting down by taking a photo showing: Session 1 of 16 . The week after session 2 etc…! it helped me a lot and above all motivated me to go by realizing that I was getting closer to the “finish line!” »
What did you do to clear your mind /clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?
I wrote, recorded videos and uploaded them to nalie.ca ! It started as my diary! But by continuing to post, I was reaching other cancer patients who needed support. They asked me questions about treatments and about life, and I spent my days and nights answering them. Helping them made me forget that I had problems myself! Many cases were worse than mine so it helped me put things into perspective and realize how “lucky” I was!
What practical tips can you advise us?
1/ beauty: varnish/ magic creams/scars & co
Coconut oil and Tea Tree oil were my best friends for my scalp and dry skin. I even have to say that it helped me achieve my dream mane that I have today ;).
2/ look, your favorite look chemo, hospital, every day to feel good / shopping
I always preferred scarves to wigs! In fact, I even refused to wear wigs (too hot and uncomfortable). So I learned lots of different ways to tie my scarf on my head and it became my favorite accessory to dress up my outfits! I must even say that I “almost” miss not wearing them anymore! I think it's important to wear what you feel comfortable in.
3/ daily (sport, food & co)
Even though I was “sick,” I exercised as much as I could with the energy I had left. I even registered Team Nalie in the CIBC race against cancer where I managed to raise more than $30,000 for the Quebec breast cancer foundation. And even though the next day I had my 4th FEC Chemo session…I ran 5 km in 34 minutes :)
Organizing, promoting and training kept my mind busy during the week!
Running for CIBC was my motivation to get up every morning to walk, jog and then run to train to complete the 5K!
I didn't want cancer to be an excuse! And I'm glad it wasn't because: look what I managed to accomplish!!
As for food, I drank juice every day to give me the nutrients I needed! Apples, beets and carrots with a little ginger was my daily mix. It helped me get the energy I needed!
How did your loved ones support you?
And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?
My family, my friends and my boyfriend were my best treatment. I don't think I would be where I am today if it hadn't been for them. I was never alone. During chemo treatments there was always a group of 5 people around my chair: laughing, playing games such as “Time's Up”.
From time to time the nurses came to see us to ask us to be quiet because we were making too much noise ;). Having a good support team makes all the difference as you fight the K. If your loved one has cancer, my best advice is to simply be there for him or her. You don't need to buy anything, you don't even need to say anything! Just be present.
What would be the useful (internet) links that helped you during K?
I didn't find anything interesting at first. Which was also the reason for the creation of nalie.ca
Everything I found on the internet scared me!
And I also felt that most sites were aimed at older women. I couldn't make the connection or recognize myself. So I created my blog with the “hope” of finding other 20 year old women with breast cancer!
Discussing treatment with them and other survivors was the most help I needed.
What has K changed in your life...?
(for example: your vision of the world, your priorities , your essentials, refocusing those around you, in your work, your philosophy..?)
Big K has changed a lot of things in my life....
First, I found my passion. Yes, in writing, recording videos and telling stories in different ways. But more importantly: Inspiring.
Things that I thought were important before K, such as fashion…. are not really anymore!
Today I find myself less fearful, I seize every opportunity that life gives me! I no longer put off until tomorrow what I can do today and I no longer complain in the same way. I'm just very happy to be alive!
And my goal is to help others feel the same way, less alone & without having to feel like they are on the verge of death!
Follow Nalie on Facebook
and discover his great video, to raise awareness about self-detection / palpation of Breast Cancer:--------- Thank you again for your testimony and for sharing your K/tips ;) Lots of sweet positive thoughts See you soon Charlotte<:en>
Very talented blogger of: www.nalie.ca
First of all thank you heaps for accepting to share the history of your K & your precious tips,
Who are you?
Where do you live: Montreal, Canada
Would you briefly tell us your history as (K fighter)?
May you tell us:
Which type of K (the cancer grade/stage, if you feel like )?
Breast Cancer Stage 2B
When were you diagnosed with cancer?
In 2013, I was 24...
Under what circumstances was it diagnosed?
I felt bumps in my left breast while taking a shower.
Are you under treatment or in remission (since when?)
Remission since July, 2014.
Which kind of treatment did you undergo?
Chemo, if that is the case:
4 rounds of A/C 12 rounds of taxol.
radiotherapy, if that is the case:
29 rounds of radiation
A full mastectomy. 1 day at the hospital.
Now I had my reconstruction a month ago.
Is there any trick related with K that you would like to share with us? (your connection with your doctor, your treatment schedule, anything you think is useful ;))?
Take it day by day! Do not have any expectations, because every day is different and every treatment will lead to different symptoms. Some days are better than others. Embrace these days! My best trick was to do a countdown for my treatments. For example, I knew I had a total of 16 rounds of chemo! So I started counting down by taking a picture stating, Round 1 out of 16. The following week round 2! It just gets you excited to wake up everything and go so that you can cross out another round out until you reach the “finish line”!
What did you do to take your mind off / clear your mind (before chemo sessions, surgeries & co)?
I wrote, I recorded videos and I edited them all onto Nalie.ca! It started off as my diary! But as I kept posting, I kept reaching out to other cancer patients in need of support. They would ask me questions about treatments and life, and I would spend my days and nights answering them. Helping them made me forget that I even had any problems! Many circumstances were much more difficult than mine, so it helped me realize just how lucky I was!
Is there any practical trick you can advise us?
During and/or after K
Coconut Oil and Tea Tree oil were my best friends for my bald and dry scalp. I like to say it's what helped give me this crazy hair today!
I always preferred headscarves to wigs! In fact, I refused to wear wigs (they're too hot and itchy). I learned so many fun and fashionable ways to tie my headscarf, and it became my favorite accessory to any outfit! I actually miss wearing them now! But I think it's important to wear what makes YOU comfortable.
3/ everyday life (sport, food & co)
Despite being 'sick' I still exercised as much as I could when I had the energy to do so. I even signed up TEAM NALIE to the CIBC Run for the Cure and gathered over 130 runners and raised over $30,000 for the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. And even though the next morning I had my 4 th round of A/C Chemotherapy… I ran the 5K in 34 minutes. The organizing, campaigning and training kept me busy throughout the week! The run for the cure was my motivation to wake up in the morning and start walking, jogging then eventually running to practice my 5K! I didn't want cancer to ever be an excuse! And I'm glad I didn't because look at everything I've achieved.
As for food, I juiced almost every day to add more nutrients to my diet! Apple, Beets and Carrots with a little bit of ginger was my daily juice. It helped get my energy back!
How did your loved ones support you? Is there any piece of advice you would share with the family members of a K fighter?
My family, friends and boyfriend were my biggest cure. I don't think I'd be where I am without them. I was never alone in this journey. During chemotherapy treatments there was always a group of five people sitting around my chemo chair, laughing and playing games like charades! Some times the nurses had to tell us to be quiet because we were having too much fun. Having a good support team makes ALL the difference when fighting the K. If your loved one has cancer, my best advice is to simply BE THERE for them. You don't need to buy them anything, you don't even need to say anything! Just be there.
Is there any useful website that helped you out during your K?
I didn't really find anything relevant at first. Which was also my motivation to create Nalie.ca. Everything I searched on the Internet scared the shit out of me! And I felt like most sites were catered to elder women. I just couldn't relate. So I created my blog with the hopes to find the other women in their 20s with breast cancer! Discussing treatments with them and other survivors was the best help I could get.
Did K change your life … ?
The big K changed a lot in my life. First of all, I found my passion. Yes, in writing, video recording and story telling in various ways. But most importantly: INSPIRING.
Things that I thought mattered a lot to me in life, such as fashion… don't really matter that much anymore! I find myself much more fearless, jumping into any and every opportunity that life gives me! I no longer procrastinate, or complain as much. I am just overall, so happy to be alive. And my goal is to help others feel the same way too, without having to find out their dying!
Follow Nalie on Facebook
and watch her great video for #self exam:
Thank you so much beautiful Nalie, you rock, and inspire a lot of K fighters :)
Send you many good vibes