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ITW n°22: Leila - ex K fighter.-desktop ITW n°22: Leila - ex K fighter.-mobile

ITW n°22: Leila - ex K fighter.

<:fr> Creator of the superb leather goods brand: Les Méduses Vertes!

Hello Leila :)

First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to share the story of your K & your 1000 precious tips, it's really courageous and generous of you :)

Let's get started:

Who are you ?

First name: Leila

Age: 38 years old


How to summarize... After having been a consultant in supporting SMEs in their international development, consultant on World Bank projects, freelance journalist, headhunter, I have finally come to realize a passion and a project which was close to my heart: Green Jellyfish. My leather goods brand. The whole time I was being treated with chemo, I was repenting like a mantra: when I'm done with this treatment, I'm getting started. I always had the desire to do it and I always put it off. There, I told myself that I had waited too long and that it was time for me to take the plunge and believe in myself!

Where do you live: La cite phoceene, Marseille

Can you summarize your (K fighter) story for us?

What K (what cancer - grade if you wish / stage ditto):

grade 2 breast and lymph node cancer.

When was it discovered? How old were you ?

December 6, 2012, a week before leaving under the coconut trees in the Dom Republic (vacation fell through). I was 36 years old

Under what circumstances was it discovered?

Gerard (my husband) and I had been trying assiduously for some time to see Mother Stork drop off a pretty package. And during a visit to the gynecologist, we discovered a lump in the left breast. Lump that I had complained about several months ago. I had already felt it on vacation in Brazil. I couldn't carry a bag on my left side, it was too painful. I did a self-palpation and discovered a "lump". I ran to the gynecologist and then the radiologist. Diagnosis, despite my insistence: mastosis. I lost several precious months which could have spared me traumatic and painful treatments. Ditto from my general practitioner, I regularly complained of intense fatigue. He simply transformed me into a human candy box: magnesium, iron, etc. But no blood test despite my complaints...

If you are currently undergoing treatment, or in remission (for how long?)

I finished my last course of herceptin on January 6th. And I stopped hormonal therapy, with the agreement of my oncologist, a week ago. We're trying to have a child with Gerard. We cross fingers ;)

What treatment did you have?

Surgery, chemo, herceptin, hormone therapy, the whole package :-)


To begin with, a horse dose of Fec 100 which I could not stand, I had a relief accompanied by the joyful tralalas: infection, angina, inflammatory cyst, skin rash, staphylococcus and so on. At the same time, I had to deal with losing my hair. It's simple, I could have participated in the casting of Frenkeinstein.

We had to wait 5 weeks before injecting me with the 2nd treatment of Fec. I lost 6 kilos in less than ten days. I weighed 44 kilos and was 1m70 tall. My oncologist diagnosed treatment poisoning. So, we moved on to weekly taxoil: 14 courses added with herceptin each time.


Phew, I negotiated hard with my oncologist and won my case. I was able to escape it.

operation :

3, but even today, it's too painful for me to talk about it....

What tips directly related to K do you want to share (your feeling with the doctor, your good plans for organizing treatment, anything that seems useful to you ;))?

If I have one piece of advice to give, it is to take the time to choose your oncologist carefully, despite the severity of the disease. It is essential to feel comfortable with your doctor, to feel supported and understood. Mine was great. He never fell into pathos and always left me the choice of the final decision. Which is important to better combat this famous K. Having experienced it, too many doctors seek to disempower us or infantilize us.

Try, because I know it is difficult, to make peace with yourself and with others. It helps you cope with a lot of things better. And above all, we make the most of the present moment. It's important to live in the present moment, to let go of the past and try not to want to have all the answers about the future.

1/ chemo: the helmet, your affinities with the nurses,

how did you live the day before, the same day, the days after?

and what were your tips?

As for the days before chemo, I indulged myself by pampering myself with treatments (creams, etc.) going out, singing, dancing. I ate very lightly the day before, the same day and the two days that followed.

An auriculotherapy session every 3 weeks. It really works. In five months of chemo I had only one nausea and no vomiting.

Several food supplements prescribed to me by my oncologist.

Essential oils.

Ostheology, cosmetic treatments on the day of chemo at the Ressouces center, seeing a psychologist and a sophrologist always at Ressources just to clear my bag.

And then, sport. It helps you feel less rusty. I had installed an exercise bike on the terrace and forced myself to do it for at least 20 minutes every day, despite being tired. I felt less tired each time, it's magical and almost euphoric.

On the day of chemo, I always tried to be placed facing a large picture window with the sun and the mountains in the background. Casually, natural sunlight feels good. Especially when you systematically wear a pair of glittery shoes. With the sun, it’s like a face ball. We had the cortisone, missing more than the DJ. Besides, my nickname within the department was Miss Glitter.

And above all, a lot of kindness and love around me: my brothers and sisters, my man, my friends, ...

And then, despite the heaviness of the treatments, with the other k fighters, we laughed a lot. It helps to reduce the drama and gives more lightness to the day. And then, a lot of help and comfort between us.

2/ hospital: nurse / doc / caregiver contact

I was really very lucky. I think I came across a rare gem when it comes to my oncologist. And the nurses were great from start to finish. lots of tact, gentleness and understanding. They exuded joy and good humor here and there. A big thank you.

3/ alternative medicine, if you have done so

The list is long :







Food: a tablespoon of turmeric + a good pinch of pepper + a good glug of olive oil. Mix well and swallow dry ;)

What did you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?

Sport, meditation and hypnosis sessions. It works and it’s radical.

And a mega pizza three days after chemo (Fec) and half a liter of ice cream (with taxol) Yum, yum...

What practical tips can you advise us?

1/ beauty: varnish/magic creams/scars & co

Take care of your scars. It's really important. It allows you to heal better but above all to understand your “new body” and learn to love it. Cicaplast from La Roche Posay, zinc ampoules and consulting a homeopath helps to heal really well.

On chemo days, I asked the nurses for refrigerated gloves to protect the nails from the effects of chemo. If like me you are cold, hang in there! Otherwise, I massaged them with a cocktail of ECRINAL brand oils, then I applied a protective urea-based base then two good coats of Ecrinal varnish in the darkest color possible.

What was hardest for me during chemo was the loss of my eyelashes and eyebrows which were always very long and full. Fortunately, the esthetician at the Resources center gave me one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given: right after chemo, use REVITALASH every night for eyelashes and REVITABROW for eyebrows. It's simple, two to three weeks later, I was able to make an appointment with Elodie my beautician for an eyebrow restructuring and to be able to flutter my eyelashes again in front of my man.

During chemo, you often have crocodile skin. Applying pure shea cream (L'Occitane type) to your body, or better, to being smeared, is good for the skin. It resists stretch marks better and has saved me from eczema attacks.

2/ look, your favorite look chemo, hospital, every day to feel good / shopping

I admit that I took a lot on myself to avoid hanging out jogging all day at home.

Having lost 11 kilos in a short time, I had lost my bearings. The hassle of getting dressed every morning. the slim jeans had transformed into jeans that were a little too wide and then, I won't tell you about the pain in your buttocks when you don't have an airbag to cushion you...

I often wore blouses, with a beautiful loose cardigan and cotton leggings, but always with my sequined shoes. Today I have a whole collection :)

At first, I didn't consider not wearing a wig. I chose one made from real hair (which cost me an arm and a leg by the way), in the end, I only wore it twice. I felt like I was cheating. I preferred to wear silk scarves or small cotton hats.

Today, I know that blonde doesn't suit me. To make one of my husband's fantasies come true, I tried on a blonde Pamela Anderson wig, we had a good laugh.

Personally, I think that even if it is very hard, and those around you don't always realize it, it is essential to continue to take care of yourself, to put on makeup, to dress, to pamper yourself, in short, not to forget that we are still and will always be a Woman with a capital F despite the illness. Coquetry helps us to better cope with the setbacks of treatment.

3/ daily (sport, food & co)

I cut out sugar (goodbye, sweets, cakes and Co...), gluten and junk food.

I exercise daily. Result: I have a butt made of concrete :-)

I continue the meditation alone every morning and every evening (5 minutes each time is enough to let go)

I smile at life: positive waves attract positive waves and the opposite is also true.

When things don't always go in the direction I would like or they take a while to get going, I tell myself that there is always a good reason. You just need to be patient to find out why. And that in any case, the end of one thing is the beginning of another! SO ...

What are the nugget phrases (that you remember) that someone said to you during K and that you could have avoided?

“You’re not just a breast.”

“You don’t just have one breast.”

“Well, it’s no big deal not being able to have children anymore, you just have to adopt them.”

“You’re selfish, you only think about yourself.” when you hesitate to take the pool table.

“but why do you want to understand?”, when I asked my ex doctor questions.

“but I don’t understand, apart from you and your husband no one will know” says a Parisian breast cancer expert

“you don’t want to get out of the illness, you wallow in it”, or “it’s all in your head!” my ex doctor told me at the IPC when I complained of pain in my collarbone and under the armpit. A few months later, the petscan showed tumors in the same places.

How did your loved ones support you?

And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?

Lots of love.

A continuous presence.

And unfailing patience.

The carrot for my husband, with travel: “get well soon and I’ll take you to the ends of the earth!”

And I thank them infinitely.

If I had one piece of advice to give, know sometimes, listen often and don't judge. Just saying I'm here and it's not going to be okay when you don't know.

And above all, avoid this murderous phrase: I know, I understand you." No, we only understand this damn thing when we experience it.

What would be the useful (internet) links that helped you during K?

None, most are anxiety-inducing. On the other hand, Dr. Servan Schreiber's book "Anti Cancer" helped me a lot to understand what was happening to me, what cancer is, how to fight against it, avoid relapses, ...

And I admit that my oncologist, Dr. Mouysset and the Resources center (of which he is the founder) helped me a lot to fight the disease, to cope better with the treatments and are helping me today to turn the page smoothly

What has the K changed in your life…?

I revised my priorities: love, my man, family and friends, life in general.

Appreciate the present moment while trying not to focus on the past or the future.

Live today without worrying too much about tomorrow.

See the glass half full rather than half empty.

Avoid or even eliminate toxic relationships: do not hesitate to distance yourself from the people who eat us up from the inside.

Treat myself daily: a song, a walk, a new pair of shoes, a good meal, a moment with a friend, etc.

Never forget to say “I love you” to the people I care about.

Forget past resentments, make peace with myself and be in agreement with myself.

Don't give a damn about what others think.

Say what you think, but always tactfully so as not to hurt unnecessarily.

Continue to pursue projects despite this sword of Damocles.

Enjoy Life today and think Love!!!

Live your dreams. Today. Not tomorrow.

Don't be afraid of death.

Free field ;)

Keep your spirits up and say to yourself like a mantra, positive vibes attract positive vibes, so, smile as soon as you get out of bed!

You absolutely must read or re-read The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo.


Thank you again for your testimony full of beautiful waves of strength, and essential tips ;)

Lots of sweet positive thoughts

See you soon


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