ITW n°59: Romain - close to K fighter.
Today Romain, 30 years old, passionate about wine, tells us about the fight of his life, which he led alongside his mother Catherine, who suffered from lung cancer which had metastasized to the liver. Catherine joined the stars 5 years ago now, but Romain's words of absolute sincerity are the most beautiful tribute that we can pay to a Mother, that of a son for whom love is the most beautiful fuel of life, a testimony of rare elegance, with a moving tone of sincerity which resonates like an echo which gives so much strength and resilience.
Thank you Romain for this courageous tribute, thank you for sharing this page of intimacy with us, and for letting us see the love of a son who supported his mother beyond the most terrible ordeal.
“Mom, do I have anything of mine that isn’t yours?”
a few days before Mother's Day, this word from Zola comes at the right time to tell Romain how much he is and has been worthy of his Mom and has done her good.
Because loved ones are our first pillars during the War, together we are stronger, whatever the outcome, this testimony shows us how love is despite everything the key, even in the face of the depths of the worst, thank you... .
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Romain
Age: 30 years old
Profession: wine merchant
Where do you live: Beaune
Why do you agree to share your story today?
Quite simply because I think it can benefit other people, who today are perhaps in the situation I was in almost 5 years ago.
What are your qualities (in a few words)?
All my qualities!!? I have too many it would be too long to list them all (just kidding..). Generous, sensitive, attentive, pugnacious are in any case the qualities that helped me through this ordeal.
What are your passions (in a few words)?
Wine of course! (otherwise I wouldn't do this job...too tiring!! You really have to be passionate about spending hours at the table and drinking wine until early in the morning with your customers..)
What bond unites you with (Catherine! or therefore Katherine…):
My mother... The one who gave me life, who taught me so much and to whom I owe everything!
Can you summarize your story for us (announcement / under what circumstances)?
I remember perfectly the day it all started... It was a Saturday morning I was sleeping at a friend's house and I woke up late because I had been partying the day before. When I picked up my phone I had 20 missed calls from my mother. I called her back straight away, she was at our house and had had severe stomach pains. It was not comfortable but she felt that she had been in too much pain... A pain that she did not know.
What followed were the exams at the beginning of the week, the exams were not very good from day to day and then at his radiologist, an abnormal spot on his liver which worried his doctor.
From that day everything changed… the verdict is in
What K did your Mom get:
Lung cancer metastasis to the liver
What treatments did she have?
Several chemos (sort of firsts, trials to see if this or that chemo could work)
What was your feeling/point of view as a loved one when the announcement was made?
I was lost, helpless. The world was collapsing on me and my family like a tsunami... So many questions came to me: why my mom? what did she do ? Why she ? She is so nice...she doesn't deserve this...a feeling of injustice! this is what I felt when the announcement was made, a REAL feeling of injustice.
What are the “nugget”/feeling phrases that someone said to him or/and to you during the K and which could have been avoided?
or that you yourself should have avoided ;)..?
The sentence that struck me the most was his first oncologist in Chalon sur Saône who told him. I was not present that day but she was with my father and it was her first appointment with her oncologist: “You are not obliged to treat yourself Madam… In any case you will have a few months: 3 – 4 or maybe 6 months!!”
You can imagine my mother’s distress at that moment!! This is another subject but what right does a doctor have to say this to a human being??... I am quite upset about this question because you should know that when leaving this appointment, my mother wanted to commit suicide and begged my father to do it… Fortunately they both came home to tell us this horrible news and so we decided to fight this disease together. So my mother was followed to Villejuif by a great oncologist and with her sister by her side. Thanks to this doctor who gave hope to my mother, we had a great time for over a year and a half (laughs, impromptu aperitifs) when she was well. I could have been deprived of all these good times if we had taken literally what this doctor said, to whom I am still angry today...
For my part, I was perhaps sometimes a little awkward with my mother but I don't remember it and I was so in harmony with her that in any case she didn't hold it against me...
Your questions, your fears, the sentences you would have liked to ask but which you did not dare to mention..?
Of course I was scared! I was even scared to death but I never showed it to my mother! Never ! We said and did like our oncologist! We were treating the flu! Nothing serious ! You had to take it lightly even if it meant sometimes being a little harsh with her...
What are you doing to change Catherine’s mind……, were you able to find the right words, activities to change her mind?
It was very important for her to be with us and especially with her sister, who lived in Paris, and who did all the chemo treatments with her. When she was well, we enjoyed life to the fullest! she took long walks, skiing because she loved the mountains, and good little restaurants. Often after her chemos a few days later she was fine and always went to eat her steak tartare in a Parisian brasserie that she liked. We lived simply and we were happy!
How was your life in the medical profession?
Did you find the answers you were looking for, did you manage to understand everything?
I only went to Villejuif very rarely but I never had appointments with the doctors because my mother did not want my sister and I to attend this type of appointment because, once again, she was thinking of us and wanted protect us at all costs! She always remained dignified in front of us even when she was not well! She made all her appointments with her sister. They have always been close and my aunt was amazing throughout my mom's illness. I am very grateful to her today and I will never forget what she did for us, for my mother.
Has this same medical body been there for you too, to support you, answer all your questions?
I never asked any questions... I'm a pretty nervous person and the few times I went there I was always very nervous and quite arrogant because I had the impression that something was escaping me …
There are still questions sometimes that come to me today. Several years after my mother's death, my sister made an appointment with my mother's oncologist to ask him certain questions that she had not had the opportunity to ask him at the time... I don't really know what they said to each other but I think my sister needed it and it did her good..
What was your first feeling when you first met the treatments (chemotherapy/hospital)?
How did you deal with your Mom's mood swings?
I was one of the only ones who could manage my mother's mood swings. We have always been very close and we were very similar. Maybe it's due to that. I tried to calm her down, to reassure her... to be more serene and move forward slowly but above all calmly. I've experienced some pretty violent crises and it's not good for anyone! Everyone was getting angry and we were losing the main thread! We must save our energy to fight illness and not to argue among ourselves!! Very important.
Did you get information on the internet?
once or twice but I read things so horrible that we were forbidden to go and look on the internet… neither my mother, nor my relatives nor me!! And it was much better that way!
What were your good plans to take your mind off things, get some fresh air, and recharge your batteries?
What are your best resources?
My friends… Really! It was my valve! I went out in the evening, I needed to talk, to see something else, to hear something other than the illness! It's essential to hold on! We must not confine ourselves to illness...
What did you tell yourself to go the distance / what did you do?
I didn't say anything to myself! I didn't even ask myself the question! I gave everything ! And I could have still given months or years if necessary!! She was my mom all the same!!!
Were you able to have an “Almost” normal life, seeing your friends/relatives?
I won't say a normal life... When this K comes into your life, nothing is normal anymore but you have to live with it, try to live as best you can... It's like a new life beginning: there is a before and one after.
In your daily life, were you able to escape from the “illness” to move forward and be productive?
Yes, I got there from time to time. When the news was good. It didn't last long but it happened.
Were you able to talk freely about it to your loved ones?
Did you feel supported/supported/understood?
Yes I could talk about it but really only to those close to me... The others never because I had the impression of a feeling of curiosity... something juicy to tell that some people love and that I hate above all All !
Yes, I was supported by my friends and family of course…
What do you think you did wrong, or said? What reaction do you regret?
I think I gave everything, did everything to try to save my mother, so no, I don't regret anything! Absolutely nothing…
What advice would you give to other loved ones to arm themselves with strength?
Only one thing can give you strength in the face of a test like this: LOVE!
Your list of essentials for support in the hospital or during chemotherapy:
I was just texting my mom to encourage her!! She loved receiving my messages, it gave her strength!
Did the K war change your vision of Catherine?
I knew my mom was a fighter but not to this extent! Always dignified, never complaining. She gave me a great life lesson that I will never forget and that will help me throughout my life...
What has the K changed in your life...?
All ! My way of thinking, of seeing things, of trying to put things into perspective… We live today in a world where people complain all the time, that’s never okay!! But from the moment we are healthy then we must be happy and stop complaining all day long! Too many people today are fighting for their lives so the others…shit! Wake up and be happy!! Enjoy life, it’s not eternal… It’s easy to say but you have to do it….
Thank you Romain for your beautiful, courageous testimony.
Loved ones also have the floor on Mister K fighting Kit, if like Romain you wish to share your story, go here , send me your questionnaire and 1 photo of you so that I can draw you ;) to: interview@mister-k-fighting- kit.com
Please note that I do not retouch any Interview, they are completely free, it is your freedom, your story, I just add my personal touch with the illustration, they are delivered as they were sent to me ;)
Lots of beautiful positive thoughts to everyone!!