ITW n°7: Lili Sohn - K fighter (or Gunther fighter).
ITW n°7: Lili - K fighteuse / #Gunther Fighteuse ;) .
talented creator & illustrator of the blog: TCHAO GUNTHER and the super comic “ La Guerre des Tétons ”.Hello Lili, First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to share your K's story :)
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
I am Lili, I am 30 years old, I am a graphic designer & illustrator, and I live in Montreal (Quebec - Canada)
Can you summarize your K fighter story for us?
Diagnosis of breast cancer in February 2014: operation, chemo, herceptin ... more soon!
K du Sein (called: "Gunther") um stage 2, I think...? Strangely I didn't remember
When was it discovered?
I was 29 years old, yay! Valentine's Day, yay!
Under what circumstances was it discovered?
Because I often touch my breasts (self-palpation) and I had a strange nipple, I went to consult my doctor. I did well, huh?
If you have been in treatment for how long?
I will be in treatment until July (2015). At what point EXACTLY are we in remission, I haven’t quite understood yet?
What treatment did you have?
CHEMO + Herceptin
chemo: if you have had it: 4 FEC + 12 Taxol + Herceptin for 1 year
What tips directly related to K do you want to share (your feeling with your doctor, your good plans for organizing treatment, anything that seems useful to you ;))?
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?
To avoid going backwards, I made a sort of forward calendar with all my chemo dates. Each past processing date was meticulously crossed out, crossed out, scribbled. It allowed me to see the end getting closer and to focus on the positive.
2/ hospital: nurse / doc / caregiver contact.
As they were all afraid that I would draw them badly in my comic, they had to be nice! Hihi! Nah, but I asked a lot of questions ( for the comic ) and it made me feel like a “cancer reporter”. It helped me to have good contact with the medical community.
Also, I have always tried not to forget that medical employees remain human. And that human relationships are not always easy.
3/ alternative medicine, if you have done:
a magician acupuncturist, an osteopath friend, a mother who is an apprentice homeopath, a little meditation
What did you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?
My comic blog Tchao Günther !
What practical tips can you advise us?
During chemo, I found it very difficult to feel weak and lose control of my body (and my mind sometimes). I started by trying to fight, and then I decided to let go and trust my body. I thought maybe chemo would be more effective if I let it do its job? In any case, it was much less tiring not to struggle.
1/ beauty: varnish/magic creams/scars & co:
Arnica oil to apply after bites to avoid bruising! Lavender oil for soft skin and to help me fall asleep at night. Manuka honey for scars (as a facial mask it's great too). Unfortunately no varnish because in Canada the doctors don't want it (they want to see the condition of the patients' nails). I also decided to throw away all my disgusting cosmetic products and settle for less but better (organic and natural).
2/ look, your favorite look chemo, hospital, every day to feel good / shopping:
So, as I was one of the youngest in the waiting room, I got stared at quite often. To distract the eye, I decided to wear weird leggings on every date. To discover them click here ;)
3/ daily (sport, food & co)
I bought myself a great juice machine (because drinking only sparkling water is boring), I did yoga more often, I ate lots of vegetables, I limited meat and sugar.
I'm a cooking fan. And the relationship with food could be a little difficult during chemo (no hunger or big craving for junk food). I borrowed all the cookbooks from the library to give me back my taste for “good things”. Today I am able to make a black forest, not bad eh?
What are the nugget phrases that someone said to you during K that could have been avoided?
1) Ah you cut your hair, you do the "shaved head" challenge (it's an event in Quebec where people are asked to shave their heads to support the fight against leukemia, a bit like cancer prostate and Movember)?
2) Oh you don’t drink alcohol? You're pregnant ?
3) And so you can hold my baby... even with your chemo?
How did your loved ones support you?
I created a calendar that my friends could sign up for to accompany me to chemo! It was a special moment each time and I think they felt invested. My family was far away (in France) so I Skyped them every day (mainly to reassure them). My darling has been an ESSENTIAL support!
And above all, no one treated me with pity, and that was really ESSENTIAL for me!
And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?
Don't be afraid (even if it's difficult), dare to ask questions and offer your help (at worst your friend will refuse but it feels good to know that you are there). Remember that your friend remains the same, despite cancer.
What would be the useful (internet) links that helped you during K?
I found it essential to read testimonials from other patients. I wanted to have information on the effects of chemo, on reconstruction,... But above all I needed to read stories with happy endings (they lived happily, for a long time and had many children). Knowing that I was experiential was essential for me --- Rose magazine + a kiss of a Hurrican + Macha in Canada + Mags blog + Nalie ( whose super "interview" you will discover very very soon... patience ;))
What has the K changed in your life...?
Cancer brought me into contact with death, so it puts a lot of things into perspective. I stopped worrying about stupid things and focused on healing myself. I stopped being afraid of following my dreams and being my own brake. I had the vital need to be happy, right now! In fact having cancer is like becoming the reincarnation of “Buddha”, you become wiser. Not sure it will stay like this for life but I will try to keep this zenitude
Thank you again for your testimony and for sharing your K/tips ;)
I invite you to head over to Lili’s great blog (hilarious, with rare dignity and humility): TCHAO GUNTHER
or on his Facebook Page !
And go ahead and buy in bookstore: “ The War of the Nipples ” (personally it’s already done ;))
Lots of sweet positive thoughts
See you next Tuesday, for the interview with the adorable Jean Luc :)
ITW n°7: Lili - K fighter / #Gunther Fighteuse ;).
talented creator of the blog: TCHAO GUNTHER & the great best seller comics “ The War of the Nipples ”.Hello Lili, First of all, an udge thanks for sharing your story & tips with us today :)
Who are you?
I am Lili, I am 30, graphic designer & illustrator, living in Montreal (Quebec - Canada)
Can you dump up your story?
Diagnosed of a breast cancer in February 2014, surgery, chemo, herceptin… and to continue!
Breast K (I call it: "Gunther") hum stage 2, I believe? Strangely I forgot
When was it discovered?
At 29 years old, yaaay! The day of Valentine's day, yaaay!
In what circumstances did you discover it?
Because I often touch my breasts (self palpation) and I discovered that I had a strange nipple, I went to consult my doctor. I did well, right?
If you are under process, or in remission (since how long?)
In treatment until July . At which moment EXACTLY are we in remission, I haven't really understood yet?
What treatment are you having?
CHEMO + Herceptin
chemo: if you had: 4 FEC + 12 Taxol + Herceptin during 1 year
Which tricks in direct link the K did you want to share (your feeling with Doctor, your good tips of organization, all that seems to you useful;))?
Not to go there reluctantly, I made a kind of timetable with all my dates of chemo. Every past date of treatment was minutely crossed off, blocked, scribbled. That allowed me to see the end getting closer and to concentrate myself on the positive.
2/ hospital: contact with nurses / doctors
They were all scared that I would draw them badly in my BD, so they were obliged to be nice! Hihi! No but I asked many questions (for the cartoon) and that turned me, as one, reporter of the cancer. That little allowed me to have a good contact with the medical environment.
So, I always tried not to forget that the employees of the medical environment are human beings. And that human relations are not always easy
3/ Complementary medicine:
a magician acupuncturist, a friend osteopath, a mom homeopath, a little of meditation
What do you do to change your mind / to empty your head (before chemo, operation and co)?
My blog BD Tchao Günther !
Which practico-practical tricks can you advise us?
During the chemo, I found that very difficult to feel weakened and to lose control of my body (and of my spirit sometimes). I began by trying to fight, and then I decided to let go and to trust my body. I said to myself that the chemo would maybe be more effective if I let her make her work? In any case, it was much less tiring not to fight.
An oil of arnica to be applied after the injections to have no bruises! An oil of lavender to have the soft skin and help me to fall asleep in the evening. Some honey of Manuka for scars (in mask for the face it is great too). Unfortunately no nail polish because in Canada the doctors do not want (they want to see the state of the nails of the patients). I also decided to throw all my yucky cosmetics and to satisfy me with least but better (organic and natural).
2/ look, your favorite one:
Then, as I was one of younger of the waiting room, I was stared at rather often. To make them look away, I decided to wear weird leggings in every meeting: CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER THEM ;)
3/ Daily life (sport, food & co)
I bought myself a great blender to make juices (because to only drink sparkling water is boring), I took more classes of yoga, I ate a lot of vegetables, I limited the meat and the sugar.
I am a fan of cooking. And the relationship with the food could be a little bit painful during the chemo (no hunger or big desire for junk-food). I borrowed all the cookbooks from the library to restore me the taste of the "good things". Today I am capable of making a black forest, not bad eh?
Has anyone ever told you any tactless blunder during your K that could have been avoided?
Ah you cut your hair, you are doing the shaved head challenge (it is an event in Quebec where we suggest to people to shave themselves ro support the fight against the leukaemia, like the prostate cancer and Movember)?
Oh you aren't drinking any alcohol? Are you pregnant?
And so you can take my baby in your arms, even with your chemo?
How did your relationships accompany you?
I created a calendar in which my friends could join to accompany me to my chemo sessions! It was every time a privileged moment and I believe that they felt invested. My family were far (in France) so I Skyped every day (especially to reassure them). My darling was of an INESCAPABLE support!
And then especially nobody treated me with pity, and that was very ESSENTIAL for me!
And what would be the advice you could give to the relations to someone accompanying a K fighter?
Don't be afraid (even if it is difficult), dare to ask questions and to offer your help in the worst case your friend will refuse but it feels good to know that you are there). Do not forget that your friend remains the same, in spite of the cancer.
What are the links (internet) useful that helped you during the K?
I found it essential to read testimonials of other patients. I wanted to have info on the effect of chemos, on the reconstruction… but mostly I needed to read stories that had a happy ending (they lived happily after, and had a lot of kids). This knowledge of experience was essential for me --- Rose magazine + a kiss of a Hurrican + Macha au canada + Mags blog + Nalie ( her interview very soon ;))
What did the K change in your life?
Cancer made closer to death so it puts a lot on things back in perspective. I stopped asking myself too many questions and I focused on getting better.
I stopped being scared of not realizing my dreams and of being my own brake.
I had the need to be happy, now!
In fact having a cancer is like becoming Boudha you become a better person.
Not sure it will remain for the rest of my life but I will try to keep this zen attitude.
Thank you again Lili
Now go on her wonderful Blog: TCHAO GUNTHER
or her Facebook Page !
And buy the book: " The War of the Nipples " (for me it's done ;))Many good vibes!!