ITW n°96: Anne-Sophie - ex K fighter.
today, the inspiring and determined Anne Sophie, 44 years old, entrepreneur and founder of Cancer @ Work , in remission from breast cancer, shows us once again how we can transform the ordeal into a positive asset, and once again summarizes what resilience is.
Very invested in supporting fighters in their return to work, she tells us with very positive frankness her story as a warrior, but above all her sincere commitment today to support others. Another beautiful wonder woman!
Very nice discovery.
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Anne-Sophie
Age: 44 years old
Where do you live: in the Paris region
Why do you agree to share your story today?
My word on Mister K has always been free. When I learned that I had cancer in 2011, I didn't ask myself whether I should talk about it or not. For me, it was obvious. So I shared my story straight away. I was then surprised when I met other K fighters that the first question they asked me was “should I talk about it? ”.
I find it important to free the floor and it's great that you give us the opportunity to do it in a pleasant and useful way! Thank you Charlotte.
What are your qualities (in a few words)?
People often say of me that I am positive, pragmatic and determined.
I also believe that I am creative and organized.
And like many, I can have the faults of my qualities J
What are your passions (in a few words)?
I have many :
First my family and my friends. My husband Maxime and our children, Margaux, Nicolas and Charlotte, who were respectively 10, 8 and 6 years old when Mister K arrived.
Then, cooking and travel which invite many moments of sharing and conviviality. We often associate one with the other.
And the work! And yes, I love my job and I love working. Work was a valuable support during the treatments and I decided to make Mister K a winning asset professionally and to help others do the same. I am convinced that we develop qualities and skills when we are confronted with Mister K: courage, humanity, pugnacity, solidarity, management of priorities, creativity... They are precious and useful in professional life. You know something about it, I think.
What K (what cancer - grade if you wish / stage ditto):
I had breast cancer, an infiltrating ductal carcinoma that is “big but doesn't go away quickly” (I'm ignoring the technical terms).
When was it discovered? How old were you ?
At 39 years old.
Under what circumstances was it discovered?
I discovered it by chance while applying milk to my body on March 7, 2011. I must have felt that something abnormal was happening because I made an appointment the same day for a mammogram and the verdict immediately fell. The images were classified as ACR5 with a 95% probability that it was cancer.
If you are currently undergoing treatment, or in remission (for how long?)
This is a difficult question ultimately. When do the treatments really end? Their impact lasts for a long time… When do we go into remission? Are we ever cured? Physically, psychologically?
What treatment did you have?
In 2011, Chemo (3) – mastectomy – rechemio (12) – radio (35) then hormonal (very difficult to bear and a real subject when you return to work) – At the beginning of 2013, a reconstruction by DIEP then I needed to take a break. I'm responding to you from the hospital waiting room where I'm on a follow-up visit after we completed the reconstruction 4 weeks ago (symmetrization and nipple).
Can you summarize your (K fighter) story for us ?
When Mister K arrived, we decided with Maxime and the children that we were going to make the most of it. For example, when I had to stop working for a few months, the children and I said to each other that it was really nice to have a mother at home. When we learned that we wouldn't be able to go on vacation for long because I had chemotherapy every week, we decided that it was an opportunity to take advantage of a deserted Paris in August and play tourist, at our place. I told myself that this was the opportunity or never to take care of myself, to pamper myself. And when the time came to return to work, I decided to put my 15 years of professional skills at the service of other Kfighters. A way to get the upper hand on Mister K and be useful (at least I hope!).
What tips directly related to K do you want to share?
(your feeling with the doctor, your good treatment organization plans, anything that seems useful to you ;))?
1/ chemo: (ex: your tips, the helmet, your affinities with nurses):
Go with a friend or bring something to occupy yourself. It's long…
How did you live the day before, the same day, the days after chemo?
and what were your tips?
The day before, I made the most of a healthy stomach and had a lot of fun around a good table. I knew that a break of around a week was going to begin. The same evening and the next day: Curtain. I was bedridden for several days and I was patient. The only “plus”: my mom who came to take over who did everything I loved as a child. These were my “regressive” weeks.
2/ hospital: (e.g. contact with nurses / doc / caregivers):
All the caregivers I met were wonderful. They do a job that is not easy and I have often wondered if we take good care of them (their employer) so that they can also take good care of us.
3/ “parallel” medicine, if you have done it (what disciplines, what were their benefits):
I didn't use many during the treatments but I have since discovered some which help me a lot in my current life and in particular essential oils (thanks to my sister-in-law Sonia who is soon moving to Le Mans: opinion to amateurs!). In all cases, you should seek the advice of a doctor.
What did you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?
I was partying! With all the people I love. As soon as I had enough energy.
I also took long naps; I was really tired. I tried to be in shape for after school and to be able to take care of my children. What struck me was a visceral need to see my children grow up.
What practical “well-being/beauty” tips can you advise us?
1/ beauty: your essential products (e.g.: creams, varnishes, scars, oils, etc.)
An extra rich cream discovered in a beauty workshop at the IGR “life is more beautiful – great!): Eucerin
My varnishes: roche posay with silicon
For scars : bi oil
And Yonka’s essential oil mist, I love it!
2/ look, (e.g. your favorite chemo, hospital, every day look to feel good):
One day, one look: beautiful, very feminine outfits for every occasion and the matching wig, short, long, brown, red… or “natural” i.e. without hair. Swimwear from Garance Paris . Thank you Cécile! (Pasquinelli - its ITW here ).
3/ daily (e.g. sport, food & co, meditation, reading, etc.)
According to desire and inspiration. No fixed program. I worked a lot on letting go.
4/ hair problem (eg: did you wear a wig, scarves, hats)
I decided to shave my head when the first hair began to fall out. A way to send a message to Mister K: “you see, it’s me who decides”.
Were you concerned about the views of others, were you afraid that their views would change? What did you do to counter it?
I was indifferent to the views of others. My big fear was the children, mine, their friends, those of our friends. I didn't want to traumatize them. I tried to do the best I could: meeting with teachers, dialogue with parents...I opened the door wide to dialogue and told everyone that they could ask me any questions that came to mind and that I I will answer them with pleasure. They were all incredibly kind and so direct and natural! “Anne-Sophie, does your hair hurt when it falls out?”, “Are you going to die?” They say out loud what everyone else is thinking. These questions have helped me a lot in my relationships with adults and also with myself.
What are the “nugget”/footed phrases (that you remember) that someone said to you during K and that you could have avoided?
A friend when she was told about a mastectomy: “oh poor thing, if they tell me that, I'll shoot myself”… uh, I'll first fight this f… K for the bullet, we'll see afterwards!
How did your loved ones support you?
My loved ones quickly understood what I wanted: to fight with a smile and enjoy life. Everyone was able to find the right posture and put aside their own anxieties. It was truly a wonderful gift.
And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?
Do you find out about K on the internet?
In 2011, there was very little about K. Today, I appreciate exchanges with the Kfighters community and I like to observe initiatives like yours, that of Lili Sohn , Anne-Sophie Robineau ... I find that they bring hope and serve as an example for Kfighters.
If so, does it make you feel good?
This allows you to create new links and encourage wonderful encounters.
What has the K changed in your life…?
The K allowed me to dare, dare to become an entrepreneur. In 3 years, I even created 2 companies: an association of managers, Cancer@Work , and a business consulting firm, Kepler HR. With both, I devote my time to helping people affected by the disease, by helping employers integrate Mister K into their social policies and managerial practices. Because today a number of us are surviving the K and society and businesses need to embrace it.
Thank you Anne Sophie, for your precious testimony and your essential commitment, Together Stronger!
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