ITW n°99: Vanessa - K fighter (breast).
today, wonder warrior Vanessa, 27 years old, creator of the blog Mzelle Vanesha , tells us about her fight against metastatic breast cancer which recurred in October 2016; a breathtaking testimony of life, full of beautiful vibes, essential tips, from an inspiring, luminous young woman, passionate about beauty, clothes, and a devastating sense of humor.
A beautiful discovery, another incredible lesson in strength, life and resilience...
Hats off Mzelle!
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Vanessa
Age: 27 years old
Where do you live: Annecy in Haute-Savoie (74)
Why do you agree to share your story today?
I think it is important to share your story, in order to free yourself but also to make others understand what you are going through. This can also be a motivating factor for people fighting cancer that they are not alone.
What are your qualities (in a few words)?
Listening and messing around :)
What are your passions (in a few words)?
Zumba practice and shopping (cosmetics and clothes)
What K (what cancer - grade if you wish / stage ditto):
I have a metastatic recurrence of breast cancer
When was it discovered? How old were you ?
My first breast cancer was discovered in December 2014 at the age of 25. After a year of remission I learned in October 2016 that my cancer had returned in metastatic form and that this time it would not go away.
Under what circumstances was it discovered?
The first cancer I felt a lump on my breast, it was growing quickly, we could see it. The second, the metastases prevented me from breathing properly, it was the pain that pushed us to do tests.
If you are currently undergoing treatment, or in remission (for how long?)
I had a year of remission between 2015 and 2016. I have been on chemo again since October 2016.
Can you summarize your (K fighter) story for us ?
and for my recurrence it's here
What treatment did you have?
In 2015 4 AC and 12 Taxol
Currently 9 taxol-avastin (I'm still on chemo)
in 2015 25 radiotherapy sessions
in 2015 a zonectomy then a week after a mastectomy
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):
Drink as much as possible during and after chemo.
Do not ignore silicon varnishes.
Moisturize your skin well.
Prepare a bag for the hospital with books, coloring, music, anything that will help us pass the time. And I never leave home without my blanket to wrap myself up at the hospital.
How did you live the day before, the same day, the days after chemo?
and what were your tips?
The day before is always anxiety for me, I don't want to go.
Once in the hospital I tell myself that this is how it is, that I have no choice and that I must stay alive!
2/ hospital: (e.g. contact with nurses / doc / caregivers):
I am in a small department, I am lucky to have nurses who take time for me, who chat and are interested in me.
3/ “parallel” medicine, if you have done it (what disciplines, what were their benefits):
I use Shiatsu. I see that this has a beneficial effect on my blood tests and especially on my morale! Everything is fine as long as you find the right practitioner and you feel good!
What do you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?
I see friends, family. I'm lucky to have a lot of people around me who check in on me, encourage me, or take me out here and there.
What practical “well-being/beauty” tips can you advise us?
1/ beauty: your essential products (e.g.: creams, varnishes, scars, oils, etc.)
Silicon varnish is a must. Pure and organic argan oil is a little miracle for dehydrated skin. Thanks also cicalfate! And of course the Tolerian range of roche posa (see Essential kits by Charlotte )
2/ look, (e.g. your favorite chemo, hospital, every day look to feel good):
For the hospital it's cool, I'm not looking for style. Warm, loose clothing to be comfortable. At my house during the week it's obligatory pilou pilou pajamas. To go out, however, I put on makeup and make the effort to get dressed. I don't want to give up just because I'm sick.
3/ daily (e.g. sport, food & co, meditation, reading, etc.)
I eat organic as much as possible and especially not pre-prepared products. I eat according to my desire, I don't force myself. I try as much as possible to use positive thinking (even if it is not always easy).
4/ hair problem (eg: did you wear a wig, scarves, hats)
During my first cancer I acquired a wig but I never put up with it. I only wear turbans to go out and a k fighter I met on Instagram gave me her 2 bangs :)
Are you concerned about the views of others, are you afraid that their views will change? What are you doing to counter it?
I think that basically I don't have a lot of confidence in myself and my physique. The gaze of others is very, very harsh. My partner is unfailingly supportive and always sees me as beautiful with or without hair. When I go out I wear makeup, I want to blend in as much as possible even if my ultra colorful turbans catch the eye!
What are the “nugget”/footed phrases (that you remember) that someone said to you during K and that you could have avoided?
Your wig is slightly better than your natural hair.
How did your loved ones support you?
My loved ones come with me for chemo as much as possible. My partner accompanies me to every important appointment or exam. I have wonderful colleagues who send me text messages every time I have chemo and my friends distract me with their gossip!
And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?
Be present, it is important to be accompanied and supported.
Do you find out about K on the internet?
Two years ago, yes, I was chatting via the impatient forum.
If so, does it make you feel good?
Yes and no. At the time it allowed me to empty my bag and have answers to my questions but I also scared myself by reading difficult testimonies.
If so, what would be the useful (internet) links that helped you during K?
What has the K changed in your life...?
I worry less about stupid things, I put things into perspective a lot, and above all I enjoy every moment.
Free field ;)
tell us what you want (which might not be in my questions):
Thank you to the K-fighters I met on Instagram who bring me a lot every day. It's a very beautiful community and cancer will at least have had the merit of introducing me to wonderful people.
=> to follow Vanessa on Instagram, click here!
=> go to his blog that way!
Thank you Vanessa, such a precious testimony, we send you a lot of strength and ultra-boosting shock waves!!
You can leave comments below.
If like her, you want to tell your story, your projects and share your tips, go here , send me your questionnaire and 1 photo of yourself so that I can draw you ;) to: email@example.com
*Many of you send me your testimonies, thank you for your precious trust, for this same reason, the broadcasts of your interviews will sometimes be broadcast in several months, but know that I keep and transmit absolutely ALL the testimonies that are sent to me , Thank you for understanding.
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 ;)
NEVER GIVE UP!!