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Staying strong when facing a blood cancer diagnosis

Our story

There are over 100 different types of blood cancers and related disorders, and no two diagnoses are the same. But for Alain, he believes that a positive attitude and a great medical team played a pivotal role in achieving remission.

Alain, diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in May of 2020

“When I was diagnosed, we were in the middle of a pandemic. I was in the hospital, I was alone. When I got the diagnosis, I didn't start to cry. I did not curl up in my bed then crawl into my bubble. No. I told the doctor go, go, go. You know your stuff; it’s your job, do what needs to be done. We're not in 1921 anymore, we're in 2021. There is so much that has changed in cancer research. I trusted the knowledge of the doctors who were treating me, and I remained positive.

I had to travel to Alma for my treatments which is over an hour away from my house. But my partner and I made the drive fun with our nice little convertible. We drove it with the top down when the sun was shining. The distance was the downside but, apart from that, I was very well treated by the oncology team there. And my treatment went very well.

The negative aspect of the diagnosis is the word "cancer" itself. It’s a big terrifying word, that hurts so much when you hear it. But I believe that one day, it will become a trivial word.

I'm 62, I'm not ready to go to the other side yet, it’s way too early, I’m way too fit for that. I have too much to do. I take pictures, I make music, we walk, we cycle a little.

To other people going through this, I just want to say keep your focus, it's going to be fine, put that in your head. Continue with this mindset and stay hopeful. Hold on to hope, hold your head up high, and then look ahead to the rest of your life.”