She could have titled her book “Breast Cancer for Dummies”. In March 2019, at 38, Charlotte Pascal, mother of three girls aged 10 to 15 months, nicknamed Wonder Woman by her friends, learned that she was suffering from breast cancer. It is then necessary to announce the disease to his family. Against all odds, her children react well and, in all innocence, ask her: “Why you, mom? Are you going to die? Is it contagious?” Charlotte discovers then that the most difficult remains to be done, to announce the bad news to her group of friends. “I was like, ‘But it’s horrible telling them that,’ Charlotte says. My friends were upset, they didn’t know what to say or what to do.” Their reactions are equal to the anxieties aroused by the disease … and the clumsiness is linked: “All my friends asked me, feeling their breasts: ‘But how did you notice it?'”
Spontaneously more concerned with their own health than with the condition of their friend. And if cancer is still scary, breast cancer is less feared than others, such as the pancreas. “Result, I heard a lot: ‘Breast cancer: it can be treated well nowadays!” Implied: to choose, this is the one you had to have! Yet breast cancer kills 12,000 women in France each year. But the question that hurt Charlotte the most remains: “Was your illness taken on time?” “This one is frankly to be banned, she insists. It is guilty and means: are you going to die soon? We do not say that to a woman who has just learned the diagnosis or who is coming out of a chemotherapy session. ”
“Friendship is essential to help face the disease”
Over the course of her fight, Charlotte collects ready-made phrases: “When I was suffering martyrdom at the bottom of my bed, I would receive texts to ask myself: ‘Are you okay?’ But no, that was not right! ” Or the painful shortcuts: “When I was explaining my chemotherapy sessions, I was told: ‘Ah! You’re not throwing up, but you have great nausea? It’s like during pregnancy, then!'” But without a baby at the end of the way … Especially since chemo causes temporary menopause. Not resentful, Charlotte decided to take her pen and write a book * to help, step by step, the entourage to better support a sick friend.
“The patient is very surrounded by the medical team and her family. But no one is there to refer friends. Friendship is essential in helping to cope with the disease. breast), you can really collapse. Being surrounded gives strength and energy. When I received messages like, ‘All my thoughts are with you,’ I felt it physically. ” Finally, Charlotte humorously makes a denial: “Contrary to what they say, you do not get better after cancer. I was very well before the disease and I did not need a big tile to know it “, she concludes with a laugh, with communicative energy!
* My best friend has breast cancer, (ed. Flammarion)
Charlotte Pascal © A.DI CROLLALANZA / FLAMMARION