Marlene Gagnon Writes Against Cancer

Marlene Gagnon Writes Against Cancer

Write. That is what Marlene Gagnon did to fight against cancer.

For many months, she spilled her anguish on paper which served as a cure to help her go through this phase.

Writing freed her from cancer.

Born in Kénogami, Marlene Gagnon studied visual arts at Laval University before finding an interest in psycho pedagogy. After working with problem-children for many years, she decided to help them with art. Her remedial education diploma now complete, she worked at Centre psychopédagogique de Québec with Godelieve de Koninck.

She had fun working there even though it was very hard. When it was time to retire, she was happy because she was tired and only wanted to paint, read, write, and travel. These plans are OK, but then she started to help out one child, then another, and more. Then she got a contract to teach psychopedagogy to teachers. So, even after her retirement she never stopped working.

On January 24th, Mrs. Gagnon received some devastating news following a medical check up. There were signs of cancer in her right breast. The next Monday, she underwent more examinations. Wednesday, a biopsy. Finally, on February 16th, she discovered that she had cancer.

She describes this feeling as ‘like being shot’. Everyone thinks “this can’t happen to me! Why me? This must be a mistake.” This changes my life.

The first thing she thought about was to write about the daily experiences she was living through. At the beginning, she had more ease writing everything down but it got worse after a while because as the emotions became more intense, she became restless.
Even though it was hard to write sometimes, she wrote for months, putting all her thoughts down, letting all the venom out.

She asked family and friends, about 30 people in all, to read her story. This group soon grew because the story was passed on to other people also suffering from cancer.

Everyone believed Marlene Gagnon wrote with talent, spirit, humour, and sarcasm.

Cancer, on whatever level, whether it is big or small, remains a huge thing.

Mrs. Gagnon was operated on on April 18th by the Centre des maladies du sein in Saint-Sacrement. She was cured and went back home that same day.

After the surgery there were about 20 X-rays to endure. This exhausted her to the point where she had to sleep or she would crash to the ground. After around six months, she was back to relative normality.

Everyone who read her story wanted it to be published. Writing helped Mrs. Gagnon to fight back and win against her cancer. This experience made her see life differently. She now appreciates the simple things life has to offer.

Let’s hope that her book will one day make it onto shelves in bookstores and in turn, help other people suffering from any illness find the courage to fight against it.

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LifeinQuebec.com staff writer

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