On April 6, 2021, Laurent Crevier came to the Lakeshore Oncology Department to have his 26th chemotherapy treatment. It was also Oncology Nursing Day and Mr. Crevier kindly accepted to take the time to pay tribute to the staff of the Lakeshore Oncology Department. This is Laurent’s story:
“When you get cancer, it’s like being stripped of all your clothes; at that point, we all become equal. We all walk with a mask on of who we think are, but when you are in the Oncology Department, it is a special experience. It does not matter what it is you are there for, how much money you have, what your status is in life. We all have serious reasons to be here. Yes, you are alone when you get your treatment, but all the nurses here have embraced me for the past year and I have never felt lonely. I feel loved and like I am part of a family. Everybody is professional and friendly; the love I see when I am here is tremendous!
I have a great bond with my nurse, Kim Jessee, and we have lots in common, like we love to play bridge. She gives me great advice, like getting involved in the programs at the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre (WICWC); they helped immensely. Kim is definitely a part of my healing process. There is a lot of trust both ways.
When you have cancer, you do not know what to expect, and life can very quickly bowl you over. The Oncology Department at the Lakeshore is a healing environment and a safe place. Sometimes we are in such a vulnerable state, but they are so compassionate and they never make you feel bad. They are not only empathetic, they are compassionate all in their own unique ways. I always feel cared for when I am there. The Oncology Department is a magical place for sure, and the nurses are all my heroes! They are fighting for my life!
As I am waiting for my chemotherapy treatment to start, I am staring at the trees through the window of my room. For the past year, my outlook on life has completely changed. I can see the beauty in every little thing. Life is so beautiful and precious when you know that your time is limited. I hope that you do not have to go through cancer to see how lucky we are to be alive.
I have Stage 4 cancer. I did not lose my hair, but I had other side effects that come and go. Chemo saved my life, but I am also participating in my own healing. I would like to think of myself as the ‘poster boy’ to prove that chemotherapy works. My quality of life is good. There are side effects from chemo but they vary from person to person.
I feel the nurses and doctors trust me with my own well-being and with my medication. I am doing well. I have a good home environment with my dog, Gracie, a gift from a friend.
My father was old and hard on his body, but he never complained. He had a bad knee and sometimes he had a hard time walking. I asked him his secret. He told me that he focuses his attention on the other knee, the one that works.
I look forward to many days and months ahead, knowing that when the time comes, I will be transferred to the palliative care unit. I know that I will be treated with respect and dignity, but also as if I was one of their loved ones.
They can only do so much and God and I will do the rest. You can be your own hero, you can inspire other people!”