Her bright smile alone sums up the intention of “My Parenthood”. Stéphanie Bernard opened this support center for women with cancer in September, as a welcome cocoon in the process of going through the disease. Yoga, relaxation therapy, management of emotions, return to work… In a nicely renovated house in Basse-Goulaine, south-east of Nantes, they can come and discuss, follow workshops and conferences or equip themselves with suitable products.
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On the ground floor, a sofa and a kitchen welcome those who come to chat or have a tea, and a shop offers specialized accessories (prostheses, lingerie, colored turbans, cosmetics, etc.). “Here, women take their time and above all, they live in an environment that does not constantly remind people of the disease, describes the co-founder. When you try breast prostheses in the back of a pharmacy, it is not ideal… ”
Stéphanie Bernard, 49, speaks knowingly. The discovery of her breast cancer dates back to 2015, when she detected a lump during a shower. A hospital representative in healthcare facilities, including an anti-cancer center, this mother quickly performs examinations, then undergoes a mastectomy followed by hormone therapy. “Luckily, I didn’t need radiation therapy or chemotherapy. “
To rebuild her breast, she chooses a fat injection technique, which will require ten operations under general anesthesia in two years. “At that time, I would have liked to be able to discuss it with other women, she says. This is the whole point of Ma Parenthèse, which promotes the sharing of experiences. “
After her recovery, it is difficult to return to work. “During this imposed break, we stop the race and ask ourselves the question of meaning. ” With a palliative care nurse friend, Solenn Leparoux, who also went through this ordeal, they are increasing fundraising to create this oxygen bubble.
“During illness, women protect those around them. Here, they allow themselves to express their feelings ”, notes Stéphanie Bernard. Since the opening, 150 women aged 19 to 70 have joined the association, for all types of cancer (breast, uterus, ovaries, colon, etc.). “We receive a lot of young women between 30 and 40 years old. The goal is for them to find resources here to regain self-confidence before taking off. “