Talking about their cancer or keeping it quiet, their decision illustrates a dilemma

Talking about their cancer or keeping it quiet, their decision illustrates a dilemma
Patrick Sébastien, Louis Laforge have all three revealed that they have overcome cancer.
Figaro Live/Getty Patrick Sébastien, Louis Laforge have all three revealed that they have overcome cancer.

Figaro Live/Getty

Patrick Sébastien, Louis Laforge have all three revealed that they have overcome cancer.

PSYCHOLOGY – “ The word cancer does not scare me. Simply, I did not want to publicize it. » In Live and be reborn every day, a book to be published on September 29 by XO editions, Patrick Sebastian reveals to have recovered from a “kidney cancer with a big operation”, as he confided during an interview at Figaro. Disease he talks about now that he is no longer in danger.

In the same way, the presenter of Health Magazine Michel Cymes recounts in his book to be published on October 5, Nothing is impossible (Stock editions), how he beat cancer. At the end of August, it was the journalist Louis Laforge who announced that he had survived the disease. ” A kidney, a ureter canal, a piece of small intestine and colon and above all one less cancer,” he wrote on Twitter.

Through their coming out of silence and the way in which they do so, these three personalities raise the delicate question of speak publicly about their illness or not, and when.

Preserve privacy

Whether you are famous or unknown, the announcement to your entourage, close or less close, is a moment that is never simple, and for which there is no magic formula. “Suffering from a chronic disease like cancer is about intimacy, physical and moral suffering. This intimacy, some want to preserve it, while others need or want to make it public”explain to HuffPost Doctor Ophélie Soulie, psychiatrist at the Curie Institute in Paris.

In fact, for this specialist in psycho-oncology, there is ” as many answers or ways of managing the disease as there are patients themselves. Everyone does what they can, with the resources they have “.

Some therefore prefer to conceal this information before getting better. ” It is interesting to mediate when he is cured. Self-pity is the worst way to achieve rebirth “explained for example Patrick Sébastien to the Figaro.

Regardless of a person’s notoriety, opening up about the disease, sharing this difficulty with loved ones, can be very painful. Some, like Virgil Abloh, a creator who died in November of cardiac angiosarcoma at the age of 41, keep this information private. “Saying it makes real the anguish generated by the disease. From the moment you share this information, the idea of ​​being sick, of being able to die from it, is highlighted. What is painful is the awareness of this reality”she continues.

source of relief

At the same time, this sharing can also be a source of relief. By finding support in the family sphere, or in the professional sphere, for example. “ Why are relatives informed? », interrogated Sarah Dauchythen a psychiatrist at the Gustave Roussy Institute, a care, research and teaching center caring for cancer patients, contacted by The HuffPost on the occasion of the release of the film Just the end of the worldby Xavier Dolan. “Is it out of a need to share and a search for support, or out of a duty to inform, or even to prepare for loss? »she continues.

“By announcing the disease, the patient will be relieved of an enormous weight”, explains to Psychologies Marie-Frédérique Bacqué, professor of psychopathology at the University of Strasbourg. “He will free himself from the burden of secrecy”.

“It doesn’t just happen to others”

In the case of Michel Cymes, talking about his illness in his book amounts to giving ” keys to his readers. ” This book is different from all my other books. I approach a subject of which I had always endeavored to keep the details secret (…), he writes in his note of intent. By sharing it with you, dear readers, who have been faithful to me for so many years, I intend to give keys that will allow you to unlock certain aspects of another experience, yours. »

His goal, just like he does on his show, is above all prevention. “You will see that cancer does not only happen to others and that it is important to get screened because we are not always lucky enough, like me, to discover it by chance”he warns.

Asked in It’s yours on the reflexes to have for a rapid diagnosis, the journalist Louis Laforge had given advice: “ I had a little discomfort, which became a little pain: I was consulted and that’s how the doctors saw that I had cancer. Do not underestimate the small pains. »

Same story on the side of Patrick Sébastien: “ I embarked on a lot of projects. The important thing is to do and to stay upright. And if it can help some people to hold on a little better… I meet lots of people who live better thanks to my books. It’s a real satisfaction “, he still believes in Le Figaro.

Virgil Abloh has not stopped creating and working on his collections during his months of fighting cancer. His last collection for Louis Vuitton was even presented two days after his death. “When it’s hard to talk about what you’re going through, it may be because you’re afraid of it, but also to keep a form of stability, some benchmarks, in a moment of chaos.explains Ophelie Soulie. At that point, you may not want to show yourself only through the filter of your illness, to keep control of the image you send back “.

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