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Gabrielle knows recovery is different for everyone

Gabrielle is crouched down with her arms outstretched toward her toddler. She has a large smile on her face. They are on a path outdoors.
Photo by Karine Chalifour

Recovery takes longer than treatment, and is different for everyone.

Gabrielle Fecteau knows that. Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2015, she had to find a way to move beyond treatment to live a life worth loving.

One of the most important tools for her recovery was her daughter, Mirabelle.

“Mirabelle has been a turning point in my recovery.

“On one hand, motherhood helped me grow as a cancer thriver, being able to apply what I’ve learned about life and living since my diagnosis. It’s brought grounding, perspective, joy, and play in my life, which had been missing in recovery. It’s also been an expression of hope because we didn’t know I could have my own children for a time.

“On the other hand, my experience of early motherhood and pregnancy has been a significant aspect of my recovery. I struggled physically with little support and understanding from the medical world, within communities (cancer or not) that didn’t fully accept me or understand me, and mentally due to symptoms coming up linked with medical PTSD.”

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