Double cancer diagnosis for mother and daughter: ‘I can conquer it and she can too’
Melissa Bourdeau and Marie-Paule Bourgeois - A mother and daughter finding strength in each other after receiving a cancer diagnosis one month apart.
OTTAWA -- A mother and daughter are finding strength in each other after receiving a cancer diagnosis one month apart.
In April, 64-year-old Marie-Paule Bourgeois was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. One month later, her 30-year-old daughter Melissa Bourdeau received her own shocking diagnosis of Stage 2 breast cancer.
“I said ‘oh my God, what are we going to do,’” Bourgeois recalls from that day, wondering if the pair could get through it.
“I fell on my knees, I shed all the tears I had to shed and I just couldn’t realize it, I didn’t believe it,” Bourdeau said.
After discovering a lump in May, Bourdeau said doctors discovered an aggressive tumour. Since, she has undergone a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. Bourgeois is also undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Both will require radiation treatment next.
“We’re never going to give up, because we’re going to fight that – both – together,” Bourgeois said.
The pair, who was already inseparable, says this journey together is only strengthening their bond.
“To be honest, it developed a mother-daughter bond that I could never imagine before,” Bourdeau said. “It’s incredible what we’re living together.”
Bourdeau says she feels like her mother can understand what she is going through, even how she feels following intense treatment that can affect her for days.
“She has pain this weekend, I told her ‘I understand you a lot – I know what you feel’” Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois says she is anxious about her battle but it’s her daughter’s diagnosis that is most painful.
“I just wish she’s going to be okay… she’s only 30,” she said.
The pair lives together and they help each other through cancer treatment. They say they try to keep up with their daily routines and stay positive throughout this journey.
Bourdeau still runs her fitness centre, Evo Studio, when her body allows it.
Bourgeois says it’s important to practice her faith.
“I pray for me and I pray for Melissa,” she said.
With the holidays around the corner Melissa says her only wish is that her mom beats ovarian cancer. She says it’s her goal to beat her own cancer too.
“I keep believing every day and I believe that God put this on my path because I can conquer it and she can too,” Bourdeau said.