Suzanne Asselin

A Tale of Courage and Hope

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Decades ago, the mere mention of “cancer” was often equated with a death sentence. But now, advancements in science and medicine have turned the tide, making survival more common. This narrative unfolds the story of Suzanne Asselin, a woman who battled colon cancer, finding solace and support in her darkest hours.

In 1993, Suzanne was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, a revelation that hit her like a ton of bricks. Facing an uncertain future, she underwent surgery and endured 42 sessions of chemotherapy, along with a parallel treatment called 714-X. Determined to conquer this challenge, she fought with every ounce of her strength.

During her treatment at the hospital, Suzanne discovered Hope & Cope, a sanctuary of support adjacent to the treatment room. There, volunteers assisted her in choosing a wig, bringing a smile to her face amidst the struggle. She attended a “Look Good, Feel Better” workshop, learning about skincare and makeup during her cancer treatment. She found comfort and encouragement in the wealth of resources, including books, CDs, and informative pamphlets provided in this nurturing environment.

In her quest for answers, Suzanne sought the expertise of an oncology psychologist, engaged in educational conferences, and found solace in meditation.

“I survived thanks to my surgeon, the treatments, the unwavering support of my husband, my family, and friends, and my own proactive measures,” she reflects. “The many kind Hope & Cope volunteers who welcomed me, provided nourishing meals, and offered a listening ear in person and over the phone, played a significant role in my survival and gave new meaning to my life.”

Life gradually resumed a new sense of normalcy for Suzanne. However, three years later, she sensed something wrong with her health again. Her fears were confirmed when tests revealed secondary liver cancer. Despite the grim prognosis, she found strength in Qi Gong and clung to a native Arizonian talisman during her surgery, where two-thirds of her liver was removed. Her trust in her surgeons and her belief in her body’s ability to heal played a crucial role in her recovery.

Defying all odds and outliving the grim one-year survival prediction, Suzanne emerged as a beacon of hope. Today, she leads a life dedicated to health and well-being, focusing on exercise, nutrition, stress management, and maintaining a positive mindset. Her experience has come full circle as she now volunteers, giving back to the community that stood by her in her time of need.

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