National Cancer Survivor Month | 26 June 2020
Jean-Luc Rose : “I have been cancer free for the past 10 years and there’s not a day that I do not thank God for the gift of life”
In collaboration with Cancer Concern Organisation (CCA), today we are chatting with Jean-Luc Rose, a young man of 24 years old. Seychelles NATION ran an up-close on this amazing young man last year and we were all touched by his story. For the National Cancer Survivor Month, he agreed to share his story again.
Seychelles NATION: Please tell our readers who is Jean-Luc Rose?
Jean-Luc Rose: My name is Jean-Luc Rose, I am a 24-year-old male living in the north of Mahé and currently at law school following a UniSey/University of London LLB programme. I am aspiring to becoming an attorney at law/barrister and I am also a part-time artist as I am passionate by music, so as a hobby I’m in the music business.
Seychelles NATION: How and when did you discover you had cancer?
Jean-Luc Rose: I was diagnosed with a bone cancer in June 2010 at the Seychelles Hospital. Three months prior to the diagnosis I have been going back and forth at the hospital meeting different specialists due to severe pain I was having in my left femur. It was on June 30 when I was examined by the health commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon himself that he noticed an abnormal lump in my left femur. I am grateful to this man because without his professionalism I would not have been able to make the proper test and diagnosis towards my medical condition.
Seychelles NATION: What where your first reactions and how did you deal with it?
Jean-Luc Rose: Of course receiving the news was hard at first, but after a long talk with my mother and aunt (family friend) I found the courage within the next few days after the diagnosis to focus on what was to come and that was the battle of my life.
Seychelles NATION: What were your next steps?
Jean-Luc Rose: The next step was a flight to Reunion where I was scheduled to follow specialised treatment because this form of cancer could not be treated in Seychelles. Upon reaching the island of Reunion, I had to undergo some more tests before being admitted to the hospital to start my treatment.
Seychelles NATION: What has helped to overcome cancer?
Jean-Luc Rose: I would say my spirituality helped me overcome the battle alongside the medication I was receiving to treat my medical condition at the time. I am someone who’s always been optimistic and going through this ordeal was not an exception. I kept having faith, taking whatever challenges I was faced with one day at a time.
I stayed in Reunion for a period of 11 months. I underwent 19 chemo sessions. 9 sessions before the operation and 10 after the major surgery I had to go through. I have lost count of the number of surgery I have had, but I can tell you that I have done a complete reconstruction on my left femur and a couple of bone grafts along the way.
Seychelles NATION: For how long did you take medication and how long have you been cancer free?
Jean-Luc Rose: I have been cancer free for the past 10 years and there’s not a day that I do not thank God for the gift of life.
Seychelles NATION: Is there cancer in the family?
Jean-Luc Rose: Cancer is not common in my family and I do not know how it came to be. The professional doctors treating patients don’t even know where it comes from, but I rather focus on the way forward to conquer this battle.
Seychelles NATION: What advice would you give to our readers as well as cancer patients?
Jean-Luc Rose: I would tell those facing any ordeal to be open minded. Everything begins and ends with you. If you are scared to conquer your fears you will never overcome them. Do not ask why you have been chosen but accept your current position. If you feel that this is not your fate, do something about it, fight for what you believe in, fight till your last breath if that is what it takes because it is up to you to make a difference not anyone else.
I have a very strong support network, and that is because I am a very friendly person and I always encourage others when they are feeling down. The number of support I have received along my journey is endless and I take this opportunity to thank everyone who ever showed some love one way or another.
I do not feel that my life was affected in any way but rather it was necessary for me to go through hell to get to heaven. This challenge only made me stronger, it gave me a different perspective towards life and made me appreciate the small things rather than only noticing the big things which surround us. For as long as I live I will carry this warrior mentality with me and I hope to conquer many more battles to come.
Compiled by Vidya Gappy