I Just Want to Make Sure People Know There's Hope

Initially Diagnosed Thirty Years Ago, Cancer Survivor Glenice Shares Her Story


Glenice Quesnelle (left) and her daughter Marie. Glenice has been diagnosed with cancer multiple times over the past three decades, starting in 1987, and wants people to know there is always room for great hope, despite a cancer diagnosis.

By Heather Vita - November 4, 2017

One of the first things you notice upon entering Glenice Quesnelle’s home is a sign in her window spelling HOPE. It’s a word that means a lot to Glenice.

First diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, she’s been living with it, off and on, for thirty years. Not one to sit back and wonder what would happen, Glenice decided early on to face cancer with strong determination, surrounded by family and friends.

“You’ve got to be tough and have some backbone,” she said. “Once you’ve been diagnosed, cancer is always at the back of your mind. Sometimes it comes back, like it has for me over and over. But I just keep going. I can’t let it take over my life, and I’ve chosen not to let it.”

A very busy woman, Glenice focuses on multiple activities that provide joy in her life. She’s a member of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, and provides many readings there. She also works at the Fort William Curling Club as part of a women’s league and volunteers with the Bearskin Airlines Hope Classic each year; mostly to stay involved with her friends as she had to give up curling a few years ago. She also is on the Catholic Women’s Leaque Council, helps at various Meat Draws and is a member of the United Commercial Travelers. Not only that, she has five grandchildren, all of whom she loves to visit with or have stay over at her home.

“I love to be busy. It keeps my mind active,” Glenice commented. “But I also know that I need to find time to rest. I always listen to my body; when it’s had enough, then I know.”

Having received cancer treatment multiple times over the past three decades, one of the biggest changes Glenice has observed is how treatment can be managed. “It used to be, you had to sit at the Hospital to get your chemotherapy,” she recalled, “but now, I take oral chemotherapy and I can do it at home. It’s been a drastic change. We’re very fortunate to have a Cancer Centre that is well managed and that gives patients these latest treatment options. ”

“I do consider myself very lucky,” continued Glenice, “although some might not see it that way,” she launghed. “Throughout all my treatment and having cancer come back over and over, I’ve never had any pain. I think that’s a real blessing as I’ve been able to continue to live my life the way I’ve wanted for the most part. I also feel very strongly that a positive outlook and attitude has done wonders for me. I want people to know that they should never give up hope. There’s so much that continues to be possible when you’re diagnosed with cancer and I feel that it’s my calling to spread a message of hope as much as I can.”

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