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Cancer Support France Dordogne East & Lot


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As part of the national group Cancer Support France (CSF), we are here

to help those with cancer as well as their partners or carers in

Dordogne East and the Lot Valley.  CSF is for English-speakers living

in France no matter what part of the world they are from.

We are a network of volunteers who have received training based on Macmillan UK but must stress that we are not

medically trained.  We come from all walks of life; nursing, social

work, The Samaritans, teaching and counselling.  Many of our volunteers

have experienced or have had  family members or friends diagnosed with

cancer so understand the emotional effects of the disease and


Our core skills include Active Listening either by

telephone or home visits as well as dialogue by email if the client

would like to communicate their feelings in writing.  Within our team,

we have a number of volunteers who are fluent in French and can provide

effective communication with the French medical system either by

speaking to doctors, consultants and other care providers by telephone

or attending appointments with the cancer patient.  We adhere to a

strict code of confidentiality.

We also help our clients to ask

the questions they need answers to and to guide them to other sources

of advice and help as appropriate, providing them with access to

written information about cancer and its' treatments.  We never advise

our clients on what is the best treatment for them but we do provide

the resources and skills to help them make informed decisions and to

work with and understand the French healthcare system.

As a

voluntary organisation, CSF is funded by Membership and fund-raising

events.  With the current economic climate, many expats are returning

to the UK which has had a small impact on us so we would welcome new

Members and volunteers.  If you would like to participate in this very

worthwhile organisation or you have a family member or friend who has

cancer, please do contact us through the following channels: -

CSF Dordogne East & Lot - President; Margaret York (Prayssac)

Telephone:  05 65 22 96 37 (08h to 23h)

By email:  csfdordognelot@yahoo.com

National website: www.cancersupportfrance.info

National telephone:  05 45 89 30 05
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Norman - even those whose French is good normally can need help when they are very ill. However good your second language is, it is comforting to speak in your mother tongue and even if your own French is good that your family and friends may not be.

Sadly, I had a friend who died from cancer aged only 53 in 2008. CSF made her last months so much more bearable and offered great support to her husband and friends. I for one would recommend them and can't thank them enough for the help they provided.
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Not everyone has the option to move back to England after receiving a cancer diagnosis. My husband works here and my children are at school here. Our life is here! And even though my French is pretty good, CSF is useful for helping you to understand how the system works in France and what are the right questions to ask. They can help you not to feel so alone when you are surrounded by French natives who all seem to understand what is going on and you don't.

It's a shame there isn't a group more local to the Bordeaux area!!

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[quote user="NormanH"]I would recommend anyone who is not fluent in French to return to a country where they can find not only the medical team but also all the after care in the language they feel comfortable speaking.


Can this actually be done? My husband has not yet been diagnosed but is very frustrated with the French lack of info and general handling of his problem and is threating to go back to the UK if the prognosis is poor

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Why do you say 'threatening'.?Who is at risk?What will the French lose if he goes back, apart from the fact he would occupy a bed that French people have paid for over the years

There is absolutely no lack of information about Cancer in France, but naturally it is in French.

Any frustration comes from linguistic incompetance, which is the fault of the immigrant.

Let him live out his threat.

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Norman, don't be so hard!  The point is, he might not "live out" anything, don't you see?

Try and be a bit more tolerant.  These are very vulnerable people out there and, whilst it's OK to knock people now and again, it's not cricket to kick them when they are down.

Be a good fellow, apologise and say you didn't mean it.  That way, it might take some of the sting out of what you have just said.

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I'd wondered recently where Norman had got to. What a pity he posted as he did..

Norman, having a serious illness is bad enough in your mother tongue; trying to remember what you've been told is a real struggle when you've had a great shock to the sysem such as being told the bad news. In another language, no matter how fluent you are, it could be extremely difficult and worrying, as the memory in whatever language can desert you. Not in the same category, of course, but I remember when I had my purse stolen on the Paris metro, I couldn't even remember the word for purse!

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My husband actually speaks pretty good french  but that supposes that any of the medical staff will deign to speak to him. I have raised the question of the French specialists attitude to their patients on another forum. Thier response and that of a French friend is that you are merely a patient and they are somewhat "godlike". This is what is the cause of the frustration and your response is at best unhelpful and otherwise bl00dy insulting.

Post edited by the moderators as per the forum Code of Conduct.

Please do not post comments which are abusive, racist, sexist, or derogatory in any way to others.

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Last year I was devastated to be diagnosed with cancer, it was extremely scary and a truly frightening experience.   I had all my treatment in France, I was lucky in that I had excellent care and treatment, and can't thank CSF enough for their help too when I needed it.

It is bad enough to have such an illness, but to cope with things in a different language is not easy.   The majority of doctors I saw spoke very good English, although I always tried to speak to them in French it was obvious their English was better than my French.  Most of the nurses only spoke French, but we managed when necessary and even had a few jokes at times.  They were always very supportive and understanding of my needs. 

My chemotherapy was followed by an operation, then just after christmas 5 weeks of radiotherapy.  My GP was very sympathetic, would always phone me after a hospital visit to see how I was and how I had got on.

I missed having family around, and they too felt they were left out and wished they could do more, but they couldn't other than visit and lend a helping hand.

I recommend CSF as they have a knowledgeable team of volunteers, and if anyone is about to go through this experience and would like to ask questions I am more than happy to try to offer some help.

Good luck to those about to have treatment, and for those like me who are presently in remission.

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