PALLIATIVE CARE, IF I HAD KNOWN…

This was a trip that we hope won't be the last. In Strasbourg, at the La Toussaint Clinic, we find Anne, Denise, Noëlle, Alain, Mr. Iurlaro and Mr. Zimmer, who are in palliative care. In an outpatient hospital, yes. But with incurable cancer. They are closer to the end of their lives than the beginning, and they are aware of it. This reality troubles them, makes their future seem darker, and isolates them from the world of the healthy. This stay, organized by and in coordination with the medical staff, allows them a week's time to forget the illness, feel less alone, move forward, get more physically active, forge friendships, and continue to make plans for the future. By taking them on holiday to a small village in Alsace, Dr Véronique Vignon's team sends a powerful message: From the hospital, we must provide a living space despite suffering. Can you imagine laughing in palliative care? This series bears witness to this initiative to destigmatize palliative care and those who are living through it. My hope is that it will help us to be less afraid of it so that we don't isolate the sick even further due to our own fears. "They can't imagine that we could go on living, said Alain. If I had known what palliative care was, I would have come sooner." In Strasbourg, the end of life is written in the present.