Luc - Calgary

Luc Berneche

Calgary AB

Luc is a caregiver to his wife, who lives with small cell lymphocytic leukemia, a chronic leukemia similar to CLL. Luc and his wife live in Calgary, Alberta where she is part of a 14-month clinical trial. Luc joined the Your Life After Cancer Advisory Committee to share his experience with others, he hopes to help others who care for a person with a blood cancer.

"My name is Luc Berneche and I am a care partner to my wife.

Our experience with blood cancer started with a diagnosis of small cell lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) which is essentially a different presentation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Both sets of letters were equally scary at first, and it took us quite a long time to come to terms with what a chronic blood cancer might mean. However, the outstanding care and support from our oncology team at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre over the last six years as well as the LLSC and their blood cancer monthly information and support sessions, have made the experience feel less isolating and have given us much hope for the future.

The initial diagnosis was followed by five years of watch and wait and active treatment started in August 2019.My wife is part of a 14-month clinical trial and after nine months, there is virtually no trace of cancer. Unfortunately SLL/CLL is a chronic disease so it will eventually come back. Hopefully the return will not be for many years.

I decided to join the advisory committee after it was brought to my attention by our local Community Services Manager from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. I have many relatives who have been affected by cancer over the years and until my wife’s diagnosis, I had no idea how to provide support or how to even bring the subject up with people, family and friends included. Joining the advisory committee has given me an opportunity to share my experience and help those who struggle with providing assistance to those newly diagnosed and people in treatment."