It was June 15, 2022, she was wearing a little dress and she was, in her words, “not here for that.” While she had been suffering from pain under her ribs for several months, Clémentine Vergnaud, 30, had a scan. When the radiologist tells her about a “liver mass” and tells her that she must have an MRI within two days “so that there is no loss of chance”, she understands that it is probably a ‘cancer. Bile ducts – which will be confirmed by the following tests.

This is what she explains in a podcast that is obviously moving – the last episodes have just been posted online even though she died on December 23, 2023 – and remarkable. Remarkable because, with incredible determination, she wanted to keep this logbook until the end. Because – and even if she does it with rare gentleness and elegance – Clémentine Vergnaud says things exactly as they are (perhaps out of professional rigor: she was a journalist at Franceinfo). Because, finally, the production is precisely sober – only a musical line sometimes supports or illuminates a point.

” Leave a trace “

In the spring of 2023, her colleague and friend Samuel Aslanoff asked her to tell her story on his microphone about what she was going through. She accepts, to “leave a mark”. She first wants to point out that it is with great sensitivity that the doctor tells her that she has cholangiocarcinoma (episode 1). Then, and with a constant concern for precision, Clémentine Vergnaud returns to her treatment and describes her daily life made up of nausea, vomiting and extreme fatigue. She also talks about the question of prognosis: “It’s the first question we ask ourselves and, very quickly, I felt that I would not have an answer. » So she looks on the Internet: “Ten percent survival at five years for those who are operable, and I am not operable; a median survival of twelve to fifteen months at the stage I am at. And there, everything changes, everything spins. »

Episode 4: she explains why she refuses the term “fighter” and how, instead of “you’ll get through this”, she prefers “I understand”, “I’m here”, which are calming. She also speaks (episode 5) of the feeling of injustice that has long prevailed (“why me?”). That what was stolen from him was carelessness. She talks about why she wanted to do this podcast: “I hoped to provoke thought among listeners and be useful to them. » She will also be overwhelmed by the success (391,403 listens, between June and November 2023, more than a million today) and the numerous thanks she receives when the first episodes are broadcast.

She will continue to tell. Will say that being sick “is a full-time job”, and how heavy the bureaucracy can have been. As her condition deteriorates, she asks for her partner’s hand – “He said yes. » When she understands that “the illness is always one step ahead and that we can no longer catch up,” she expresses the relief of being able to discuss the different options to leave in the conditions that suit her. She left surrounded by her loved ones. His podcast remains and it is valuable.