Affected by a synovial sarcoma in the knee, Matthieu Lartot had to have his right leg amputated last April. In an interview with Paris Match, the sports journalist shows unfailing optimism and intends to comment on the next Rugby World Cup.
A long journey since the announcement of his recurrence
On April 18, on social networks, Matthieu Lartot announced that he was suffering from a recurrence of his cancer. Presenter of the sports program Stade 2, the journalist then declared that he was forced to “get away from the air to get back in the ring and fight cancer a second time!”. Having had his right leg amputated to prevent his cancer from coming back, the commentator for the French rugby union team matches began his rehabilitation sessions at the end of June and “Morale is at the top!”.
On July 14, through an Instagram story, Matthieu Lartot appeared in great shape during a sports session where he performed the plank exercise, alongside his son Noah. “Even on leave, it works. With a sparring partner in PLS. PS: the hair is finally growing back!”, he had written on his story. Today, he confides in our colleagues from Paris Match in a long interview.
Objective: to be on foot to comment on the Rugby World Cup
Matthieu Lartot explains his journey. Coming from a family of rugby players, he only conceives his life through sport. But at 16, knee pain appears and a year and a half later, the diagnosis falls: a tumor of the knee, a rare cancer with the barbaric name “synovialosarcoma”. Operated on the eve of his 18th birthday, he was fitted with a prosthesis and he underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and also an infection which earned him a year in hospital.
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A recurrence 25 years later
And then for 25 years, he forgets the disease (even if the surgery reduces his mobility). “Radiotherapy is done to treat, but it happens that a cell is not completely destroyed and develops again a few years later, twenty five for me. As a general rule, these tumors cannot be treated with chemotherapy, which explains the pessimism of doctors at the start”. But chemotherapy makes it possible to reduce the size of the tumor and reduce the amputation by 2 centimeters “For the device walking comfort is not negligible“he specifies.
“That was it or I died”
When announcing the recurrence, he demonstrates an astonishing strength of character: “When the surgeon told me about the recurrence of the cancer, it was I who asked her the question: “Are you going to amputate me?” She nodded. I replied, “Here we go.” She was surprised, but that was it or I died. There is no choice! You have to accept the fact that your life will no longer be the same. I’m not one to mope“.
“After sickness, there must be life”
After the ordeal of surgery, chemotherapy, rehabilitation with prosthesis, the journalist sets himself the objective of commenting on Europe 2 on his second Rugby World Cup, which takes place from September 8 to October 28 in Europe. And its objectives are multiple! “Physically, it’s very demanding what I live. My brain had to be ready to carry out this rehabilitation. I project myself in the positive. Soon, I’ll be able to ski, cycle, everything I couldn’t do for twenty-five years. After sickness, there must be life“.