Friday, November 17, 2006

Documentary Filming

I took part in a documentary about breast cancer today. I was part of a support group meeting with other breast cancer patients. One woman in the group had full-blown Stage IV breast cancer. Unlike mine, which is only technically Stage IV because of imprecise definitions, hers has spread everywhere in her body -- bones, brain, lungs, liver. And it all started with Stage I cancer over seven years ago. She was treated for Stage I cancer and was declared cancer-free. But then she had a recurrence one year later and by then, it had spread everywhere. She’s had chemotherapy for the past seven years, plus brain surgery.

This would be a depressing story to hear, if not for the fact that I’ve met her and seen for myself that it’s possible to live with even Stage IV cancer. Not just live, but thrive. She looked fantastic -- a very healthy-looking, attractive mom of two teenagers. There was nothing to show she was a cancer patient -- she even had a full head of hair; a very cute bob cut. But she didn’t just look great, she exuded positivity and determination. She’d been through so much, but she was so energetic and optimistic in our discussions. If anyone has the right to tell cancer patients to stop moaning about their conditions and get on with life, she does.

She’s the first person I’ve met so far who also has Stage IV cancer, so I plan to keep in touch with her. I think I have a lot to learn from her.

No comments: