Monday, October 29, 2007

Doing the Interview

The interview wasn’t nearly as natural and comfortable as my initial conversation with the producer was. It’s one thing to answer someone’s questions; it’s another to answer those questions again, while trying to remember what I’d said the first time. I’m afraid I’m going to sound like an inarticulate babbler. All those years of being an on-air TV and radio reporter didn’t help me at all!

It was really important to me that I came off sounding intelligent and sensible so that what I had to say would be taken seriously. I hope I haven’t blown it!

And one surprise addition – they interviewed Tony as well. He said some things that he’d never even said to me. He admitted that he felt depressed at times and felt the pressure to be strong for me and the kids. I didn’t know that.

I didn’t have a chance to talk to any friends with breast cancer before doing the interview, but I talked to a good friend whose opinion I respect. She said her gut instinct when I told her the program was about dying was to tell me not to do it. But when I told her my reasons for wanting to do it, she changed her mind completely and encouraged me.

Here were my reasons for wanting to do this.

1) Take the terror out of dying. I think it’s possible to die with readiness, dignity, and class. I want to set an example for my friends and family and show them that death is a part of life (Didn’t the “Lion King” teach us that?) and we should learn to appreciate life without fearing death.

2) Show that people can live with cancer and have hope for a cure and a future, without being in denial about death.

3) Set an example for my friends with breast cancer and show them that they, too, can be strong.

I’m also hoping this will help me in my project to set up a doctor/patient communication skills training program in Singapore. If people in high places see this program and recognize me when I call them up to discuss my ideas, they might be more willing to listen to me as someone other than just a complaining patient.

I might look like a bit of a media hound because this will be the third interview I’ve done about cancer. But I’ve never had a problem with people using the media for a good cause. I know some people slag off celebrities who adopt causes and accuse them of doing it for their own public image. But if you can use your fame to draw attention to starving children or abused animals, why not?

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