THE CANCER JOURNEY AND BEYOND
Seven years ago, the most important person in my life was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor was very kind and patient as he explained the plan of attack, which included chemo and radiation together, and then surgery. At that time, we had only a vague idea of what that meant, but hearing the word chemotherapy was terrifying. He gave us a few brochures on what the potential side effects were, and explained briefly that there were medications that could possibly help with some of them, and that was it. I walked out of the office thinking ” That’s all the information we get ?, I really don’t have a clue what’s ahead. ”
As the first few weeks rolled by, I spoke with others going through treatment, and the care providers that were administering them, and it seemed like there needed to be something for newly diagnosed patients and their families to help them understand the cancer journey, and to have hope that they would survive it all. At that moment, an idea was born: to create a movie that covered the cancer experience from diagnosis through survivorship. A simple basic look at what that road is, and that in many cases, that road leads to a richer, and more meaningful life.
Who better than to explain the cancer journey, than those who had gone through it, and not only survived, but thrived. So that’s where it began, the search to find survivors that were willing to share their story to help others. It was important that it included all different age groups, ethnicities, and types of cancer, so that hopefully there would be something that would enable each viewer to feel connected. This portion of the process was life’s greatest gift to me, to spend a little time with these amazing individuals, and to be able to share their incredible stories. I traveled across the US, attended special events, and heard so many wonderful accounts of hope, love, strength, courage, and acceptance. Almost all of the cancer patients and survivors I spoke with, had an inner peace and joy, that you don’t normally see in people. They understood what is really important in life, and they had learned to treasure each day and each experience.
After what seems a lifetime, the film is ready to get out there, and hopefully do the job it was intended to do. I’m asking for help with this part. I’m offering it to groups and organizations at no charge to show at meetings and events. If you know of anyone that would have an interest, I can send them a Vimeo link and password to view the film. I’m also wanting to get it into the hands of the first line care givers so that it can be used as a tool to help the newly diagnosed and their families understand the cancer journey that lies ahead. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
Finally, just a couple of quick notes.
My dearest Don, who was the instrument for this project, is doing fabulous ! All of the featured survivors are still living life to the fullest, except Saramae, who passed form natural causes 2 months before her 108th birthday. She died cancer free.
I love this story: there was a cancer patient we met during Don’s chemo hookup that was considered terminal and would remain on chemo through the balance of her life. She had the most beautiful smile and peaceful countenance. She said ” Everyday I live, is another day closer to the cure. ” God Bless her.
My greatest lesson in all of this is: Life is truly what you make it, and what may be considered terrifying or tragic, can actually be life’s gifts wrapped in very ugly packages.
Never let an opportunity go by when you can tell someone you care.
Love to all.
Here is a link to the trailer
It’s available in DVD, Blu-Ray, and Streaming, with a portion of the proceeds going to cancer research.
For more information of the film and the survivors, please visit our website http://missionpositivefilms.com/MPF-Films-16.html