As I write blurrier eye this entry, it’s now Day 8 from the day mother told me about her breast cancer. I called her on Monday to see what was the update on the second test. The appointment is scheduled on April 13 and it will be a sonogram. From that time on, it probably will be another week to confirm the finding with her doctor. I want to say that there are options to take care of her. This is when you start seeing the bigger picture of cancer all around you.
Going back several weeks, on the Celebrity Apprentice, both Tom Green and Scott Hamilton revealed they were survivors of testicular cancer whereby each one had one testicle. As Scott put it so well, put Tom and him together and you have a pair. I saw the joke coming but they are alive today. More forward about week from there, I heard the news about US House of Representative Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from here in Florida revealed she was diagnosed to have breast cancer a year ago and had a double mastectomy. It is always sad to hear when people reveal their personal health to have cancer. For some reason, when you are a celebrity or public figure, you have a greater spotlight. Yet, there is no spotlight for my mom or the countless others who are also facing this same crisis.
As I move to this week, I started looking for sources of information. There are two graphic novels that I was aware of that were on the subject. First, Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies looks at lung cancer. This one made it on some list of the must read graphic novels. The second one, Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto discussed her experience with breast cancer from the beginning. I started to read the panels but I had to stop when her doctor recommended her to go a specialist for a sonogram. Seems quite familiar and that’s when I stopped. I will continue but not right now. I have a lot to sort through on this matter and others.
Aside from my supervisor whom I informed of my possible request to use up my vacation time and maybe FMLA, very little from work know. From my reserved persona at work, there is very little chink in my armor. Yet, I want to tell someone and I don’t know if that’s what I want. Rather, this blog allows me to get across to you how I feel at this time and I don’t have to worry get emotional in front of you because you won’t see it. I know that crying is not a sign of weakness but I can’t do that at work. I am Spock who constantly fights his humans emotion and don’t get me started on the pon farr. Is it weird that I explain myself in scifi icons and terms? This leads me into my screenplay that I’ve been working on for quite some time.
Of course, the story is about me to some degree who is going through a midlife fanboy crisis. The goal me in the end of the story is to be at a convention with other comic book writers and artists selling their product being on the other side of the table. Yet something is holding me back – family, work, responsibilities, fear. Someone from my past who is now a talented illustrator maybe the window of opportunity I may never get again. As the project takes form, old feelings resurface. At this time, the storyline includes my mom’s breast cancer. This will would either push me into direction or the other. In the end, I will end up doing a graphic novel like the ones I’ve mentioned and being on the other side of the table. All the details and story elements are still being worked as I am looking for those same answers in my own life.
Now before you think of me harshly, there is nothing wrong with feelings for other people we care about deeply. Look at Bridges of Madison County where the story was about a wife who cheated on her husband one weekend while the family was away. When you read Francesca’s mind set and what Robert represented to her you get it. You don’t necessarily condone the extramarital affair but you understand the whys. We have just one life to lead and not everything is always black or white. What we do with the shades of grey (not the crappy ST:TNG episode from the 2nd season finale; there I go again) that defines us. Ethan Frome with Edith Wharton is another classic example. That’s the story I want to tell. I strongly believe in it.