25. Taking a Cancer-cation... Or the weekend of living like my "old self"
Let’s be real. When you’ve been as open about your cancer as I have, conversations tend to center around that. How you’re feeling, what’s next, are you are doing too much, etc, etc, etc... Knowing the journey isn’t over, and the reactions of people to that fact, can make you psychologically sicker than you actually feel physically.
So the prospect of getting the “hell out of dodge“ was a welcome one.
While most people know I am a fitness instructor, some have only recently learned I am also a working actress. My occasionally “better” half is a working screen-writer who jumped into the director pond in 2017 with his first feature “Sorry For Your Loss”. So when we found out that it would have it’s first screening at the “Calgary International Film Festival” on Sept 21st, I was both excited and leery. Pre-surgery, I didn’t know what to expect from recovery, let alone if four weeks out I would be okay to travel outside of the country.
But I was gonna try my damnedest.
I booked my ticket and forgot about it, focusing on my recovery allowing the possibility that I may not feel up to going. Honestly, about two weeks ago I DIDN’T feel like making the trip. The idea of being around a lot of people an having to be “on” seemed exhausting just to think about. I had been out a couple of times with large groups of friends and was good for a couple of hours, but an entire weekend seemed like a marathon. But when, Dr C said I would most likely be having chemo AND radiation, I thought “Well FUCK, I have a hotel room I can escape to, I might as well go live like a normal person before this next phase starts.”
So we went, my first film festival, and I have to admit it was AWESOME.
In large part because instead of talking about my diagnosis, I was talking about films and performances and the challenges that come with getting funded by Telefilm. Instead of worrying about how I might react to upcoming chemo treatments, I got worry about how our film would be received, and got to experience the joy of watching an audience full of people laugh at things we weren’t certain were funny because we had seen the movie so many times.
After the showing, I got to experience the joy of an audience actually staying for a Q & A and ask us questions about this film. Later I got to toast that success, and close down a karaoke room with new filmmaker friends from New York. It was perfectly surreal, and I even got to sit and debate how “Christian” has almost become a dirty word with a born-again film maker who had found God because of Quantum Physics.
I returned home yesterday. Tired, satisfied, and ready to meet the new challenge of what the chemo regime is going to look like.
Ah well, we’ll always have Calgary.