A ‘thumbs up’ movie; A cancer DX recalled
Date posted: January 29, 2014
A big Saturday edition coming from The Sheridan Press.
We’ll publish three special sections:
• Health & Fitness guide.
• A tax guide for helping us through tax return season.
• There’s a Big Game Sunday. We’ll provide a guide to where Super Bowl-related events are happening in Sheridan.
The character Death narrates the film, “The Book Thief.” Given its time frame, the ascendant rises of the Nazi Party in Germany, the horrors of the regime’s crimes and the country’s desperation as the Allies push to Berlin and victory, Death doesn’t overwhelm the narration, though it could have.
Hans (Geoffrey Rush) is a sign painter who steadfastly refuses to join the Nazi party and as a result, his business suffers. Nevertheless, he and his sour wife take in a foster child, then a Jewish refugee that they hide at much risk and with internal tension in the household. The foster child daughter, Liesel, comes to the home illiterate, but Hans patiently teaches her to read while bombers roar overhead the villages and young men disappear to the front lines. Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) becomes an inveterate reader. It’s a good story and film.
It’s showing these days inside the warm and comfy confines of the Centennial Theatre.
Susan recalled earlier this week — spouses are good at reminders — how it was the 11th anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. In the rush of daily duties and thinking ahead about Super Bowl appetizers and the national shortage of Velveeta, it had slipped my mind.
Cancer survivors keep any number of benchmarks. The day when the diagnosis was rendered. The day treatment (chemo, radiation) began. The day the oncologist said the bone marrow was “all clear.” The day of the transplant. (For example: Jan. 27, Mar. 3, June 13, Oct. 15). While it’s no longer a wound, there’s always a psychic scar.
The oncologist told us the diagnosis had changed and “the prognosis isn’t promising.” Some conversations you never forget. You read the paperwork, going quickly to the last page, somewhat like a financial statement: What’s the bottom line? You realize quickly that you’re “on the clock” now. Trite as it sounds, the air is indeed sucked out of the room. The rest of the week is quite long. A long weekend trip out of town to “get away” from the news is not much fun either. That the diagnosis becomes yet another person in the room and he’s frankly unpleasant. Each time a friend or family member calls to console and encourage, while appreciated, you put the record on again and hit “play.”
The enormity of trust — an infinitesimal leap of faith — between doctor and patient begins with diagnosis, continues through treatment, transplant, follow-up, checkups and eventually, a mutual toasting of remission. In some cases, cure.
I spoke recently with another survivor. The mental notes we (cancer survivors) keep are a marvel. A chain letter, if you will, of sharing remedy. When asked about methods, attitude is an honest reply, even if it sounds cornball and overused. You can’t get to “the other side” unless there’s willful attitude on a difficult road.
It’s worth repeating: Sheridan’s fortunate to have a cancer center right here in town.