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Aug 30

Lily – what happens when treatment is over?

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I did what any modern blogger does, I found blogs of fellow cancer-ass-kickers to inspire me. It didn’t take me long to find Boooo Cancer, You suck!. Amy is very much an ass-kicker and I enjoyed her blog. I especially enjoyed that she was ahead of me with her treatment so that I could read her posts about going through in and have some sort of expectation of what was coming.

It turns out Amy turned her cancer experience into a movie called Lily and that it happened to play this morning at the Festival des Films du Monde. So of course, I went! S. agreed to go with me and I have to tell you, we both really enjoyed it. The chances that this movie comes to your local cineplex are slim to none as it is a very indy movie, but if you do get a chance (it’s actually playing again tomorrow night here in MTL), I urge you to see it.

Lily is nearing the end of her treatment and struggling to deal with her life post-treatment. I’m not there yet, but it really resonated with me. The movie is very slow and quiet. The days repeat themselves, she wears the same thing over and over again. Just like going through treatment – an endless series of empty long days, people around you busy and you are just struggling to find something to do. (she goes to museums and art exhibits… maybe I should try that)

At one point, she teaches herself to tap dance from a book found at the Goodwill store. It’s completely ridiculous, and yet, I find myself wondering WHAT I will try to find to amuse myself for the next 3 months, so it doesn’t seem all that far fetched.

The scene where the downstairs neighbour comes to complain about the noise (from the tap dancing) and manages to mention weird cancer research AND offer help in any way she can, knowing full well there is nothing she can do….. I laughed out loud!

Finally, the dinner party scene hit home to me, but probably not in the way it was intended. Amy doesn’t fit in with her partner’s friends and finds she has nothing in common with them. For me, it’s more like I can’t make easy normal conversation anymore. Carpool and diets and holiday meal planning…. I have so little interest in any of those things right now. So I nod and throw in a word here and there, but I find it hard to be polite and social (yeah, I know, I struggle with that in non-cancer-mode too, but it’s that much harder in cancer-mode)

I’m still a long way away from being done with treatment the way Lily is. But I already wonder what it’s going to be like, AFTER cancer, after treatment, when I get my life back. Kudos to Amy for making the movie, I hope more people get to see it!