Ordinary Love

One of the things we talk about regularly in our Stage IV cancer support groups is how often the media gets it wrong with the language that is used and when. We hear “She lost her battle” regularly and the commercials for various cancer medication are often nauseatingly upbeat with a lack of the miserable side effects shown. A big culprit of the toxic positivity that is often imposed on us is pinkwashing, but that’s a blog for another time.

Our experiences within in the breast cancer community are so varied and complex, but there are some themes threaded through all of our lives that are simply missed by popular culture and the organizations that purport to serve us. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that some companies get it right, but the vast majority gets it wrong.

With this in the back of my mind, I appreciated the movie Ordinary Love and its efforts to include both the experience of breast cancer patient and the caregiver. It doesn’t hurt that the actors are both exemplary in their ability to get inside the emotions of the experience on both sides. A picture is often worth a thousand words.

I think one of the things that most resonated with me was that the people depicted in the film are ordinary, not special. Breast cancer is the very definition of an equal opportunity disease, striking men and women of all ages, from all walks of life and varying underlying health. The movie showed that, the reactions and struggles with all the expected human foibles present.

Ordinary Love is well worth the watch, just have some tissues present.

17 thoughts on “Ordinary Love

  1. I agree with this for all kinds of cancer. People want to know when my treatment will be “done”. They don’t like the answer of never. I have side effects but they have never become debilitating. Everyone’s experience is different. I will check out the movie!

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    1. So true and the people who can’t understand that are difficult to deal with. I’ve had so many conversations where I had to say over and over, there is no sure for Stage IV. I’ve learned that I just have to smile and walk away, if people don’t want to understand or learn, then we can’t make them. While the movie is about someone who is early stage, I was struck by how many of the scenes I had personally experienced, sometimes many many times. It just captured so much of the essence of the experience that I was able to overlook the fact that she was able to be done with treatment, unlike us who will be in treatment for life. Thanks for reading and commenting!!

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  2. Even the reaction of people who’ve had breast cancer but have escaped Stage 4 (so far) is amazing. My new neighbor put out a pink ribbon flag and I asked if she knew someone with breast cancer. She said she’d had it and I told her that I was Stage 4. The look on her face . . . terror and then she asked how I’m doing. I’m doing great (so far)! I know I catch people off guard when I say that because I do appear well. They don’t know about my reaction to meds, or the tests, or the scans, or the fear I have that takes me to a therapist. She also said she was ‘cured’! I wish. Another new neighbor who had BC 30 years ago, said I should just go to the cancer clinic, show them my insurance card and they’d set me up. WHAT??? She obviously doesn’t see a doc very often. Sometimes I’m jealous of that, other times I’m amazed at their lax attitude. I will watch the movie, tissue in hand. And I’ve written books that have characters with BC – one getting over treatment, another who learns that she has Stage 4, and the last a very old woman who wants nature to take its course. We are all different.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So very true!! I have experienced some of the same reactions and I know people are taken aback when I tell them I’m stage IV. No one knows how to respond. It’s a minefield. And you are right, everyone is different. Thank you for reading and commenting!!

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  3. I’m putting it on my list. And yes, it is very annoying when people ask my husband (metastatic HPV cancer) when treatment will be “done.” I always want to say “When he’s dead,” but I don’t. Most people ask “How is treatment going?” which is a good question that actually encourages real sharing. The goal is living with cancer!

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  4. I haven’t even finished reading this because I’m cracking up imagining the commercials for our meds being real. Think about what you just suggested. I’m going to wake my kid up cracking up! I’m picturing people being dragged up the stairs by one arm while completely asleep, or hugging a commode, or waking up on the couch after three days of not moving and our hair sticking straight up. Omg, the commercials would be so funny! And some of us would look at one where the person is a wreck but somehow smiling and half sitting up, and we’d be like, “Yeah! I’ll try that one! That one doesn’t look too bad!” And other people are looking at us horrified that we’d “sign up” for those drugs. There’s a reason they bunch all the “good stuff” at the end in a quick auctioneer voice. 😂🤦🏽‍♀️🙇🏻‍♀️ 🤷🏻‍♀️

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