I don’t watch movies with a very critical eye, and mostly, I don’t really care much if what I see on the big screen matches reality. I’m just happy if films make me think, laugh, learn, and sometimes cry. Tonight, though, I saw 50/50 (about a young man who is diagnosed with cancer and must endure the rigors of fighting it), and it had me thinking for all 100 minutes, “Is this an accurate portrayal of a cancer battle?”
I’m thinking it was.
Not everything mirrored what I personally encountered, but a lot of it did.
Like the blurring effect a crushing diagnosis can have.
Like the chemotherapy infusion room — same pink leathery chairs and same gathering of cancer patients making small talk that turns into something more.
Like the shaving of the hair in preparation of the inevitable.
Like the bald head.
Like the pre-op room, with family standing by the bedside and doctors buzzing around, requesting signatures and pushing drugs that cause sleepiness.
Like the post-op room, with family standing by smiling because the news is hopeful.
Like the therapist still working on her Ph.D., dispensing relaxation techniques and advice and managing anger and frustration.
Like the nausea, the fatigue, the nervousness, the insecurity.
Like the mom who worries and is always ready to help.
There was no actual vomiting for me, no “medical” marijuana, no cheating significant other, no major big meltdown (just a bunch of minor ones), no Seth Rogan funny friend.
Still, the movie rings true.
Probably because it’s inspired by a true story and written by the guy who lived it.
(And Seth Rogan really was his funny friend).