Remember when I hinted I may be involved in a film production? Well, the time is now, to introduce ‘Grace.’
I am beyond proud to be the subject of this short-form documentary film produced and directed by a young survivor herself, Rachel Pikelny.
The film started production as I was finishing chemotherapy in September of 2016. We are still filming as I round the corner towards the 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis and bilateral mastectomy.
We spend so much energy focusing on the time around diagnosis and treatment, but what about after treatment is over? This is the timeframe the documentary focuses on. The aftermath. When all the fanfare around treatment ends and your new life as a cancer survivor begins.
Everyone around you breathes a sigh of relief and starts to move on, but as the survivor, you stay stuck in the quicksand of recent trauma. Yes, you are going through the motions and physically healing each day, but what of your perspective shift? Of your swirling, unsettled mind? Who am I now?
The film synopsis also mentions a mastectomy tattoo. This may surprise many of you who know me personally, as I currently do not have any tattoos, nor have I shown interest in having them.
I am consciously not going to speak on this topic much, as I want to allow my thoughts and choices to stay in real-time, but know this: I have put a great deal of thought into the idea of permanent ink on my body. I am not looking for advice or opinions on the topic. This is a choice I made to take a part of my body back. Take something hacked up and scarred, and turn it into something beautiful and of my choosing.
The link features a donation button on the bottom. The filmmakers have made it abundantly clear that it is not my job to fundraise for the project, but I can’t separate myself from the cause. Yes, I am the face of this film, but I am also an advocate for women with breast cancer who will benefit so greatly from seeing it and knowing that they are not alone in what they feel.
If you don’t already, you will have someone in your life affected by breast cancer. We all need to continue to donate our time and funds to scientific, medical research. We must also remember that there are thousands of women out there who don’t have the outpouring of support that I have, post-treatment, who will see this film and feel a sense of relief, community and healing.
As a recent survivor I can say that my mind and heart need the same amount, if not more, healing than my body. I am giving up my privacy, my pain, my emotions, in order to support a greater cause. What you can do is much easier.
Donate $5, $20, $50 if you can? Or maybe you know a very rich person? Send them the link and remind them about the tax write off! Ain’t no shame in my game.
Filming will wrap in May, followed by post-production all summer. The producers plan to have it ready by fall to debut in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There will be two versions of the film: one a documentary short which is around 30-35 minutes and one meant for wider distribution amongst breast cancer websites, hospitals, clinics, etc. for slightly more educational purposes.
There will be official screenings and possibly even a visit or two to a festival. And let’s be honest, probably an Academy Award. You would totally kick yourself if you watched me stand behind the filmmakers accepting an Oscar and you hadn’t mini-financed the production.
Thank you for always supporting me and thank you for taking a moment to read about the film-