More On “Crazy Sexy Cancer”

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

KrisI noticed I’m getting a spike in traffic here (for some reason, I’m ranked number five at Yahoo for searches on this subject), and it is largely due to people googling "Crazy Sexy Cancer", the TLC documentary I blogged about earlier in the week.

For what it is worth, I finally got around to viewing it on my TIVO last night.  What a wonderful moving film.  Uplifting in its own way — not what you would expect from a documentary about incurable cancer.

I don’t want to give away too much, but Kris Carr was a New York actress.  She got a few small movie and off-Broadway roles.  She also got a couple of Budeweiser commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.  A few days after those aired — on Valentine’s Day 2003 — she found out that she has a rare form of cancer — essentually cancer in her vascular system.  Her blood spreads the cancer, and doctors discovered tumors in her liver and lungs.  She has 24 tumors total.  It cannot be treated with the usual cancer protocol (like chemotherapy) 

The bad news: her form of Stage 4 cancer is incurable and fatal.  On the other hand, this is an incredibly SLOW cancer.  She was told that the tumors could remain static for years.  And as long as the cancer decides not to spread, she’s fine.  But at some point, it would spread and kill her.

So what did Kris do?  As she says in the movie, she stopped her acting profession, and the cancer became her profession.  Basically, she immursed herself into two projects: (1) the project to cure herself (or at least cope), and (2) the project to create a video document of Project #1.  The "Crazy Sexy Cancer" film (and book) is the result.

Her story, she says, is less about a battle with cancer, than an adventure ride.  What started out as a video journal became this documentary. 

We watch as this cute young woman becomes knowledgeable about, and is able to wrap her mouth around, polysyllabic medical terms.   

We see her on the search for the right doctor, comparing it to being the CEO of a corporation and interviewing applicants for a job. “How could they revive my business strategy and keep my company alive and thriving,” she asks. 

We see her going to an alternative medicine convention, and laughing with (or at?) people encouraging her to get cured through "clown therapy" (which involves dressing up like a clown and laughing). 

We watch her down vegetable smoothies and barium to prepare for CT scans. 

But mostly, we enjoy her exuberance, humor and sass — things that never leave her.

Not sure if TLC is running it again, but if they do, you should really really watch it.