In 2010 Showtime television launched a show called The Big C, the premise described as “a suburban mother faces her cancer diagnosis while trying to find humor and happiness as well.” Cancer, brought to you over 3 seasons in 30-minute segments with carefully worded punch lines and poignancy, with no commercial interruptions. I admit, I never watched it.
But now here I am, a suburban father, facing a cancer diagnosis and searching in every corner of my hospital room for some humor. I have no script. I couldn’t do a retake of my facial expression when I got the diagnosis. No one fixed my hair or make-up before I said the words to my wife, “I have leukemia.” No child actors had to reshoot the scene….my kids cried on the first take.
So maybe my story will not be critically acclaimed….and I sure as hell hope it lasts longer than 3 years. A lot longer. So here, over the next – well, however long it takes – is my story. I hope there will be humor. I hope there will be poignant moments. I know there will be tears. I can tell you unequivocally there is fear. But I also hope – no, dammit – I believe, there will be triumph.
I tell my story not for ratings or Emmy awards. First, I know there are people who want to know what is happening, and this is a good way of getting out the details efficiently. But long term, someone may come here because they have started a similar story of their own. (I don’t wish it on anyone.) Or they have a loved one beginning their journey. Hopefully my story can provide an idea of what to expect so that maybe it’s a little less horror story, and more a drama of hope and inspiration.
Brian Duncanson – aspiring cancer survivor