Some will read this post and say, “why does the Cancer Curmudgeon always have to filter everything through cancer, or apply cancer to everything?” I would counter that maybe it is a good idea to take lessons from other aspects of life and apply it productively to coping with cancer.
In an earlier post, in the very first paragraph, I wrote “…does it not occur to anyone that maybe the author did research, already knows and considered whatever tiny-ass piece of advice someone clearly without experience and knowledge—like that particular commenter—could offer?”
I started writing the post a few days ago, and during that time I caught up on NPR podcasts while walking dogs. I managed to listen to a tribute to Elmore Leonard including pieces of an old interview. In this interview, Leonard discussed how Quentin Tarantino insisted the actors perform a scene exactly as written, with no improvisation, for at least one take, during the filming of “Jackie Brown”, the adaptation of Leonard’s “Rum Punch”. Leonard discussed how when taking a film script to company big wigs, and later when filming, various parties make suggestions about the words, the plot—the stuff the writer (in this case Leonard and Tarantino) has invested a great amount of time in creating. Leonard talks about how vaguely insulting this is, that these folks don’t seem to get that the writer has usually already had the thought suggested, considered it, and then discarded it.
Listening to Leonard say this reminded me of something so simple: it’s OK to tell others that I’ve done the research, I know what I’m doing, I KNOW this subject—my cancer. I’m hardly the Leonard or Tarantino of breast cancer, but I know enough. I researched, I considered, and chose a course of action, and discarded what I did not need. Thanks Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarantino, for reminding me it is OK to be confident in my choices when others throw ideas out that I’ve already had. Maybe I needed the reminder more than I thought.
I’m a major movie geek, and a huge fan of Tarantino, so it natural for me to find inspiration in this odd place. I only hope other cancer patients being deluged with advice that might be unneeded, have the resources they need to shut out the noise and move forward with resolve (and then not look back). And to be open to finding wisdom in the damnedest places