Month: May 2014

My play “Decoy” will be playing at the Strawberry one act fesitval!

As most of you know, I’m somewhat of a Cancervist, Cancer+activist, but may be some of you don’t know in addition to the feature film and the web-series I am working on  a play. Here I am  doing an interview for the festival! Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than hearing your own voice in a interview. Thanks for taking the time listen and please be gentle. ha

Here is a synopsis of the play if you’re curious.

“Decoy” is set in the near future; it asks the question, if you could live forever, would you want to? What happens when individuality is stripped away from humanity and all we are left with are empty shells of our former self? We follow Newlyweds who will be forced to choose between what is essentially immortality or life.

 

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What it means to be a cancer Survivor.

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Like A reese’s peanut butter cup, there’s no wrong way to be a survivor.

Lately, I’ve been thinking what does it means to be a cancer survivor;  shouldn’t I get a ribbon? A cookie? A wind resistant cape!? (superman, doesn’t even have one of those!)  I can’t help, but feel the need to take life by the metaphorical horns and go for it. The problem with living “free”, with a new lease on life is that, well, no one completely understand that part of you.

What does it mean? Like all crisis of the existential variety, there’s no easy answer. This is incredibly difficult for me in relationships; I meet a new girl and I’m so excited to get started, that I forget that our journey and path on how we came to be who we are, are totally different.

It’s the feeling that “I have to beat death” that gets in the way of living. I feel as if I’m playing a continuous game of hide and seek with the shrouded one and the only way to beat him is by making life happen. Unfortunately, I must remember that I am not an Alchemist and all things take time.

Remember, we all go through our own personal hell, for some of us it may resemble Dante’s inferno, while others, a very long game of monopoly.

Being a cancer survivor means eating better. I can’t eat what I used to eat, nor do I want to. Years ago, I use to eat hamburgers every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day.  It was after reading cancer on five dollars a day that changed how I eat; the way the Author spoke about vegetables made you think broccoli was the second coming.

Being a Cancer survivor means you’re able to take more licks and keep on ticking. That’s right, take it from someone who has take more radiation to the face than Bruce banner, that our pain mentally and physically is on a subatomic level. (science!)

Being a cancer survivor means sadly, and ironically getting rejected by the people you care the most about.  Sometimes you will meet some people who want nothing to do with you, because of your past. It happens to me all the time and it’s not fair, but the other side of the coin is that you find people worth keeping in your life. Try to use that as fuel that you can make it.

Being Cancer survivor means using the opportunity that you are indeed a survivor to enjoy yourself. It’s terribly hard to date after or during treatment of any kind, so sometimes you have to romance yourself. Like I said above, no one is going to understand your Journey as much as you, so you need to go out and live for your own sake.

 

Being a survivor means having the courage to start over and make This life, your own. Being a survivor give us the ability to see things a completely and unique way. Being a survivor gives us the understanding  that obstacles are meant to be defeated.

until next time friends.

 

 

 

Ashes.

Hey Guys, as you know, I’m a filmmaker and I’m currently raising money for my next feature film. My last film          (Chemo: A Love Story)made it into Several film festivals and we’re hoping to recapture that lightning in a bottle again! Take a look at my campaign video, check out  some of the cool perks and pass it along if you like it!

We have some pretty cool perks!
For $10- One shouldn’t be dead without a glamorized tombstone!

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And For thinking outside the box and for taking a stand against conventional Burials and funeral homes. You will receive our Ashes ” think outside the box” cremation sticker! ($15)

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For $50- We will treat you like the star that you are! Ashes true HollyWood Style! We will Film your epic death, in the style of an original, Lifetime Channel Movie. Don’t worry, we will send everything above to your love one, along with a poster and digital download of the scene and soundtrack to Ashes. )

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Please check out the video and pass it along if you can!

How to date someone with a terminal illness

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Dating someone with cancer or any life threatening illness is like entering Mordor, and as we all know, one does not simply enter a relationship without doing some research.

Dating in general is hard, especially in todays digital “I want it now”  ( Veruca Salt FTL!) age; now throw a little cancer into the mix, shake it up a bit and you will find dating to be almost impossible. The Key word is Almost.

Before I get started, here are a couple things to consider. Take a good, hard look at the reality of their situation and what you yourself want. You also have to consider the vast array of emotions that you’re going to feel through out this journey. 

First of all, don’t buy into those silly books that romanticize cancer, I’m looking at you Nicholas Sparks and John Green.

As a Jedi once told me ” Patience, you must have my young padawan. Patience is Key, in all honesty, it took a lot for that person to tell you in the first place, so cut them some slack.  Feel free to ask questions, but don’t 60 minutes them to death, also, do not expect them to divulge everything about their journey with cancer. This isn’t “The Year of  Magical Thinking”.

It’s OKAY to be scared, seriously, it is! Talk about what specifically scares you with your partner; I can pretty much guarantee you that it will help build your relationship.  Remember, that fear is what makes us human, so use it to your advantage. You’re probably asking yourself, “but how Jedi Master, Keith?  Simple, let go of what scares you and you will truly be able to live.

Don’t let anyone else influence you, you are in a league of your own. Seriously, you are in the boss battles of all boss battles, you can make up your own mind. It’s okay to ask for advice, but in the end, it’s all you.

Don’t be a back seat doctor, seriously, Anakin, don’t do it, the real doctor has the high ground! We know you want the best for us, but unless you actually have a medical degree, have powers beyond this world or you’re simply the devil/Angel, you don’t know JACK. It’s okay to talk to us about alternative medicine that you have read about, but please don’t pontificate your new found love of science to us.

I want to talk about physical limitations. ::Barry White Voice::  “That’s Right”  So there will be days when your partner will be so exhausted, that they will literally have to roll out of their bed to go to the bathroom, let alone get intimate. S0 when you do get intimate :: Barry White Voice:: ” Ahhhhh, Yeah Girl”  communicate to each other. This is on you, patients, if your partner thinks they are hurting you in anyway, it’s over, and if it does hurt, but you want to continue, talk them through it.  Having Sex while undergoing treatment is like playing WarGames, you know you probably should be playing chess with your partner, but Thermonuclear Detonation   is more fun ( You see what I did there?!)  ::sigh:: One last thing, do not strain yourself or put yourself in danger, communicate to each other!

Chemotherapy affects everyone differently, some people are really tired after their session, while others  feel the affect much later. Believe it or not, there are some people who go to the gym right after their treatment; either way, the movies lied,  no one throws up automatically after chemo.

Hero Worship is never good… No one I know wanted cancer, so don’t put your significant other on a pedestal. It’s okay tell them about your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Trust me, we want to know how your day was, we want to be there for you too. Don’t ever feel like you can’t express how bad you’re feeling because we may not be feeling well.

If your partner becomes depressed or is taking medication that has altered his mood in anyway, talk to him about it. I have taken more radiation to the face than Bruce Banner. Seriously, I have taken medication that has affected my mood so bad, it made Courtney love seem sane. The more honest you guys are the better.

Lastly, Don’t let him take his anger out on you!  It’s going to be difficult, there will be bad days, there will be crying and There Will be Blood. uhhh errr sorry, I’m watching Daniel Day lewis as I’m writing this.

Congrats on making it this far in your relationship and I hope you make it work. I tell you this, there is nothing more rewarding, than crawling out of the primordial soup of mediocrity and knowing that you took on the impossible and made it.  I hope this helps you Star fire and any other person who may be curious.

 

 

 

 

HOW TO BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE DEALING WITH CANCER

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Having cancer is like being an X-men, well, without the cool powers and the fancy school.I get plenty of people judging me though, there it is! I knew I could link the two! I win… nothing.

In all seriousness, I have missed out on several relationships because sooner or later, I have tell the women I date, I technically still have cancer. Most of the time the conversations play out like an old Abbot and Costello routine.

I realize there are no real answers for this question, but I can offer some Advice. Keep in mind there are no rules or guidelines for this, there’s no handbook for the recently diagnosed. ( beetlejuice!)

1. Don’t be afraid to talk about it, if the relationship is seriously getting continually punched in the face, by a metaphorical Ivan Drago. Talk about it

2. Write down how you feel so when you approach your partner you have key topics to talk about, Break ups are never easy, especially in this case. So before the conversation derails and the arguments and finger pointing begins, make sure you are clear and concise about the why.

3. Do not make it about them as a person, ( unless it has affected who they are) but the cancer or the disease itself. Do not take them to your favorite restaurant, wine and dine them and then breakup with them. Well, actually, do wine and dine us, but have the conversation at their apartment, so you can leave at anytime.

4.  Be a supportive friend if you can. They’re going to need support now more than ever. Only do it if you can, don’t let them guilt you into staying in a relationship. Trust me, it’s going to be a hard for them not to.

I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer, the girlfriend I had at the time broke up with me during chemo. She came in, crying, with her head looking down at the ground.  She looked up at me and said “Keith, I can’t do it anymore, this is killing me” I reply ” This is killing you?  Great, because this is physically Killing me, High Five!” Granted, she cheated on me when I was in and out of chemo, so she was hardly a keeper.

A girl I was involved with, texted me on Easter than she couldn’t do it, fair enough, she owes me nothing. I just love the Juxtaposition of the text ” Happy Easter, Keith!! I can’t date someone who may die on me, I’m sorry, Have a great day!”  How can you not laugh at that?

There was girl who told me  the day after my birthday, that she thought I was special and I deserved someone, but she just wasn’t strong enough. Fair enough. I’m not sure how strong you have to be… I don’t know, maybe able to lift 50 pounds.

I could go on, there are so many other examples, but these will do for now. My love life is like an episode of seinfeld… a lot of talk but not much going on.

To be honest, I’ve been thinking about giving up on dating, It’s been a roller coaster ride of toxic shame.Maybe I should I pin a C on my chest so people can know? I’m not ashamed of it, I just wish I could find someone who isn’t ashamed either.

 I’m not condemning these women, they have the right to Not date me because of it, I totally get that. I just wish there was some way I could educate these women, instruct them in the ways of dating a 20 something person with cancer. Sometimes I wish there was a film that could educate and explain things a little clearer, like roots!… I did it again…

Thanks for reading!