Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dirty Dancing with Charlie's Angels

While at the beach vacationing in North Carolina this summer, we heard the incredible news that Michael Jackson had died. It was shocking....and then this smaller, side story came to light the same day: Farrah Fawcett had died of anal cancer. To me, this was a big story as well, but we didn't hear as much about Farrah that day.

As a child in the 70s (yes, I'm actually that old), I remember my friends and I playing Charlie's Angels. Even after she was off of the show, I was mesmerized by her. I mean, after all, she married the Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors! And then later Ryan O'Neal, but that's a different story....

Even though she had a Lifetime movie here and there, her star was never brighter than in the 70s . However, when I heard she was battling cancer, that caught my attention. It was shortly before I found out that I had thyroid cancer when I became aware of her diagnosis and was surprised. I'm not sure why, but I was just surprised.

And then I watched "Farrah's Story" earlier this year detailing her two year+ journey and fight. Wow...such grace and strength. Then to see her without her trademark beautiful hair in the end...amazing. Her spirit was inspiring. Watch it when you get the chance if you haven't already.

It seems like it was last summer when I was first aware that Patrick Swayze had cancer. I know he had several movies that made him famous, but for me, it was his Johnny character in Dirty Dancing. The movie came out while I was a student at Oklahoma State University.

It's strange in that I wasn't such a crazy fan of his, but he symbolized my youth as did Farrah. Beautiful people who don't age....but they did. Actors who were bigger than life...but they weren't. They are diagnosed with cancer just like me.

I am grateful for the technology, doctors, and the circumstances that lead to me to becoming a cancer survivor and having more time on this earth with my family. Sad today for those who have not been able to do so.

4 comments:

  1. I am also much more in tune with cancer survivor, and have a much deeper personal sympathy for cancer victims, than I had before. - To me it was very moving when Peter Jennings, of ABC news, passed away. Somehow that hit home. - Now I grieve for Farah and for Patrick. - Cancer sucks big time, if you ask me!!

    I am soo glad to be around!

    Cheerio,
    HD in Oregon

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was disappointed that Farrah's death was overshadowed by Michael's. It seemed that she had a more powerful story to tell, offered something of true value to people, and it got lost in the drama, soap opera style, of Michael's mixed-up death/doctor/kids/parents.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Agreed....I also have a deeper understanding and sympathy for cancer patients now, HD. To have a personal sense of what they endure and then to hear of their passing...I think of their families and how difficult it must be for them.

    And shortly after Peter Jennings died of lung cancer, Dana Reeve, wife of "Superman" Christopher Reeve, was diagnosed and quickly passed from lung cancer as well.

    MommaMindy, I feel very much like you regarding Farrah's death being overshadowed by Michael Jackson. It was such a shame as her story was SO powerful and she inspired many.

    Wanted to mention also a cancer fighter who found out he is battling it again...Ethan Zohn, Survivor winner. He was battling cancer all summer with chemo treatments (as he chronicled through People Magazine) and just found out this week that he has a recurrence with two more tumors. He was one of my favorite Survivor contestants, won it, and is also a soccer player. Started a foundation after Survivor called Grassroots Soccer. He's a great one to follow on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ethanzohn).

    We must keep fighting cancer and supporting each other! Thanks for your comments. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. What Minday said. Frankly, the MJ I really liked in the 1980s was "dead" like, 10-15 years ago.

    Cancer is something of an equalizer, isn't it? It's an equal opportunity bully. Celebrities, innocent children, hard-working moms and dads - no one's immune.

    ReplyDelete