Sunday, 2 September 2007

Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary teaches life lessons

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I didn't feel well the night cancer survivor Kris Carr's documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer aired on TLC. At the time this production began, I should have been calling it a night, bundling myself in my sheets, and drifting off to sleep. But I couldn't do it. Once I caught laid eyes on Carr's film, I couldn't let it go.

Kris Carr, a young woman diagnosed on Valentine's Day 2003 with stage 4 incurable cancer of the vascular system, began documenting her journey from the very first moment fear tore through her body.

What she captured on camera -- audio of voice mail messages, clips of car trips to and from appointments, glimpses of tests and scans and poking and prodding, peeks into her innermost thoughts and most private moments, interviews with others battling cancer, and her determined journey through both conventional and alternative healing -- brought her story to life.

Life. That's what Carr has learned to embrace throughout her struggle with a disease that does not respond to chemotherapy, radiation, or any other traditional treatment approach. Hers is a wait-and-watch condition. She could live a long time with this cancer. Or it could become aggressive and kill her. It's stage 4, she says. There is no stage 5.

Carr said in her quest to find a cure she figured out how to live. She took risks, learned to fly on a trapeze, visited her childhood home, fell in love -- with her cameraman -- and met dozens of people living triumphantly with cancer.

About her documentary, four years in the making, Carr writes on her blog: "I don't look at my journey as if it is a battle (partly because I hope I don't lose) so instead I call it my cancer adventure story. It is a documentary film about how I coped with cancer. Since there is no cure and no treatment for my disease I live with it everyday. By calling it crazy sexy cancer I demystify it and redefine it for myself. It makes me feel a little lighter and a lot stronger -- NOT shackled and shelved like damaged goods.

Carr is strong. And inspiring. And if you can catch a replay of her powerful documentary, you will see -- this woman is downright determined to stomp all over cancer.

"I refuse to let cancer break my spirit, victimize me, or make me feel like a sick person," she says. "So I CHOOSE to believe that I am more alive, beautiful and yes, sexier (AKA empowered, passionate and intriguing) than ever before! Why not?"

To watch a seven-minute trailer of her documentary, click here. To view a clip of Carr on the TODAY Show, click here.

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