Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday Night

So, on Wednesday, Mohammad gets a call from a fellow grad student friend he's been playing telephone tag with for six months. He comes out from the call, shaken. "J. has cancer." J. has Hodgkin's lymphona, and he's about to go into chemotherapy. He professed himself surprised that Mohammad didn't know about the cancer, and invited him to a party, at which some shooting for his film would happen, which was to be a sort of clandestine "pre-chemo" party.

Mohammad was profoundly upset. In the last few years, cancer has wruck havok within his family--it's too personal to him for me to relate; it's enough to say that a dysfunctional family's faultlines turned into chasms. So, of course he said to J. that we'd be there at his party, we'd be glad to support him.

Then a producer called to confirm. Then the producer called to make sure we'd be there at 8:30. I began to get nervous.

We arrived at the apartment. We kissed J. hello, and he suggested we go to the back of the apartment, where we'd be out of the way for the interim. We put our things down. "Quiet on the set."

On the windowsill I noticed a signed release form for extras. Some more people flooded in. Some came with winebottles; they opened them quietly, between takes. Everyone else seemed to know each other.

Mohammad spent the next half hour being calm, trying to understand what the hell had happened. Since I never go anywhere without a book, I read that, in-between trying to figure out what was going on.

And then we realized that we'd been lured on as extras to a shoot, that despite J.'s promises we weren't going to be able to talk to him. And so we left.

Both of would have been fine with filling in as extras to his party-scene. We could have worn more casual clothes, brought books, schooled ourselves in patience. I've been on plenty on student-film productions before; I know what it is. Also, we could have stayed a little longer had anyone bothered to tell us what was going on. J. seemed to want it both ways: a party and a shoot. It would be a miracle if he managed to accomplish both, after we left.

10 Comments:

Anonymous teofilo:

Seems like cancer's everywhere these days.

6/25/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Weirdly, I heard about this person's cancer the same day Collounsbury announced he was cured. J. is about 35.

6/26/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous teofilo:

I haven't been reading 'Aqoul much lately, so I hadn't seen that he was cured until I saw your comment here just now. There's a bit of good news.

6/26/2006 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous eerie:

It's a frightful thing to say, but HD is one of the "best" cancers to get in terms of complete response/cure. People in Stage IV respond just as well to treatment as people in Stage I.

Of course, chemo is pure hell regardless. Strictly speaking, Coll is not cured, but he has had (pending PET scan confirmation) a complete response.

Not that I'm going to split hairs with the man.

6/27/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

I've heard the same thing about Hodgkin's. I have a HS friend who went through the treatment and barely skipped ground on his run toward the future.

Col's descriptions of chemo have sobered me, though. I'd never tell him, but he's made me rethink my lifestyle a-z. His continued "this bloody sucks, I can only advice you not to get cancer" strikes dead home, when you know you're doing whatnot to increase your odds of getting cancer.

I have to say I hope he get better and takes over US financial operations in the Islamic world. All of 'em. ;)

6/27/2006 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous teofilo:

Chemo actually varies a lot; they give you different drugs for different cancers. So it's not always as bad as it was for Col.

I'm considering a post about how I know that, but I'm not sure I'm up to it just yet.

6/27/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

When you do post on it, let me know somehow.

6/27/2006 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous teofilo:

Will do.

6/27/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous eerie:

So it's not always as bad as it was for Col.

True. Coll did not have all the side effects listed for his agents, but some of them were pretty awful (aside from the usual cytotoxic crap).

Col's descriptions of chemo have sobered me, though. I'd never tell him, but he's made me rethink my lifestyle a-z.

Yeah. Same.

6/28/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gary Farber:

"I'm considering a post about how I know that, but I'm not sure I'm up to it just yet."

I'm simply not up to talking about cancer at all, anywhere, yet, pretty much, for reasons folks reading my blog during the last few months of 2004, through early January of 2005, might recall or be able to figure out.

Not having to do with my own health, but that of a now deceased loved one.

6/29/2006 10:12:00 PM  

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