Saturday, December 17, 2005
Every year during the rush of Christmas shopping, my sister and I always take a break to catch a holiday film, usually a comedy or love story. This year we opted for The Family Stone. If you were to read the reviews and watch the trailers, it looks like a comedy with some family reality thrown in for balance. It's more drama with some comedy thrown in for balance. More importantly, not once have a I heard or seen anything about a breast cancer story line woven into the plot.

This is my Christmas gift to all my breast cancer friends out there:

See this movie at your own risk. Be warned that this movie shows briefly not only the emotional, but also the physical consequences of breast cancer. It is a small, but significant story line. If you or someone you love have been treated for breast cancer and feared/experienced recurrence, then please know that THIS MOVIE WILL NOT BRING YOU HOLIDAY JOY. This movie may in fact cause you to sob uncontrollably in a theatre on a day you forgot your sunglasses forcing you to walk out of the theatre in broad daylight with no makeup, red swollen eyes, and tear-stained cheeks.

If I were to separate myself (impossible as it is) from the breast cancer subplot, I will say that it is handled very tastefully and beautifully. We have come a long way in being able to address breast cancer freely and openly to have an intimate scene between a husband and a wife with a mastectomy still be an intimate scene without the mastectomy stealing the focus. In fact, the whole breast cancer subplot does not overtake the movie at all. It simply punctuates the drama. If you are perhaps more emotionally stable than I am at this point in time where this subject is concerned, you may appreciate how it is handled. It is in retrospect a good movie with very fine acting by a talented ensemble.

Have I said too much? Perhaps. I just want to save anyone else from being blindsided. Had I known about it, I would have waited to see it until after the holidays and perhaps even next year or even later.

If your spirits are up or you are trying to raise your spirits, I recommend staying home and watching a classic on video. White Christmas, Holiday Inn, It's a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas are all good choices for holiday joy.

Scratch that. . . .Those are all good choices for some Christmas joy.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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