A cancer diagnosis can profoundly disrupt and destroy a person’s sense of self and purpose. While I have not experienced this, many have, and categorically the trauma and fear others have shared seems unreal and life-altering, even (especially) after recovery.
Lauren Cantell does not view herself as a representative of cancer struggle or survival. She believes that systemic oppression, especially racism and misogyny, play out in the American healthcare system. She feels rage at the fact that BIPOC womxn are the least likely to be treated with humanity or respect in this system. She also knows that her journey from diagnosis to recovery is her own, and that it is not the only way that recovery may occur.
Lauren came to realize that much of her recovery was driven by her fear of burdening others, or protecting those around her from her own illness and uncertainty. And while she is quick to explain that her friends and loved ones did not expect her to do this, she also realizes that there is a way that our society talks about life-threatening illness that often is not inclusive of individual experiences and perspectives.
Lauren talks about her cancer diagnosis as a Kindergarten teacher, and how it drove her to write a crown-funded feature film which explores her experiences. She shares her ambivalence about her own experience, and hopes to encourage others to share their stories, even if they are difficult, even if they do not have a happy ending.
To support Lauren’s film financially, please consider donating here