12 Ways the Movie '50/50' Got Illness Right


As most people with chronic illness, I have a deep appreciation for Netflix. Drawn in by the pairing of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick, I recently watched the movie “50/50.”

I was expecting it to be enjoyable but I didn’t expect it to be so relatable. I have never had cancer but I have been embedded in the medical system for the past 17 years, having type 1 diabetes and myasthenia gravis. There were so many moments in the film that made me cry out, “Yes! That’s exactly right!” that I had to start making a list. Here it is:

1. Callous doctors will forget that you are a person and not just a fascinating body part.

2. Anxiety before significant appointments will make it hard to sleep the night before.

3. The normal niceties of the hospital environment seem out of step with the bizarre treatments and choices presented to you. What is momentous for the patient is routine for the health care professionals.

4. The endless hours sitting on the couch, or laying in bed as you wait for your body to smarten up, feel tedious.

5. The face in the mirror can create shock, revulsion or anger.

6. Other people sometimes use your illness to get what they need out of life.

7. Regardless of the fact that your life is literally falling apart, you still have to endure the mundane necessities of life – like taking the bus to and from painful, exhausting treatments.

8. Having sex becomes very tricky. You don’t want to ruin it for the other person, or make it awkward, but sometimes that’s just how it is.

9. You’re able to hold it together 99 percent of the time, but then you randomly explode emotionally.

10. Everyone around you wants to ignore the scary parts. You hear, “It’ll all be OK… take it one day at a time. You’re young and strong… you’ve got this.” When what you really need is for people to recognize the reality of how you live.

11. You do become friends with the people you have regular treatments with, and you worry that they’ve died if they don’t show up one day.

12. You forge new relationships and deepen preexisting ones. You find love.

Follow this journey on 8 to 10 Jelly Beans.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo courtesy of 50/50 Facebook page

TOPICS
, , Listicle
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Myasthenia Gravis

dark profile of a woman at sunset

7 Small Changes That Can Improve Life With Myasthenia Gravis

We are the “privileged” few. The chosen ones. You know, the ones diagnosed and living with myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis affects 20 out of 100,000 people in the United States. Aaah, now that we have the official stats in place, let us get on with the art of living a fruitful life with myasthenia gravis. I believe [...]
woman standing in front of a stone wall and holding her hands up to block her face

The Fear of Feeling Better When My Visible Symptoms 'Validate' My Illness

My next neurology appointment is in a couple of days, and every time I anticipate the exam, I cannot help but reflect on the 12 year-voyage my illness has thrusted me upon. For the last decade, I have been walking the wobbly plank of myasthenia gravis and attempting to reintroduce balance and stability where there [...]

The Truth About Life With Ill Health I Realized While Waiting for My Doctor

Yesterday when I was waiting for my turn to meet the doctor in the madly crowded outpatient hall at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), I looked around at all those waiting with different ailments and different expressions on their faces. After almost three hours of waiting and staring at all those around me, [...]
drawing of woman with stars around head

15 Things Not to Say to Someone With Myasthenia Gravis

I have been wanting to write this for a while, to get it off my chest…  I have heard all of these at least once and they have really stung. Some of them I am learning to brush off, but some still make my blood boil. So this is my vent. It is often my [...]