Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying your weekend. I’m having some pretty irritating surgery complications again with my Proctectomy wound being pretty badly infected. I know it’s just another step in my recovery towards getting better but it still sucks… a lot.
While I’ve been spending my time trying to hit 10,000 steps for my Walk All Over cancer every day this month I’m still 14,200 steps below my target and I feel like I’m really pushing myself to even make it that far. It’s typical for life with an incurable chronic illness but I’m determined to make it to 300,000 steps in memory of my brother, Duncan, even if it does take me a few days into July! When I’m not walking around I’m lying down due to my pain, this means I’ve spent a LOT of time watching Netflix and I found a film late Thursday night (technically Friday morning but it doesn’t count if you haven’t slept yet!) while I was trying to avoid being sick from my meds which I feel everyone needs to see, the film is called Kiss and Cry and it’s available on UK Netflix.
The film follows the life of Carley Allison who was diagnosed at 17 with a incredibly rare type of throat cancer and her journey living with an aggressive disease, finding love and basically showing us all how you can live an extremely full life by being an elite ice skater turned singer who also used her YouTube channel to show her singing with a tracheostomy while living with cancer. I know I’m extremely affected by the legacy of Carley especially because of my own journey with Crohn’s Disease leading to me having my colon, rectum and appendix removed and being fitted with my own ostomy alongside losing my brother to cancer in 2014 when he was described as being the less than 1% to be diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in their early 30s. The film Kiss and Cry really does show completely what life is like for those going through it and their family when fighting cancer or any other incurable illness. From developing a sense of humour to deal with the extra hard moments, to not romanticising the true effects of medications like chemo where you could literally end up throwing up all over yourself (trust me, I was on low dose chemo and I was sick every day for over a year and there’s nothing cool about that!) and showing us all there is light in the dark and that being crohnically ill doesn’t mean your spark has to go out and you have to lie down to it, you can also live out your dreams.
I absolutely love Carley’s spirit and I believe it shines so clearly through the acting of Sarah Fisher who plays Carley. She is such a sassy, funny, strong, caring soul and the way she faced her journey is inspirational. Through the hardest time in her life she still was able to make sure that she took care of her family, friends and boyfriend John by being a complete pillar of strength in circumstances no one ever expects to find themselves in. I couldn’t stop crying through the film, especially seeing Carley’s interactions with her sisters because I remember so clearly being in their position with Duncan through his cancer journey too and I feel what they’re going through so much and it breaks my heart because you never have a closer bond than you do to a sibling, especially when one of you (or both in mine and Duncan’s case) are sick. Yes the film has cancer in it but the thing I’ve taken away from it was that it isn’t a “cancer film” it’s basically the furthest thing from that you can imagine. The film shows the hard sides of cancer and chronic illness but it does not dwell on them. It instead focuses on how important it is to love fiercely, live your dreams and to live the best life you can no matter how long it is exactly like Carley did.
I don’t think I could discuss the film without discussing the love between Carley and her boyfriend John. Being someone who found love when you least expect someone to stick around (myself and Stuart met 3 months before I got my major surgery to get my colectomy and ileostomy) is a magical thing and being able to watch their relationship unfold in film really touched my heart. I don’t want to give too much away but once you have a serious illness it’s very easy to think your partner is going to find it too much to deal with and finding that special someone who proves you wrong and sees you as more than an illness/disability is the best feeling and I can honestly say that love really is the best medicine (cheesy I know!). Kiss and Cry portrays exactly what it’s like to be young and starting out in a relationship in a way I completely can relate to. I’ve found in many other films I’ve watched that it definitely is romanticised falling in love when you’re chronically I’ll which really doesn’t raise awareness for how strong our partners are. Love isn’t always fancy dates and nights out, sometimes it is just having your partner hold your hand then give you a hug as you discuss your fears or even having them rush to hospital with you when you do go out to do the fancier dates. Kiss and Cry I really do thank you for not shying away from the realities of dating chronically ill and I just wish the film was around when I met Stuart because I feel like it would have eased a lot of my fears about “what guy will want me when I’m so sick” because I really had no idea there were others out there who could find love really in the toughest time of your life.
I bet some of you have noticed I don’t say Carley or Duncan were amazing souls who touched thousands of lives, I say that they are amazing souls who touched thousands of lives and continue to do so through sharing their story’s. They have both left legacy’s through the impact they made on the lives of everyone who knew them and that will live on for many, many years to come and I like to think that keeps part of them alive too.
I know I’m going to be spreading Carley’s story as far wide as I can so she can continue touching lives and keep her memory alive with legacy through Carley’s Angels. I hope you watch Kiss and Cry so you can hear all about Carley’s story and be as touched as I am.