Monday, May 10, 2010

Fifteen Seconds of Fame

That's right -- I now have a television credit to my name!

Genentech, the maker of Avastin, has asked me if I would be willing to share my story of brain cancer survival. Of course, I said "YES!" If you are reading this blog you know that I'm hardly shy about this situation, and I am hopeful that this will give me the opportunity to give hope to others.

Last week was my first opportunity to share my story on the local news. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Mother's Day was approaching, and being a mom to my children is my primary motivation to keep breathing. Last week was also the one-year anniversary of Avastin being approved by the FDA for use in brain tumors. And May is National Brain Tumor Awareness month --although (giggle, giggle) I was ironically unaware of this!

I had also prayed for help to get my house in order.

On Tuesday afternoon I learned that someone from our local NBC station would be coming by around 1:00 on Wednesday to conduct the interview. (Be careful what you pray for!) I sprang into action to make myself and my home "camera ready." Once again, my angel friends at church started offering to come and help. (How do these women stay on the ground?) I graciously refused, thinking I would burn more calories doing the work myself. (I also got assurance that the cameras would not go too deep into the house!)

We were ready on Wednesday. My son was even kind enough to be miserable all night with allergies, and stayed home from school so he could conveniently be here with my daughter and me for the interview. (My husband had meetings to attend, and was unable to be present.) By 12:50 I was satisfied with the way the house looked, I had fed the kids (outside) and dressed them in adorable outfits, and it finally occurred to me that I should choose my own adorable outfit to wear. I got dressed, put my lipstick on, and was just realizing that my shirt clashed with my living room colors when the doorbell rang.

Steve The Photojournalist spent over an hour in our home. He first interviewed me in the living room while the children were in the next room with a movie and promises of milkshakes if they stayed quiet. I told my story and answered many questions about dealing with the diagnosis and going through treatment. I answered questions about faith and prayer. I answered questions about the things I have been able to do since my diagnosis. (That was a long list.) It seemed like we talked forever. I even talked about the years of longing to be a mother before we adopted our children, and then receiving this cancer diagnosis, which created a new longing to remain here and be a mother to my children. And on and on we went.

Then we brought in my kiddos, and they were perfectly charming. We moved into the family room, where Emma read to us on the couch. Then Jacob read the poem that I wrote about them ("Jake the Puppy and Emma the Cat," which has been accepted for publication). Jacob and I even played a little Scrabble together. Steve also zoomed in on some family pictures and my karate black belt certificate. We ended with me and the kids singing our family fight song. It was a lot of fun! Steve The Photojournalist graciously said that he really enjoyed doing this story. I sent him on his way with a copy of my book and the URL to my blog. Genentech also provided the station with background information about Avastin. All of this went to a separate person, who wrote and "voiced" the story on the air. There was a lot of material to digest and make into a story. I wondered what angle they would take.

The segment aired on the 10:00 Thursday night news. We set the DVR so the kids could watch it in the morning. And then we waited, until finally we saw this:

Yep -- that was it! All that filming was condensed down to just a few seconds. All my blabbing was reduced to a sentence. (Even Steve The Photojournalist was expecting the final product to be longer.) But it was a good experience, and I hope that this brief moment will somehow be of use to someone.

Naturally, I saw a life analogy as I considered the whirlwind of activity leading up to the interview. Think of how busy and agitated we can make ourselves over things that won't matter in the end. Ultimately, no matter how long we get to live, we'll be surprised at how fast it's over. So hopefully when all is said and done, we'll have chosen the right things to focus our story on!


cojoki said...

Avastin is effective stuff. I started in June- only 8 months into the cancer journey. Keep accomplishing things.

Linda said...

Krista, before I saw the clip I knew...hahaha, my son was on the local news about 4 years ago and they filmed a ton of footage and only used a few moments. They interviewed me and I talked about all 3 of my sons and when the piece aired they cut out the part where I talked about my oldest!! I was mortified but my son took it all in stride...that's TV for you. Glad that the story is out there and that Avastin was approved for brain tumors. It's the 12th...another month for you. Keep on going! I thought about you when I did the 5K race for Hope in DC on May 2nd, there was a "Team Krista" there and it made me think of you, I have been reading your blog for 2 years now.

Anonymous said...

Love it, love it, love it!!! My cousin was on the news the other for adopting a little boy from Haiti, and I have a feeling they just used a "bit" of his interview too. Oh well, you both got a "bit" more than the rest of us. So glad that you're doing so well Krista!

Love and hugs!

wendy said...

Love your blog! A ward member found your blog for us. we live in Utah, and my hubby was just diagnosed with a grade 4 GBM last month. He is in an avastin clinical trial. we are hoping he will do as well as you have! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!