While I was browsing Facebook, I stumbled upon Me Before You full movie uploaded on Facebook in HD. Wow. Piracy going wildfire on the largest social media platform? I told my friends about the piracy and brewed a short discussion about the movie.
Both friends thought the movie was just alright while I totally loved the movie. A friend said she doesn’t understand why Will ended his life while another didn’t get the message that it was an assisted death. I, on the other hand, processed this movie from another perspective — the movie hit me as a patient of Stage 3 Colon Cancer, a critical illness that may take my life away.
I had a lot going through my mind after watching the movie in the cinema. I wanted to find an opportunity to pen down my thoughts but never found the right time, until now.
When I first saw the trailer, I teared immediately. Before the tears dried off my cheeks, I sent the trailer over to RK and told him “I want to watch this.” I was recovering from my surgery when I watched the trailer and I was about midway through my 6-month chemotherapy journey when I caught the movie.
One of the first things that bogged my mind big time after the movie was, “Why would Will want to end his life?” He has the money to sustain his life. He has the medical support to attend to his complications. He has a new girl who loves him. He should live for his parents and Lou instead of being so selfish, thinking just for himself. I questioned all of these because these are the reasons that keep me going on my battle with cancer. I know first hand that my fighting spirit would be very different if I lack money to complete the treatment, medical plan that I believe in or loved ones who are fighting on with me.
But I couldn’t relate to Will when it comes to living again.
Will had an active life. He was on the fly. He was unstoppable. But now, he needs assistance to be moved. Unless miracle happens, his prognosis is that things would go worse. I, on the other hand, can go back to living life as before once I complete my treatment. There’d be sacrifices and precautions that I’d have to take but it’s only a matter of reshuffling my priorities.
The moment I realized that I’m questioning Will’s decision because I can’t see his world from his perspective, I thought maybe if I were Will, I would have made the same decision. I don’t know for sure but I thought there may be a chance.
I’m learning that point of death can be a decision. We cannot control when accidents or terminal diseases hit us but for some lucky ones, they get to decide when they want to leave this world.
A few months ago, a friend passed away while battling Stage 4 breast cancer. She has battled cancer for the 3rd time. While her chemotherapy was not making progress, her medical fund was depleting too. Close friends raised fund to support her medical bill and she got more than what she needed. While everyone waited for her body to be strong enough to continue treatment, she instead ticked off her last wishes: to see her ill father for the last time and to persuade the husband to let her go. She passed away peacefully in her sleep the morning after the burdens were lifted off her chest.
I lost my dad when I was 5. I don’t have the details of his final journey but here’s what my mom told me. He had a blood clot in his head and the surgery would cost a bomb. We had the deposit to schedule the surgery but unfortunately, the blood clot burst the day before the surgery and flooded his brain with blood, putting him into comma and away from the operating table. He never woke up from the comma.
Coincidentally, these two stories had something in common that is tangible: lack of fund. But rather than talking about fund for treatment, let’s talk about value of treatment, something that may not be tangible. Value of treatment does not just cover the medical cost but the quality of living in exchange for the costly treatment.
Was there a possibility that my friend or my dad knew something we didn’t know, such as the chance that the costly treatment would flop?
Was there a possibility that my friend or my dad felt that leaving would allow the family to move on without the burden of caring for a high dependent patient?
Was there a possibility that my friend or my dad was in great pain and he/she wanted to end the physical, emotional and mental suffering?
And with that I decided to respect Will’s decision because there is a possibility Will experienced something intangible that I cannot comprehend.
What a coincidence that the latest episode of An Awakening by Mei Sze and AXA Affin featured Uncle James’ story where before losing the battle to nose cancer, he said:
He wouldn’t have gone for the last round of chemotherapy if he knew that he would lose the joy of eating, and would have lived his last days having all his faculties intact than without it.
Talk about the value of treatment again — something I learned from the talk by the President of National Cancer Society Malaysia recently.
You can read about Uncle James’ story on Mei Sze’s blog and pledge for AXA Affin to contribute RM1 to National Cancer Society Malaysia for every share of An Awakening story.
If you haven’t watch Me Before You, sorry for the spoiler. I learned that the movie didn’t get great review from critiques but I don’t care. I still love the movie because I could relate to it, the casts and characters were fantastic, it was uplifting and it taught me to love and live life to the fullest.