Over the weekend, television viewers could watch Farrah Fawcett's documentary of her own battle against anal cancer. Called "Farrah's Story," the film actually WAS reality television -- viewers saw her triumphs, her losses, her optimism and her tears. They watched the 62-year-old's family and friends rally round her as she sought treatment both in the United States and in Germany (aggressive, alternative treatments that have been approved there are not approved in the United States). And they saw her battle a kind of cancer that hasn't gotten much publicity and hasn't yet been the beneficiary of huge research dollars.
From the MSNBC story about the documentary:
"It was Fawcett’s idea to film her experiences, and she began by using a hand-held video camera. But early on she turned the camera duties over to (friend Alana) Stewart, and the result is an uncompromising look at what cancer does to a human being, and what a human being does in retaliation to cancer when she simply won’t submit.
“There were things that I thought were too invasive to film,” Stewart explained before Wednesday night’s screening. “But Farrah said, ‘Film it. This is what cancer is.’”
Indeed, one of the most startling moments in the film is when Fawcett, who was the golden girl of the '70s and the sexy, spirited blonde in the first season of "Charlie's Angels" -- lost her hair. The touseled blonde mane of pinup fame was gone. But by that time in the film, viewers don't care. The battle is waged, and Fawcett seems to be losing, and hair is just, well, hair. It is not life.
Here's MSNBC's story about the filming, with a link where you can watch the full program if you missed it:
Here's a story about the treatment she received in Germany:
And here's a Newsweek article on anal cancer, including how it develops, how it's treated and how to catch it early:
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