****CAN YOU HELP?****
What does life with, or after, breast cancer mean to you? What would you like to say to the rest of the world about life with, or after, breast cancer?
I am attempting to put together a montage of video clips from fellow breast cancer patients (who are living with cancer, going through treatment or finished treatment) telling our real breast cancer stories. The thinking behind the project is explained at the end of this page.
I am asking people to send short video clips which answer the question: what does life with, or after, breast cancer mean to you?
This can be anything and can be more than one thing.
It could be:
1. Breast cancer can be scary/devastating/stressful/traumatic etc (videos of e.g. hair loss, sickness, injections, chemo, rads, traveling to hospital, in bed, feeling ill, waiting for results, taking tablets, etc), or
2. Breast cancer can show you the best in human kindness/bring you closer to friends & family etc (videos of some of the better times whilst going through treatment or whilst living with cancer, e.g. out with friends, visitors, surprises, treats from friends and family, friends/family helping out in all sorts of ways), or
3. You can still live your life; doing the housework, normal day to day things etc (videos of just getting on with normal life – literally loading the dishwasher or cooking a meal), or
4. You can live your life to the fullest despite having, or having had, cancer (videos of doing things we may not have done before cancer, for example, me jumping into the sea from a boat while I was on holiday). The key is to be authentic. I’m not looking for rehearsed polished clips. I’m looking for real life, spontaneous, natural clips. Films that are honest and brave. Films with and without audio – you can talk in your clip, or not.
The goal is to create a film montages lasting a few minutes made up from the contributed video clips (so each clip needs to be short). We’ll post the montage across social media in Oct during breast cancer awareness month to raise awareness of our real life breast cancer stories.
The key is to be authentic. I’m not looking for rehearsed polished clips. I’m looking for real life, spontaneous, natural clips. Clips that are honest and brave, which show real life including both the bad and the positives. Clips that tell the world what life is like with/after breast cancer. Your clip will be part of a collective story of breast cancer.
Would you like to get involved?
WHAT TO SEND
- Video clips – taken on your phone, nothing fancy.
- Up to 1 minute (but note that if the clip is used in the project then it may be edited down to a shorter length).
Clips can have audio, or not.
- You don’t need to speak ‘into the camera’ but you can if you wish.
- You may already have video clips that would be perfect for this project – you don’t need to make something new (but you can if you like).
- You can send in more than one clip.
HOW TO SEND
- Email the clips to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please include your name and which part of the country you are from. This information won’t be in the film itself but I would like to have a list of credits available on the website as a way to recognise and thank everyone for taking part.
WHEN TO SEND
- Send them as soon as you can please.
- Deadline is FRIDAY 7 SEPTEMBER.
- The goal is to make something that we can post across our social media platforms during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month – which means I need to get going on the editing and putting it together as soon as possible!
And just a few little notes:
- I am not a film maker and I don’t have any experience in this are so I have no idea whether I can pull this off or not – bear with me and if it doesn’t happen please don’t hold it against me!
- I have no idea how many clips I will receive but I ought to say that if I happen to receive a lot – I can’t guarantee every clip will be used.
- By sending your video clip to the Breast Cancer Film Project you are consenting to the clip being part of a montage of clips which may be shown across a variety of media such as (but not limited to) social media and mainstream media. The clips may also be shown in countries outside the U.K. and although the film is being made for BC awareness month October 2018, it may continue to be posted after the month ends.
- This is a not for profit project – no money will be made as a result of this project and nobody will be paid for their contributions. In the unlikely event that any money is made, it will be donated to cancer charities of my choice.
THE THINKING BEHIND THE PROJECT
What is the Breast Cancer Film Project about?
People who have, or have had, breast cancer all have stories to tell.
Some stories are about the struggles, anxieties and worries.
Some stories are about the physical effects and limitations imposed by the treatment.
Some stories are about the way in which cancer can you bring you closer to friends and family.
Some stories are about the way in which cancer can damage relationships.
Some stories are about living with cancer and fitting cancer into our lives.
Some stories are about juggling cancer treatment and normal life.
Some stories are about cancer and parenthood.
Some stories are about making new, wonderful friends.
Some stories are about the observations and reflections that we make when faced with our own mortality
Some stories are about fear of death, fear of leaving our loved ones, fear of leaving before we are ready.
Some stories are about pressing the pause button on our lives and appreciating the here and now.
Some stories are about the never-ending medical appointments, scans, tests and treatment.
Some stories are about the medical professionals who are doing all they can to make everything ok for us.
Some stories are about the confusion which comes with a cancer diagnosis: why me?
Some stories are about wonderful, overwhelming kindness and support that we receive from family, friends and equally from strangers.
Some stories are about how cancer can change us.
Some stories are about the loss of control resulting from the diagnosis and treatment.
Some stories are about reflecting upon our pre-cancer lives and the resulting changes we decide to make as a result of cancer.
Some stories are about persevering with life.
Some stories are about hope, some are about grief, some are about acceptance.
Some stories are about the physical and emotional scars from breast cancer.
Some stories are about finding support in surprising places.
Some stories are about finding the positives in an awful, terrible, traumatic life experience.
Some stories are about the loneliness of a cancer diagnosis.
Some stories about struggling to move forward at the end of treatment.
Some stories are about never going back to normal, and having to live with the disease.
Some stories are about trying to distract us from everything that cancer brings with it.
Some stories are about finding a purpose to come out of the awfulness of cancer.
Some stories are about making new friends and some stories are about losing old friends.
Some stories are about being brave and some stories are about struggling.
Why should we share these stories?
So, why should we share our stories? Because sharing our stories can help us heal.
Telling our stories can allow us to make some sense of what we have been through and what we continue to go through. We take the thoughts, reflections and feelings out of our heads – whether by writing, talking, photographing or filming – and by doing so, we can, perhaps, make a little sense of the situation.
Telling our stories can lift a weight off our chests. There is a saying that by talking about something, you can get it off your chest. Well, for anyone who suffers with anxiety you will know how it feels to physically have the weight of anxiety pushing on your chest. The process of telling our stories (in whatever way we do it) can help lift a lot of that anxiety off our chests.
Telling our stories can empower us. We can, perhaps, regain a little bit of the control that we handed over on the day of our diagnosis.
And we can take what we are going through and we can pass that onto others going through the same thing. Sharing stories is an incredibly supportive way of helping others who are going through the same thing. When you share your story with someone who is going through the same thing, that person realises that they are not alone. They realise that:
Someone else has felt the way they do.
Someone else has had the side effects that they have.
Someone else has worried about the same things as them.
Someone else has struggled with the same issues as them.
Someone else has had the same fears as them.
And when they know that someone else has felt, thought and worried in the same way as them, they feel less alone. They feel comforted by that fact and they can take strength from those stories to keep going through the tough times.
And how can we share our stories?
There are many ways in which we can share our breast cancer stories; blogging, vlogging, writing articles, writing posts within the cancer community on social media, writing books, creating websites, speaking on the radio and on television.
But, for a change, why not bring some of our stories together into one collective showing the rest of the world the real story of breast cancer: what does life with, or after, breast cancer mean to us, the people who are going through it or have been through it?