In April, I was invited to see a sneak preview of the upcoming film “50/50,” which concerns 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who’s fighting cancer, and Kyle (Seth Rogen), the pal who stands by him. It’s based on the true story of Will Reiser, writer, Rogen associate and cancer survivor. I felt like it was fine — sure, it killed a character off just after we got to like him, but by and large it played fair and found some laughs in an experience few of us could imagine. I was sure that, before the movie opened at the end of September, I’d have the chance to think about it more from my distant, abstract, wouldn’t-know-what-it’s-like perspective.
In May, I realized I didn’t like my doctor. So I got a new one. In June, my new doctor poked and prodded me and thought that my liver felt big, so he prescribed an ultrasound. I got one, eventually, on the 19th. And on the 22nd, I was called and asked to come in as soon as possible. My liver was fine, but there were “unusual changes” in my right kidney: a mass about 2 inches across. Which turned out to be cancer. And then, sympathizing with the characters of “50/50″ got much, much less abstract and the end of September felt a lot further away than it did before.