Sad news today out of Chicago. Famed movie reviewer and cancer survivor Roger Ebert announced a recurrence of cancer. He was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and complications eventually left him without his lower jaw or the ability to speak or eat solid foods. Poor Roger has been through so much, it's heartbreaking to hear that now a cancer has been found in the hip he fractured in 2008. But Ebert isn't giving up yet, and has decided to make the most of his recovery time.
The 'painful fracture' that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to. I'll be able at last to do what I've always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.
He also suggested he would write about "the vulnerability that accompanies illness," and that he may "wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness." He's calling his cutting back on his schedule a "leave of presence."
He also plans to relaunch his website, RogerEbert.com, and start a company with his wife, Chaz. He will continue to review movies for the Chicago Tribune, which he began doing in 1967, but only movies of his choosing, including classics for a new book.
Cancer can really make you reprioritize, and Ebert sounds like he's prioritzing good movies, which has always been his passion. That's the one silver lining to such a devastating diagnosis: You quickly realize what's important and what's not. Cancer is no reason to stop doing what you love and living your life to the best of your ability.
The 70-year-old Ebert has handled his bouts with cancer like a champ, and has always given much of the credit to his wife for keeping him strong. Hopefully, Ebert has many more years left to give us thumbs up or down on the films of his choice. As he puts it on his website, "I am not going away."
Have you ever had an illness that made you reprioritize?
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