Take tissues if you go see the new hit movie The Fault in Our Stars. The story of two teens with cancer who fall in love has a few weepy moments sandwiched between the romance, self-discovery and laughs. A faithful retelling of John Green’s best-selling young adult novel, the movie faithfully portrays the emotional highs and lows of teens trying to cope with cancer while struggling to live a normal life. (Click here to watch the trailer.)
Hazel and Gus, played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, meet at a cancer support group. She has thyroid cancer, is depressed and must drag around an oxygen canister, an ever-present reminder of cancer’s life-shortening reality and the fact that she is different from the other teens at her high school. He is a basketball star who lost a leg to osteosarcoma but, now 18 months in remission, chooses to celebrate life.
Gus’ ebullient outlook is the perfect antithesis to Hazel’s dour view of life with cancer. While ultimately heartbreaking as childhood cancer often is, their summer romance is a story of hope and overcoming fear as they plunge into life with teenage abandon. Without the specter of cancer lurking in the wings, The Fault in Our Stars might have been merely another sweet teen romance on the summer movie circuit. But the threat that cancer will bring young hopes and dreams to an abrupt halt elevates the movie, reminding us that life is short and should be embraced and lived.
At Issels Integrative Oncology even stage 4 cancer stories can have a happy outcome. Click to hear our patients stories in their own words.