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I'm renting Breaking Bad, and I've watched the first season so far. I haven't had access to cable most of the time it's been on, so it's the first I've seen it. I don't know why I'm watching it. It's bizarre. Actually, I do. The son in the show, Walter Jr, played by RJ Mitte, has CP, and he's a real honest to g-d cripple in real life. Unfortunately, I found out from IMDB that the show has made him 'crip it up,' as I like to say. But whatever, he's still authentic, and I'm not sure you could train yourself to have a pronounced 'CP slur.' That's what impresses me the most, he's on TV and he even sounds like a cripple! I find that groundbreaking, because they don't portray him as a supercrip, he's just a 15 year old mainstreamed high school kid.
A big part of the show, from the first episode onward, is the premise that his father is diagnosed with stage 3A lung cancer. In the first 4 episodes he refuses treatment, so in the 5th the family holds an intervention. When it comes to Walter Jr's turn to speak, he says
"This is bullshit ... I'm pissed off ... I-I'm pissed off. 'Cause you're being -- You're being... Y-you're -- You're a pussy. You're, like, ready to give up ... What if you gave up on me, huh? This here [he picks up one of his crutches], all the stuff I've been through, and y-you're scared of a little chemotherapy?"That little speech gave me a flashback. Brought me right back to when I was 8 years old and my grandfather, 67 at the time, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. They cut it out and he was fine for the next 10 years, until he died of a massive heart attack.
I remember sitting in my grandparents kitchen, his surgery had been scheduled, but I don't know how long he had before the date. It could have been the next day, it could have been scheduled for a month later. Anyway, people were talking, and he was scared. I just looked at him with the innocence only a young child could have, and stopped him right in his tracks.
"Grandpa you're a WUSS!" I shot back.I think I was too young to know the word "pussy."
He didn't even know what the word wuss meant. Never heard it before. I was too flabbergasted at the fact that he'd never heard it before to explain to him what it meant. My mom had to.
I had already gone through my first surgery 2 or so years before. Hamstring transfers that left me in a spica cast for the following 8 weeks. [man I wish they had this cast cooler thingy 20 years ago, or even 9. It's a good pic of a spica] So many months of physical therapy. My grandpa had none of that. What's a little prostate surgery to an old man, I thought? C'mon!
I don't remember if I was scared of that first surgery or not by the time it came. My parents put me into a few months of psychotherapy before. But, if I was, by the time I was 8 I didn't remember being scared at all. Bitter still at that point, very much so at the surgeon who had lied to my face about the outcomes, but NOT scared. I was 5, you're 67. Man up!
Certainly gave him a different perspective...