Transcript: Living with Cancer | May 05, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and dotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Living with cancer."

Steve says I'M NOT SURE I'VE EVER
MET ANYONE LIKE TEVA HARRISON.
SHE'S A TALENTED, HAPPY,
OPTIMISTIC AMERICAN, WHO FELL IN
LOVE WITH A CANADIAN, MARRIED
HIM, AND NOW LIVES HERE.
SHE ALSO, AT AGE 37, RECEIVED
JUST ABOUT THE WORST NEWS YOU
CAN GET AND IS NOW ENGAGED IN
THE FIGHT OF HER LIFE.
SHE CHRONICLES IT ALL IN A NEW
BOOK CALLED "IN-BETWEEN DAYS: A
MEMOIR ABOUT LIVING WITH CANCER."
AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
TEVA HARRISON TO TVO.

A picture of Teva's book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a drawing of a mermaid swimming in deep water.
Then, Teva sits in the studio. She's in her forties, with auburn hair to her shoulders and bangs. She's wearing an aqua cardigan over a deep-blue blouse, and a green pendant necklace.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU HERE AGAIN.

Teva says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The caption changes to "Teva's story."

Steve says I WANT TO START BY
READING THE VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH
IN YOUR BOOK WHICH REALLY DOES LAY IT OUT.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Swallowing the diagnosis." The quote reads "AT THE AGE OF 37, I was diagnosed with advanced metastatic breast cancer. My disease is currently incurable, but the wonderful people in my medical team are doing everything they can to turn it into a chronic illness."
Quoted from Teva Harrison, "In-between days: A memoir about living with cancer" (2016).

Steve says I HATE LIKE HELL FOR
MY FIRST QUESTION TO BE SO
CLICHE, BUT I'M SORRY, IT IS I
THINK THE RIGHT QUESTION TO
START WITH, WHICH IS: WHAT DOES
ONE THINK WHEN ONE GETS THAT
KIND OF NEWS?

The caption changes to "Teva Harrison. Author 'In-between days.'"

Teva says I DON'T
THINK ONE KNOWS WHAT TO THINK.
THE INITIAL RESPONSE WAS REALLY
ONE OF BLANKNESS.
I -- I FELT COMPLETELY LOST,
COMPLETELY ADRIFT.
I FOUND THAT MY THOUGHTS CIRCLED
IN A SORT OF RUMINATING MANNER
INTO A PRETTY DARK PLACE.
IT FELT LIKE A DEATH SENTENCE.
LIKE, AN IMMEDIATE DEATH
SENTENCE.
SO IT TOOK ME A LITTLE WHILE TO
START HAVING THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW
TO MOVE FORWARD.

Steve says IT TAKES A WHILE TO
PROCESS THAT KIND OF
INFORMATION, I GUESS.
YES?

Teva says YES.
A FEW YEARS IN, I'M NOT SURE I'M
DONE PROCESSING.

Steve says ANYONE WITH YOU WHEN
YOU GOT THAT INFORMATION?

Teva says MY HUSBAND
WAS WITH ME.

Steve says WHO TOOK IT HARDER?

Teva says I DON'T KNOW.

Steve says I KNOW YOUR HUSBAND
AND I KNOW HOW MUCH HE LOVES YOU
AND IT WOULDN'T SHOCK ME THAT HE
TOOK IT HARDER THAN YOU DID.

Teva says YEAH, IT'S
BEEN REALLY ROUGH FOR HIM.
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.

Steve says LET'S DO SOME BACKGROUND.
YOUR GREAT GRANDFATHER DIED OF
LEUKEMIA AT THE AGE OF 43.
YOUR GRANDMOTHER HAD THREE KINDS
OF CANCER.
YOUR AUNT DIED OF BREAST CANCER
AT 34.
THIS IS PRETTY CLEARLY A FAMILY
THING FOR YOU GUYS, RIGHT?
HOW MUCH RESEARCH DID YOU DO
INTO YOUR FAMILY BACKGROUND TO
HELP YOU SORT OF FIGURE OUT HOW
YOU ARE GOING TO HANDLE ALL OF THIS?

The caption changes to "A family history."
Then, it changes again to "Teva Harrison, @robotpilot"

Teva says I'VE DONE A
LOT OF RESEARCH INTO MY FAMILY
BACKGROUND TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE
CAN ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT'S
CLEARLY HEREDITARY.
BUT WE'VE DONE ALL OF THE
AVAILABLE BLOOD PANELS, WE'VE
DONE ALL OF THE AVAILABLE
GENETIC TESTING, AND MY DOCTORS
HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY
WHY MY FAMILY GETS CANCER.
IT'S CLEAR THAT WE GET IT
BECAUSE OF SOMETHING, SOME
GENETIC ANOMALY, BUT THE SCIENCE
ISN'T THERE YET.

Steve says YOU HAVE TWO
SIBLINGS.

Teva says I DO.

Steve says TWO SISTERS?
HOW IS THEIR HEALTH?

Teva says GOOD.

Steve says NO SIGNS OF ANYTHING
WITH THEM.

Teva says YES.
AND THEY'RE IN REGULAR SCREENING
NOW.

Steve says LUCKY YOU.
YOU WERE THE ONE SISTER WHO GOT
IT.

Teva says LUCKY ME.

Steve says HOW DO YOU FIGURE?

Teva says THE WORST
KIND OF LUCK.

Steve says HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED
YOUR LIFESTYLE IN ORDER TO TRY
TO WIN THIS FIGHT?

The caption changes to "Fighting back."

Teva says I WAS
ALREADY A PRETTY HEALTHY PERSON.
I WAS RAISED VEGETARIAN, I ATE
WELL.
BUT I'VE REALLY SORT OF NARROWED
THE SCOPE OF WHAT I CONSUME.
I NEVER REALLY HAD A BIG TASTE
FOR JUNK FOOD, BUT...

Steve says GONE NOW.

Teva says IT'S GONE NOW.
I MEAN, I'M EXERCISING WHEN I
CAN. THERE ARE SOME LIMITATIONS
ON WHAT I CAN DO NOW.

Steve says IS THAT BECAUSE OF
FATIGUE?

Teva says IT'S BECAUSE
OF FATIGUE AND IT'S BECAUSE OF
BONE PAIN.
I HAVE BONE METASTASIS AND IT'S
KIND OF -- ALL I CAN DESCRIBE IT
LIKE IS A REALLY MASSIVE
TOOTHACHE BUT IN MY SPINE AND IN
MY FEMUR.

Steve says ARE YOU IN PAIN
RIGHT NOW?

Teva says YES.
IT'S PRETTY WELL-MANAGED WITH
FENTANYL, I HAVE A PATCH, AND
HYDROMORFON.
IT'S ALWAYS THERE.
IT'S EVER PRESENT.

Steve says THE PAIN MEDICATION
AND THE MARIJUANA DOESN'T REALLY
WORK THAT WELL?

Teva says IT WORKS WELL.
IT MAKES IT MANAGEABLE.
IT TAKES IT FROM A 7 TO A 3.

Steve says YOU DESCRIBE IN YOUR
BOOK THAT THE CANCER IS A BIT
LIKE A WHACK-A-MOLE.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Teva says IT MEANS WE
CAN TREAT IT LOCALLY BUT IT WILL
POP UP SOMEWHERE ELSE.
IT'S UNPREDICTABLE AND WILEY.
EVEN WHEN IT'S WELL-MANAGED, THE
EXISTING TUMOURS, IT COULD POP
UP IN A NEW ORGAN, IT COULD POP
UP IN A NEW LOCATION THAN THE
AFFECTED ORGAN.
IN MY FIRST 11 MONTHS I ONLY HAD
BONE MEDS.
NOW WHEN THE DRUG FAILED, IT
DIDN'T FAIL BY ADVANCING WITHIN
AN EXISTING MET IS IT -- METAST.

Steve says GIVE US AN IDEA OF
WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT YOU'VE
UNDERGONE SO FAR.

Teva says I'VE BEEN IN
HORMONE OR ENDOCRINE THERAPY.
WHEN THEY THINK IT'S CURABLE,
THEY HIT YOU WITH CHEMO,
SURGERY, RADIATION, ALL AT ONCE.
MY RADIATION HAS BEEN PALLIATIVE
AS OPPOSED TO CURATIVE.
IT'S BEEN TO MINIMIZE THE PAIN
IN MY BONES AND I'VE BEEN ON THE
HORMONE ENDOCRINE THERAPY.
I'VE HAD MY OVARIES AND
FALLOPIAN TUBES REMOVED.

Steve says HOW COME?

Teva says IT'S A
TREATMENT.
MY CANCER IS HORMONE OR ESTROGEN
POSITIVE.
BY REDUCING THE ESTROGEN
PRODUCED IN MY BODY, WE'RE
TRYING TO STARVE THE CANCER.
EVENTUALLY I'LL RUN OUT OF THE
HORMONE THERAPIES AND THE ONLY
THING AVAILABLE WILL BE CHEMO.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHERE
YOU -- THERE IS A REGIMEN YOU'RE
GOING THROUGH, PRESUMABLY.
YOU DO THIS, THEN YOU DO THIS,
THEN YOU DO THIS.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE IN
THAT REGIMEN IN TERMS OF THIS
FIGHT?

Teva says I'M PRETTY EARLY.
I'M LATE ENOUGH IN THAT THEY CAN
GIVE ME CLINICAL TRIAL, SO I'M
ON A CLINICAL TRIAL, BUT I STILL
HAVE AVAILABLE A NUMBER OF OTHER
POTENTIAL ENDOCRINE THERAPIES.
THERE ARE SIX OR SEVEN.
USUALLY A WOMAN GETS ONLY ABOUT
THREE BECAUSE YOU GET A
DIMINISHING RETURN.
THEN THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT CHEMOS.
IT'S HARD TO SAY BECAUSE THEY
DON'T ALL WORK FOR EVERYBODY.
SO WHAT WORKS FOR ONE WOMAN MAY
NOT WORK FOR ANOTHER WHEN THIS
TREATMENT FAILS BECAUSE IT'S NOT
IF, IT'S WHEN.
THEY'LL GIVE ME BASED ON THE
BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE THEIR
NEXT TREATMENT.
IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK.
SO IT'S JUST A GUESSING GAME
REALLY, AN EDUCATED GUESSING
GAME.
MY DOCTORS ARE TREMENDOUSLY GOOD
AT THEIR JOBS, BUT THEY CAN'T
PREDICT.

Steve says HOW OLD ARE YOU NOW?

Teva says I'M 39.

Steve says YOU'RE 39 WITH STAGE
4 METASTATIC CANCER.

Teva says YES.

Steve says HERE'S A REALLY
WEIRD QUESTION: WHAT GOES
THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU HEAR
PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT THE WEATHER?

Teva laughs and says I COMPLAIN
ABOUT THE WEATHER.
I'M GOING TO BE HONEST.
I ACTUALLY APPRECIATE PEOPLE WHO
COMPLAIN ABOUT NORMAL THINGS.
SO OFTEN IF I'M HAVING A
CONVERSATION WITH SOMEBODY I'M
CLOSE TO OR SOMEONE I CARE
ABOUT, THEY'LL START TO COMPLAIN
ABOUT SOMETHING, THEN THEY'LL
SAY, OH, OH, OH.
BUT WITH EVERYTHING YOU'RE GOING
THROUGH, YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR
ABOUT THAT.
BUT I DO.
BECAUSE THAT'S HAVING A REAL
RELATIONSHIP WITH PEOPLE.
THEIR COMPLAINTS AREN'T LESS
VALID JUST BECAUSE I HAVE THIS
ONE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY AWFUL
THING IN MY LIFE.

Steve says I'M PUSHING BACK A
LITTLE BIT ON THIS.
I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DON'T HAVE A
MOMENT WHERE YOU SAY: SHUT UP!
I'M DEALING WITH CANCER HERE AND
YOU'RE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE
FACT THAT THE SUN WENT BEHIND
THE CLOUDS FOR 10 MINUTES.
AM I RIGHT?

Teva says THERE ARE MOMENTS.

Steve says THERE ARE MOMENTS.
OKAY.
LET'S GO BEYOND THAT.
HERE'S A QUOTE FROM YOUR BOOK:
FOR ME LIVING WITH METASTATIC
BREAST CANCER IS LIVING IN FEAR.
FEAR OF WHAT IN PARTICULAR?

Teva says FEAR OF DYING.
FEAR OF MORE PAIN.
FEAR OF THE NEXT TREATMENT.
I WAS TOLD EARLY ON THAT THE WAY
WE TREAT THIS DISEASE, WE START
WITH THE LEAST SIDE EFFECTS
TREATMENT AND EVERY ADDITIONAL
TREATMENT WILL BE LESS PLEASANT.
IT WILL HAVE MORE DIFFICULT SIDE
EFFECTS, MORE PAIN, MORE
SUFFERING, MORE -- JUST MORE TO
MANAGE.
BUT REALLY FEAR OF DYING.
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN.
THE FEAR OF UNCERTAINTY IS A
CONSTANT WITH THIS DISEASE
BECAUSE I LIVE SCAN TO SCAN.
AND I HAVE REGULAR SCANS EVERY 3
MONTHS, BUT THEN SOMETIMES I
HAVE SPECIAL SCANS IN BETWEEN IF
WE NOTICE SOMETHING, SOME SORT
OF ANOMALY THAT WE NEED
INFORMATION FOR THAT MIGHT BE
INDICATIVE OF A NEED FOR CHANGE
IN TREATMENT.
SO THERE'S THAT SORT OF
EVER-PRESENT ANXIETY AND
UNCERTAINTY OF WHAT'S HAPPENING
TODAY OR TOMORROW, AND THEN
THERE'S BIG PICTURE FEAR BECAUSE
REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE OUTCOME
IS, I'M NOT GOING TO LIVE THE
LENGTH OF A LIFE I EXPECTED TO.

Steve says I MIGHT NOT EITHER, THOUGH.

Teva says YOU KNOW,
PEOPLE SAY THAT.
THERE'S THE, WE COULD GET HIT BY
A BUS.
BUT IT'S DIFFERENT.
BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT THE BUS IS
AND I CAN SEE IT COMING.

Steve says MM-HMM.
NOW, BECAUSE I'VE READ THIS, I
KNOW WHAT YOUR BAD DAYS ARE LIKE.
AND YOU -- I MEAN, I'M TELLING
YOU, ANYBODY WATCHING THIS RIGHT
NOW WOULDN'T HAVE A CLUE, RIGHT,
THAT YOU WERE THE SLIGHTEST BIT
ILL, RIGHT?
I MEAN, YOU'RE -- YOU SEEM
PERFECTLY HAPPY, PERFECTLY
GORGEOUS, PERFECTLY EVERYTHING.
SO YOU'RE HAVING A GOOD DAY, I GUESS.

Teva says I'M HAVING A
GOOD DAY.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHY
YOU'RE HAVING A GOOD DAY TODAY?

Teva says NOT
ENTIRELY, NO.

Steve says YOU JUST ARE.

The caption changes to "Hope."

Teva says YEAH.
I TRY TO MANAGE MY TIME.
I TRY TO GIVE MYSELF ENOUGH
REST.
THAT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
I DON'T OPERATE AT A DEFICIT
VERY WELL ANYMORE.
SO I TOOK A SLEEPING PILL LAST
NIGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT I WOULD
GET ENOUGH REST TO BE ABLE TO BE
PERKY TODAY, SO I'VE LEARNED
THAT THERE ARE THINGS I CAN DO
THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Steve says WHAT HAS WRITING
THIS BOOK DONE FOR YOU?

Teva says IT'S DONE A
NUMBER OF THINGS.
ON A PRACTICAL LEVEL, IT'S GIVEN
ME SOMETHING TO FOCUS ON AND TO
FOCUS WHAT I'M THINKING AND
FEELING ON AND TO PROCESS THIS
VERY DIFFERENT WAY OF LIVING
I'VE HAD TO REALLY RAPIDLY
ACCLIMATE TOO.
IT'S GOT ME BACK INTO DRAWING ON
A REGULAR BASIS.
I WAS AN ARTIST WHO WASN'T
DRAWING REGULARLY BEFORE.
AND IT'S HELPED ME TAP INTO A
TREMENDOUSLY CARING COMMUNITY.
IN MY LOCAL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
AND FAMILY, YES, WE HAVE SOME
PEOPLE WITH CANCER, I HAVE A
FAMILY HISTORY, BUT I DIDN'T
HAVE A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO
STRAIGHT UP UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M
GOING THROUGH.
AND DOING THESE DRAWINGS AND
WRITING THESE KINDS OF FEELINGS
AND EXPERIENCES HAS GIVEN ME
ACCESS TO PEOPLE BOTH IN CANADA
AND AROUND THE WORLD WHO HAVE
SHARED EXPERIENCE.

Steve says LET'S SHARE A LITTLE
MORE OF THAT.
HERE'S A QUOTE FROM THE BOOK AND
THEN WE'LL SHOW SOME OF YOUR
ARTWORK AS WELL.
HERE'S TEVA HARRISON IN THE BOOK
"IN BETWEEN DAYS."

Another quote from the book appears on screen, under the title "Thinking positive." The quote reads "Rather than focus on what cancer takes away, I try to focus on what it doesn't. Because as much as I've lost, my life is really rich and full. I have a remarkable love (truly everybody remarks on it), a space to write and draw when I have energy, a warm and intelligent family, inspiring friends. There is so much beauty in the world."

Steve says AND, SHELDON, IF YOU
WOULD, LET'S PUT UP THE IMAGE THEN.

A black and white pencil drawing pops up. It depicts a woman lying on a hospital bed surrounded with her thoughts. The title reads "Cancer gratitudes."

Steve continues THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY, MANY
PICTURES WHICH YOU HAVE DRAWN
WHICH ARE IN THE BOOK.
HOW DO YOU STILL SEE SO MUCH
BEAUTY IN THE WORLD GIVEN WHAT
YOU'RE GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW?

Teva says I THINK I
CAN ANSWER THAT IN TWO WAYS.
ONE, I'M STILL MYSELF, AND I AM
A PERSON WHO SEES BEAUTY IN THE
WORLD, RIGHT?
I THINK IN A WAY BEING SICK AND
KNOWING THAT I HAVE A TERMINAL
ILLNESS HAS AMPLIFIED THAT
BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING I DON'T
WANT TO GIVE UP, RIGHT?
SO I -- IT'S ALMOST BRIGHTER AND
SHARPER AND IT'S BITTERSWEET BUT
IT'S PRECIOUS.
I FIND THAT AS I KNOW THAT I MAY
NOT HAVE AS MUCH OF IT AS I
HOPED FOR, I'M HUNGRIER, I'M
MORE VORACIOUS FOR DEVOURING ART
AND CULTURE AND LIFE AND IT
FEELS REALLY PRECIOUS.

Steve says TEVA, I NORMALLY
WOULDN'T ASK SUCH A PERSONAL
QUESTION, BUT YOU TALK ABOUT
THIS IN THE BOOK, AND SO WE'RE
GOING TO GO HERE.
YOU ARE MARRIED TO A WONDERFUL
GUY NAMED DAVID, WHOM I KNOW AND
WHO IS A SWEETHEART.
AGAIN, SINCE YOU TALK ABOUT IT,
LET'S ASK THIS: DO YOU STILL
HAVE A SEX LIFE?

Teva says I DO.

Steve says WITH HIM?

[Laughter]

Teva says BUT I HAVE
TO WORK AT IT.
IT'S NOT EFFORTLESS.
I ACTUALLY APPRECIATE THAT
YOU'RE GOING THERE BECAUSE THE
REASON I INCLUDED THE SECTIONS
OF THE BOOK THAT TALK ABOUT
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IS BECAUSE I
FEEL WE DON'T TALK ABOUT IT
ENOUGH, AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU
HAVE WHAT I DO, NO OVARIES, MANY
PEOPLE WITH CANCER HAVE
PREMENOPAUSE, WHETHER IT'S
PERMANENT OR NOT.
AND THERE ARE WAYS TO MANAGE THE
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION YOU
EXPERIENCE WITH CANCER, BUT
THEY'RE NOT REALLY VOLUNTEERED
TO YOU UNLESS YOU GO SEEKING
INFORMATION, ASKING, HOW CAN I
WORK AROUND THIS?
I'VE HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE, YOU
KNOW, IN MY HEALTH CARE TEAM
SAY: OH, IT'S A NICE SIGN THAT
YOU'RE EVEN STILL INTERESTED IN
A SEX LIFE.

Steve says IT IS ENCOURAGING
AND HE FEELS THE SAME WAY.
HE DOESN'T LOVE YOU ANY LESS
BECAUSE OF ALL THIS. HE'S NOT
ANY LESS ATTRACTED TO YOU,
I PRESUME. BUT THERE'S AN EFFORT
THAT'S INVOLVED WITH YOU TWO
THAT'S NOT PRESUMABLY INVOLVED
WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT
GOING THROUGH WHAT YOU'RE GOING
THROUGH RIGHT NOW.

Teva says NO. THERE'S
A DIMINISHED ELASTICITY AND
THERE'S A TIGHTENING IN THE
PELVIC FLOOR BOTH OF WHICH MAKE
PENETRATION REALLY DIFFICULT.
SO YOU HAVE TO USE TOOLS. YOU
NEED AIDS LIKE LUBRICANTS AND--
I'M LOSING WORDS.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT SEX DRIVE?
DO YOU HAVE A SEX DRIVE ANYMORE?

Teva says I DO, IT'S
DIMINISHED BUT IT'S STILL THERE.
IT'S NOT GONE.

Steve laughs and says GOOD.
WITH ALL THE MRIs AND ALL THE
NEEDLES AND ALL THE CHEMO AND
ALL THE RADIATION AND ALL OF THE
EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE GOING
THROUGH, YOU TALK IN THE BOOK
ABOUT -- THERE'S DAYS WHEN
YOU'RE THROWING UP ALL THE TIME
AND FEELING NAUSEOUS ALL THE
TIME, LIMITATIONS ON WHAT YOU
CAN DO.
I MEAN, SURELY THERE ARE DAYS
WHEN YOU WAKE UP AND YOU JUST
SAY, TO HELL WITH IT.
I WISH IT WERE ALL OVER?

Teva says NOT ALL OVER.
I'M NOT AT THAT POINT YET.
I MEAN, I WISHED THE TREATMENT
WAS ALL OVER, I WISHED THE
CANCER WAS ALL OVER.
I WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO STICK
AROUND.

Steve says YOU NEVER HAVE A DAY
WHERE YOU SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT?
I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
BRING ON DEATH.

Teva says NOT YET.

Steve says IT HASN'T HAPPENED?

Teva says NOT YET.
I HAVEN'T -- NO.
YOU KNOW, MY FATHER COMMITTED
SUICIDE.
I DON'T THINK I MENTIONED THAT
IN THE BOOK.

Steve says I DON'T THINK YOU
DID, NO.

Teva says AND SO I'VE
GROWN UP IN THE SHADOW OF
SUICIDE.
I WAS 2 WHEN HE DIED.
SO I'VE HAD A LOT OF TIME TO
THINK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO
MAKE THAT CHOICE, WHAT IT MEANS
FOR THE PEOPLE YOU LEAVE BEHIND,
AND I THINK IT WOULD TAKE A LOT,
AN EXCEPTIONAL LOT, TO GET ME TO
THAT POINT.
I ADVOCATE FOR THE RIGHT TO
CHOOSE.
I'M REALLY THRILLED THAT CANADA
IS MAKING SOME CHANGES IN TERMS
OF LEGISLATION THERE BECAUSE I
THINK IT'S VERY SAD WHEN SOMEONE
GETS TO THE END AND MAKES THAT
CHOICE AND ISN'T ABLE TO HAVE
THEIR FAMILY BE AROUND THEM FOR
FEAR OF IMPLICATING THEM.
I THINK IT'S A CRUCIAL THING TO
HAVE IN THE TOOL KIT AND IT'S
QUITE POSSIBLE THAT I'LL GET TO
THE POINT WHERE THE PAIN IS TOO
MUCH AND I -- I MAKE A CHOICE TO
EXPEDITE THE END.
BUT I'M NOT ANYWHERE NEAR THERE.

Steve says HAVE YOU HAD THAT
CONVERSATION WITH -- THIS IS
TERRIBLE.
I'M HAVING VERY PERSONAL
QUESTIONS HERE.

Teva says THEY'RE RELEVANT.

Steve says THEY'RE IN THE BOOK.
HAVE YOU HAD THAT CONVERSATION
WITH DAVID YET?

Teva says NO, NO.
I FEEL THAT I WILL PROBABLY BE
READY TO HAVE THE CONVERSATION
BEFORE HE'S READY TO HAVE THE
CONVERSATION.

Steve says I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT, YEAH.
HERE'S ANOTHER EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Coming to terms." The quote reads "My heart is breaking every day in the most selfish way. All the things I want. The excruciating act of scaling back my dreams. Paring down my hopes for this life into three-month bites. Living the enormity of hope and the gut-churning fear that accompany every single scan."

Steve says WHEN YOU'RE IN THE
SHOES THAT YOU ARE IN, HOW MUCH
HOPE DO YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO
HAVE ABOUT THE FUTURE?

Teva says IT'S GUARDED.
I CATCH MYSELF BECAUSE EVERY
TIME SOMETHING LOVELY HAPPENS,
THERE'S THIS SORT OF IMPULSE
TOWARD EXPANSIVE HOPE AND I HAVE
TO REIN MYSELF IN.

Steve says WHY?

Teva says BECAUSE IF I
ALLOW MYSELF TO BE UP HERE

She raises a hand and continues
THE DISTANCE IS GREATER WHEN I'M
PULLED BACK DOWN, AND AT ANY
SCAN, I COULD HAVE PROGRESSION.
I'VE ALREADY -- I'VE ALREADY
BEEN ON MY CURRENT TREATMENT
LONGER THAN I EXPECTED.
SO NOW EVERY TIME I HAVE A SCAN,
I'M READY IN MY HEAD.
NOT IN MY HEART, BUT IN MY HEAD.
I'M READY FOR A DISAPPOINTMENT.
RIGHT?
AND BY DISAPPOINTMENT I MEAN
DEVASTATION.
SO I ALLOW MYSELF TO HAVE HOPE
BECAUSE I HAVE TO.
BECAUSE HOW DO YOU PERSIST
WITHOUT HOPE?
HOW DO YOU KEEP GOING ON?
AND TO ME THAT HOPE HAS TO
INCLUDE SCIENCE CATCHING UP OR
JUST GETTING LUCKY.

Steve says I GUESS YOU THINK I
HAVE TO HANG IN LONG ENOUGH THAT
THIS PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
COULD COME UP WITH THIS DRUG
WHICH COULD SAVE MY LIFE.

Teva says THAT'S WHY I
PARTICIPATE IN CLINICAL TRIALS
BECAUSE (a) IF WE DON'T, WHO
WILL AND (b) WHAT IF THIS IS
THE ONE THAT'S GOING TO GIVE ME
A REPRIEVE.

Steve says DO DOCTORS EVER TELL
YOU HOW LONG YOU HAVE?

Teva says NO.
THEY CAN'T.
I THINK WHEN I GET CLOSER TO THE
END, THEY'LL HAVE AN IDEA.
BUT WITH THIS DISEASE, ALTHOUGH
THE MEDIAN SURVIVAL IS TWO TO
THREE YEARS, THERE ARE SOME
WOMEN WHO LIVE FOR DECADES.

Steve says WITH TERMINAL CANCER?

Teva says WITH TERMINAL CANCER.
SO I HAVE TO HOPE I'LL BE ONE OF
THEM BY PREPARING THINGS LIKE
SORTING OUT ADVANCED DIRECTIVES
AND TRYING TO GET RID OF SOME OF
MY THINGS TO MAKE IT MORE
MANAGEABLE IF I'M NOT ONE OF THE
LUCKY ONES.

Steve says I THINK YOU JUST
ANSWERED WHAT WAS GOING TO BE MY
FINAL QUESTION.
WHEN YOU HAVE TERMINAL CANCER,
WHAT DO YOU WISH FOR?

Teva says I WISH -- I
WISH FOR SCIENCE TO, CHOP, CHOP,
BRING ON SOMETHING -- BECAUSE I
KNOW I CAN'T WISH FOR A CURE.
I MEAN, I CAN WISH FOR ONE, BUT
I CAN'T EXPECT IT.
I HOPE THAT THEY'LL COME UP WITH
BETTER TOOLS TO RENDER THE
DISEASE CHRONIC. KEEP IT STABLE.
KEEP ME AROUND.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin"

Steve says I THINK THE WORLD
WOULD APPRECIATE THAT.

Teva says ME TOO.

Steve says THANKS, TEVA.

Teva says THANK YOU.

Watch: Living with Cancer