A Comedian Tells the Story of His Child’s Cancer
This 9 minute clip packs sadness and pain:
“If you don’t know about cancer, when it comes back it comes back hard.” It’s “meaner and stronger,” he explains. To compensate for its added aggressiveness, doctors raise doses of chemo and radiation. That’s not easy for anyone, a child no less.
He reflects on his daughter’s condition back then: “So she’s bald, which she doesn’t mind because every kid in the ward is bald, and she thinks it’s a part of life…”
He recalls his predicament, as a parent: “You’re not prepared for this. There’s no books, there’s no home-ed class to teach you,” he says. Therapists were off-limits in his community. “So you try to figure it out.”
“What did I do?” he wondered, trying to make sense of his daughter’s illness. His musings cross all kinds of barriers.
Griffith was thrilled to appear several times on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. But NBC is “all about nice and everything is going to be OK.” He felt pressured to keep everything “light” when he wanted to speak honestly.
He recounts how he felt. “And I’m hurting, and I want everyone else to hurt because somebody is to blame for this,” he shouts, two decades later. He suppressed his anger, bucked up, and performed.
Rage persists, understandably, still.
Thank you to Mr. Griffith, the comedian and actor, for telling it like it is.