THIS IS THE LAST IN A SERIES OF THREE BLOGS. TO READ THE OTHER TWO, START HERE:
I stood there, still unsure of what to say–but pretty clear now on what had happened, and pretty clear on what was about to happen.
Ray didn’t know who I was, and I had to tell him.
I felt bad–bad for Ray that he didn’t know who I was and that once I told him it might be embarrassing. And fighting off a creeping sorry-for-myself feeling, too. I mean, did I really look that bad?
“Ray,” I said, coming out of my growing pity party to focus on the tall, sweet gentleman who’d been so good and kind to me these last 5 weeks (this really was turning into the king of all awkward moments,)
“Ray, I AM Ann Murray.”
Dead silence. Now it was his turn to be confused.
The entire moment–as well as the minutes afterward when I explained it all to Ray–were caught on film, and Linda and I have those tapes in a safety deposit box with the rest of the 100 min-DV films taped during the making of The Breast Cancer Diaries. Unfortunately, like the back story before it, it was impossible to weave the tale of Ann the Anchor and Radiation Ray into the film. It was too far removed from the main story of Ann beating cancer’s butt and getting back on the horse of her life.
But the relationship that I have with Ray is now stronger than ever. The stories we have together, begun in the radiation room and prequel-ed with the whole “I met Ann Murray once” flashback have made us lifelong friends.
In fact, on the day I finished my last radiation back in 2004, I went out to my car and found half a dozen whoopie pies nestled in a pink box on the hood of my car. “Not all at once, okay?” was the note from Ray and his wife–also my new friend–Nancy. I burst into tears. Just like I did this week, 7 years later, when the UPS man delivered a full dozen wicked whoopie pies to my door. “A little bit of home for you” was the note from Ray and Nancy.
Which is why the next time somebody in an audience asks me if there’s something that happened during the filming of The Breast Cancer Diaries movie that we had to cut that I wish we could have left in, along with my husband’s 7 seconds of skin, I’ll say,
“Yes. Radiation Ray.”