Deadpool. Survivor Spouse.

IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN DEADPOOL OR DON’T KNOW THE STORY LINE, STOP READING NOW.

I made it through Deadpool!

We’re Marvel fans, but I don’t follow like I used to. I’m not turning in my geek card yet, though. I keep my comic store membership, thankyouverymuch. I would totally rock prom with Stan Lee.

The Deadpool plot involves cancer, and since cancer rearranged our lives and Troy’s innards, I’ve not been able to sit though any movie or show that springs cancer on me.

As a survivor spouse, it’s hard for me to know what could be coming onscreen. The hopelessness, the defeat, the brave fight of the co-star/spouse/sig-other. As a writer, however, cancer is perfect. It gives you time to make decisions, get scared, fall apart, get yourself together again, then hopefully get cured – or cured enough – to do whatever is next in the plot.

But it’s beginning to feel like a crutch that writers keep in the corner. Every time somebody needs to overcome something, here comes cancer. Every time somebody gets tired, wan, here comes cancer. Every time somebody needs a six-month montage, here comes cancer. Every time somebody needs a reason to stand and watch tow-headed kids playing around a Christmas tree, guess what. And yes, this is my fear, my bitterness, my own personal PTSD.

So – as a writer – I was mortified last week when I was working on a character, and “he has cancer” popped into my head. Maybe my character DOES have cancer. His friend has MS, and his cousin is an amputee. His mom is a convicted felon. His cat is missing an eye. Those are all real parts of real lives. My characters lead real lives.

But “he has cancer” was like a slap.

Anyway – Deadpool has cancer, and his desperation at having stage four cancer and getting the “don’t make any rash decisions” talk leads him to seek alternative meds. Fully understandable. He wanted to live. Especially understandable. DONE IT ALL. Thank GOD Troy wanted to live.

But after several years of fleeing theaters, yelling at the television, ripping friends for NOT warning me, today I sat in the theater and watched the character fight. I knew how his sig-other felt about loving him for him, despite the scars that treatment left on him. I watched him fight to live and love. I watched him be the same person he was before, only amplified. Just like the man I’m married to.

Yes, it’s the stupid movies.

But I sat through the movie today, a baby step for this survivor spouse. I think Troy was proud.

*Marvel fans: GO SEE DEADPOOL. STAY UNTIL THE VERY VERY END. Die-hard Marvel fans know what I’m taking about.

**Stan Lee, you wanna go to prom, hit me up.