PHYLLIS' MIRACLE-Transformed by Cancer Winner of "Bronze
Award" in the Mental Health Category The Columbus International Film
and Video Festival (The 2000 Chris Awards)
When Phyllis Sevigny is diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of
36, the disease has spread to her bones, liver and lungs. But after
her third chemotherapy treatment, the cancer is in remission. This is
her first miracle.
A year later, when the cancer returns, Phyllis buries her fears and
puts on the mask of the "brave survivor." But when she attends
a retreat for breast cancer patients, where storytelling is used for
healing, the mask begins to crack. She shares her fears with other women
through journaling, painting, and group discussion. At a clowning workshop,
she and the other women share laughter and hope. By the end of the retreat
Phyllis feels much better emotionally and spiritually. More importantly
her physical pain has disappeared. Phyllis calls this her second miracle.
Phyllis returns home, where she must resume her mothering and
homemaking duties while undergoing radiation treatments. On the surface
she seems to be coping well. In reality she is terrified-about her treatments,
about the specter of death. But she keeps silent about her underlying
battle with depression, sadness and fear. Gradually her body begins
"shutting down." She is unable to keep food down and is admitted
to the hospital. She ends up in palliative care. Her family believes
she is dying. But Phyllis, encouraged by the hospital staff, recognizes
a pattern in her eating disorder. She gets sick whenever someone asks
her how she is feeling-she is literally choking on her emotions. Phyllis
isn't dying from cancer, but from the fear of death. Helped by a consular
to express herself, she begins to eat again and regain her strength.
She also attends a mask-making workshop offered by the Cross Cancer
Institute where she articulates, through art, the "dangers"
of maintaining a false positive attitude. Finally, Phyllis is released
from palliative care. This is her third miracle.
The documentary ends with Phyllis at home with her two children. As
a night-time ritual, she invites them to climb into bed with her and
she tells them stories from her life.
PHYLLIS' MIRACLE IS A TESTIMONY TO ONE WOMAN'S STRENGTH, AND TO THE
HEALING POWER OF EXPRESSION.
click here for ordering info.
Related info links
The Canadian Breast
Cancer Foundation- (CBCF) is a registered
charitable organization dedicated exclusively to raising funds and to
support advancement of breast cancer research, education, diagnosis
health matters-your source for reliable, evidence-based
and up-to-date information on women's health.
Women's Health Network-Sharing information,
resources and strategies, and building links to improve women's health.
Society of Canada-The Breast Cancer Society
of Canada is a National, volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising
money for peer reviewed Canadian breast cancer research.
Mental Health-Internet Mental Health is a
free encyclopedia of mental health information.