We went to see WIT at the Manhattan Theater Club this past week. I didn't love the play but there is certainly something about the content that is thought provoking.
The play is about a college professor who is an expert in the poetry of John Dunn. Dunn being a metaphysical poet who mastered the english language. Cynthia Nixon plays the professor who has stage 4 ovarian cancer. Not a warm and welcoming woman with few friends or any and takes absolute pride in her intellect.
Over the course of the play she is given eight intense doses of radiation. The doctors know that the chances of success are abysmal but in essence use her for research to understand cancer. She knows it and is willing to go along with it until the end.
When my Mom got sick, I saw the same thing in regards to research. There is a fine line between being a doctor and saving lives and also gathering as much data to understand diseases so that cures can eventually be found. My Mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and within one week of that diagnosis she had surgery. Two weeks later when she was going to go into chemo they took another MRI to pin point the right spots for treatment. The tumor had already grown back, bigger.
I found myself with a new surgeon at another hospital who basically told me that he could do surgery again and could prolong her life. Really? Why do you think that you can do any better than the last doctor when her cancer is obviously aggressive. I do…research.
The other thing is that the pain that the professor was in at the end was terrible. Is that necessary that people who know that the end is near have to go through that?
Did I like the play? No. Did I appreciate how the playwright was trying to educate the audience? Yes. I have lived it and they really did hit the experience spot on.