Cancer...freakin'....sucks! That is the first thing that popped into my mind after the news I just read. As some of you may or may not know, the STARZ cable channel embarked on a new, original, somewhat controversial tv series called Spartacus: Blood and Sand last spring. Headlining the show was a new face to American audiences, Andy Whitfield. He brought something special to the screen; honest, fresh, sexy, fierce. While most Americans may not have known Andy, as SOON as I saw those piercing eyes in the promotional ads and trailer before the show even aired, I knew who he was. He had starred in a little independent flick called Gabriel (2007) and I never forgot about him. When I realized he was taking on the role of Spartacus, I thought wow, great! This is going to be Andy's big break and he is going to go on to do even better things now that America has finally noticed him. After all, he is only 36 years old, at the prime of his life!
Well I couldn't have been more shocked to find out back in March that he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and would be undergoing immediate treatment. But there was hope. The doctors said they caught it early and he would be as good as new. STARZ representantives were fully supportive and decided to halt the production of Season 2 while Andy went through treatment. In the meantime, to keep the sets in use, they created a miniseries called Spartacus: Gods of the Arena which is to be aired sometime next spring in hopes to keep fans satisfied until Season 2 is filmed and aired.
Things were really looking up until today. Today I learned that Andy's cancer has returned with a vengeance and due to doctors orders, he must pull out of the production of Season 2 so that he can focus on treatment and his health. This saddens me so much and is down right scary. It is just a reminder that life is so fragile and precious and you never know what hand you are going to be dealt.
Now in the wake of the tragic news, the representatives at STARZ send their love and support to Andy and his family while not rushing into a decision on what will become of the hit series. How can it go on without Andy Whitfield? How can he be replaced?
This post is dedicated to all those who are suffering and have suffered from this savage disease. I send my love to Andy and his family while he fights this battle. In my opinion, Andy IS Spartacus, so if anyone can beat it, he can!