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'Chasing Life' recap: Forgive the cancer

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Blood Cancer Sex Carrots” | Aired June 24, 2014

Perhaps April was never going to come to grips with her new reality until something smacked her in the face with it. Unfortunately that meant we’d be sobbing alongside her as we grew to adore the Carrot Dude, Gerald, only to lose him by the end of the episode, but not before he taught April — and us — some valuable lessons.

Gerald (Sam Anderson) was a small blog story that April jumped all over after her entitled coworker passed on the pitch of a local market vendor whose carrot juice was helping people with cancer. Since she was desperately seeking ways to deal with her cancer symptoms — a nosebleed deterred her attempt at sex with Dominic — she was ready to drink the juice. After Gerald died, she was sure to produce her piece on him to honor his legacy, one of bringing together a community of cancer patients. Everyone has a story, and though his might not have been as popular as the governor’s affair, it was one that stuck with us, and made us realize we should probably hit up our local market more often.

In between visits to the Gerald’s carrot juice stand, April is also investigating Dominic’s past dating history. She’s a reporter — did you expect she wouldn’t cross-check Twitter, Instagram and Vine? Deciding that he’s a playboy and probably not the best guy to look toward a future with, she takes Beth’s advice to treat it as just a fun time, which is more liberating than pursuing a relationship. “Get what you need from him — sex — and keep it moving” is what Beth recommends. And they call us the selfish generation!

That doesn’t turn out well when Dominic doesn’t appreciate how he’s being treated like a piece of meat. And with no more Dominic as a distraction, she focuses on her blog post.

She tells Gerald that she has leukemia; he’s the first person to know besides Beth. Cue the wisdom of a man who has been through the worst that cancer brings. He shares his near-death experience, the pain his family has endured and how he gets through it. Gerald teaches April that in order to move on with life, she has to “forgive the cancer.” He has done this by using his juice stand to network with other cancer patients and start a support group, a community that we see together at the end of the episode, when April attends a meeting. Does this mean she’s actually taking this cancer thing seriously? Because it’s about time. We all need a reason why bad things happen to us — it’s channeling that purpose that gets you through. So what will April’s purpose become?

The real shocker comes when bad boy Leo Hendrie is spotted in the support group. I sense Dominic is going to have some competition, because the only person that gets your life more than a coworker is a fellow cancer patient. Hold onto your seats, guys. I have a feeling April is going to take us on one hell of an emotional roller coaster with her love life.

Chasing Life, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 9/8 C on ABC Family.

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