Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's My Cancer and I'll Laugh if I Want to

"Laughter is the best medicine."
"Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone."

"Cancer is probably the most unfunny thing in the world, but I’m a comedian, and even cancer couldn’t stop me from seeing the humor in what I went through. — Gilda Radner

Call me crazy, but I have never laughed so much in my life. I discovered that throughout this journey, I like laughing a lot more than crying. Don't get me wrong, the fears, the tears, the insomnia and the depression all take their turn. Sometimes, one has to stand in line while the others skooch to the front. And often, all four of the above are body slamming each other like Sumo wrestlers. 

I have come to accept that this is ok and every day is different. I find that making time for these emotions is a good thing, but I try hard not to let them overcome me and ruin my day.  Life still goes on and I don't want my household to feel like a dark and dreary place. Thankfully, I am surrounded by comedians and my family and friends all understand my twisted sense of humor and know just how to make me laugh. Thank you!

Endless doctors appointments, needles, biopsies, surgery, pain. All not fun or funny. Take, for example, my post lumpectomy body. No one really prepares you for the "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" moment. Now, even though my breast is still in tact, it looks like a victim of a hit and run (and the guy did not have insurance so I'm not sure how my dents are going to fix themselves!) There is a 5 inch scar which is healing rather nicely but then there is this area between my armpit and breast which is swollen up like an orange. It's puffy, still numb and I can't get comfortable so if you see me walking around like I'm doing a salute, then you will understand. 

My husband affectionately calls this, my "Third Boob", or as I like to call it, "My Big Fat (sometimes) Hairy Armpit", coming soon to a theater near you.  See, that's funny, right?

And then there is the most exciting fashion accessory ever invented for post Breast Cancer surgery. 

The Tube Top. Or I call it, the Boob Top. I feel like a sausage in its casing, but it's my saving grace!

Other things are not always "Ha Ha" funny. Like the time I called a doctor's office for some crucial test results. I had been waiting the alotted time, very patiently. The front line office gal answered the phone and I spent approximately 82 seconds explaining my need for the results, I was borderline sobbing. After I finished my dissertation, her best, immediate reply was, "WHATCHYERDATEOFBIRTH?" Yes, this is the best she could do. 

Really? Someone is crying on the phone and that's all you got? You can't acknowledge this person's fears and say something like, "Oh dear, this must be a tough time, let me check on this for you." That's all I really needed to hear. Not, "WHATCHYERDATEOFBIRTH?"  Are you an EFFING robot? 

At that moment, I was furious and annoyed. But now, I find it very funny that someone is that ignorant and really has no other weapons in her arsonal. I discovered that "WHATCHYERDATEOFBIRTH" is the universal pat response from every health care professional just trying to do her job.  "Funny, Ha Ha"?  Not one bit. In fact, that's another blog all together.

Finding humor in dire situations has been one of my best coping mechanisms so far. If laughter is the best medicine, then my Cancer is going to be cured sooner than I thought!



I'm sorry that you have to deal with gatekeeper automatons. Can't comprehend why they can't say something simple like, "Let me see what I can do for you, sweetie. What is your date of birth?" I guess this is a reminder, or possibly a wake-up call to the rest of the populous to take a sec to think before speaking. It really is okay to say a kind word, help others, etc.

Michelle said...

luckily, you have plenty of comedians surrounding you Becky! WE LOVE YOU MUCHO!