cancer and . . . humor?

Is there much to laugh about with cancer? Is there anything?!

Way before I got diagnosed with cancer, my very good friend S., who ultimately and sadly lost her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, taught me that you really can find humor in just about anything, including cancer. I used to travel up to Kalamazoo or Ann Arbor, Michigan — she lived in both places and got her treatment in Ann Arbor — to visit her while she was sick. This was during the time when Pretty Woman was released and we went to see it together. She had lost her hair and, like me, wasn’t about wearing a wig. S. was wildly artistic (unlike me) and did amazing things with scarves. When we were watching Pretty Woman, the scene came up where you see the character Vivian’s wig on the bedpost and S. leaned into me and whispered, “chemo patient.” I busted out laughing. S. was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known in my life — to this day — and could find the humor in absolutely anything.

This morning I was talking with my sister J. on the phone while she’s unfortunately home sick. I was telling her how next Tuesday I will get a cast made of my chest and arm area as part of the preparation for radiation treatment. The appointment is also when I’ll get my radiation tattoos. I was joking around with J., telling her that I always wanted another tattoo, but I was hoping for something different and that more people could see, and also telling her that Throws Like A Girl calls the area where her mastectomy was notaboob (like in that post which is hilarious in itself) and I have to find a name for mine, although I’m tempted just to steal “notaboob” because I find it really funny. I have called myself Judy One Boob, but that’s not specific enough to the mastectomy area. *sigh* There just aren’t proper words in the English language for this area — the un-boob, the non-boob? The Not-A-Tata? No, too long, although I do like the alliteration. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about this. I’ll take suggestions also, but the only thing is, they do have to bring a chuckle. At least they have to bring a chuckle from me. J.? Sorry, J., but I’m quoting you, or at least paraphrasing you — she said, “I’m not finding much about this funny at all.” No, she was finding it kind of sick and morbid, I’m afraid, while I was pretty much laughing my head off. Poor J. I really am sick and morbid, though, but you gotta do what you gotta do. *shrug* Laugh your way through it or . . . . well, whine or whatever. Me? I’m gonna laugh even if it’s the sickest thing ever, I’m afraid. Or even if I’m the sickest thing over. Sick as in morbid and gross, that is. *ahem*

They don’t call me Giggles in the Chemo Room for nothing.

J. should have known S.

Then she really would have been disgusted.

Or just primed for me.


(Please note: I hope people understand that this is all said with great love. I know that this is hard on J. and it can be harder on the loved ones to joke about this than it can be on those of us who have cancer)

Larry David can make cancer funny too. Check it out:

As always, Stand Up to Cancer.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


8 Responses to cancer and . . . humor?

  1. bcjenster says:

    So far in this life I’ve found very little that one can’t find humor in. There are certainly some things that are so horrific there’s nothing funny to be found. But I’ve found one humorous situation after another from the very beginning of this horrible experience. Sometimes you either laugh or cry and I’d much rather be laughing!

  2. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    Love the Larry David. Hee hee. I was going to say what Jenster said. If I weren’t laughing I would cry. Laughing is more fun. I would love to say I’m inordinately clever but the notaboob thing started as me trying to avoid p*orn spam. Didn’t help. Heh. I also named my foob flefty (fake lefty). And I wonder where my daughter gets her literalness from. Her first teddy was named brown bear. Next one. Purple bear. See a pattern? Grins.

  3. My cousin had her breast reconstucted from her tummy. Now she says when she is hungry her boob growls.

  4. Jyber says:

    I have what I refer to as a sick sense of humor as well.

    About a week after my single mastectomy I was with my family and son’s girlfriend headed out to dinner. In the car I was speculating on how much weiight I might have lost thanks to the mastectomy. I said I guessed my missing (C cup) boob might have weighed about as much as a small chicken. Son later told me his girlfriend was embarrassed by my talk. This girl needs to loosen up IMO!

    Comedy is the other face of tragedy, laughter is the best medicine, etc., etc., etc…….

  5. imstell says:

    The first thing I asked after my mastectomy (literally, I was still groggy in the recovery room) was, “How much did it weigh?” Dang it all. No one could tell me!

    I later found out in the pathology report. 3 lb. 3 oz. Certainly a small chicken.

    I refer to mine as my BellyBoob since it is, indeed, made from my belly.

  6. Jenster says:

    My family calls my chest my toobs (tummy boobs). And to really freak the kids out I say to my husband, “I could use a good belly rub”! We are twisted – thank God!

  7. Now I know what really unites us. It’s not just that we are moms with cancer.

    We are moms with cancer, with really twisted senses of humor!!

    Gotta love it!!

    Marybethvolpini: “My cousin had her breast reconstucted from her tummy. Now she says when she is hungry her boob growls.”

    Imstell: “BellyBoob”

    Jenster: “I could use a good belly rub!”


    My morbid sense of humor:
    Whenever I don’t like how someone is driving, I say “I don’t want people standing around my grave saying ‘isn’t it ironic, she had cancer, but died in a car accident!'”

    (Neither cancer, nor car accidents, are particularly funny, but I always laugh. Now you know how sick my sense of humor is!)

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