Laugh When You Can- part one

I find humor in most things. Not everything is funny, but most things can be if you look at it right. Some things that make me laugh are:”Headlines” from the Tonight Show,  street signs that are missing letters, stupid warning labels, Abbot and Costello, The 3 Stooges, “Seinfeld”, babies spitting up on you (not me), and listening to a “local” give directions to an out of towner. No offense here. I have lots of ties to the “country” and once received directions like these.

“Go up thar past Wilma’s diner ’til you reach Jimmy’s tool shed….the one he built last year after the storm? Butcha aint gonna turn thar. Go down 2 mahls and make a left at Slick’s cabin. His boat’s out front. Thar’s two dirt roads. That other’n is too nar and curvy to take if’n you ain’t gotta truck. Take the good’n. Then keep a goin’ till Willard’s dogs chase you, but if you reach Tom’s place…… carful thar……he don’t take kindly to strangers,  you went too fer”.

I laughed to myself when they told me to turn left at the boat. Innocently I thought “I suppose the boat could be gone” so I asked “What if he’s gone fishin’?” Laughter broke out everywhere. “Well Honey, he ain’t done no fishin’ for 20 years. Slick fishiin? That’ll be the day! HAHAHA”. How silly of me. Boats only go in the water back home. Here, they must live in pastures. Never assume. .

There are exceptions, of course. Death and dying are only funny in cartoons, comedies,  or really corny death scenes where the heroine rambles incessantly through her last 100 dying breaths. Serious illness and the suffering that comes with it are also nothing to laugh at….but you have to try!  I work in a cancer center and help very sick people every day. My hope is that I can make them smile or laugh amidst their difficult circumstances. I try to bring some joy into their lives, which helps me too. You need to laugh about something every day because if you don’t, life gets too intense.

I found humor everywhere during my own cancer treatment. For example, the color of my  bodily fluids changed routinely, depending on which drug I was getting. I found it odd but once I started joking about it, I was amazed how many people have funny stories about the  pharmaceutically altered rainbow of relief that once was plain old urine. I would share some here but it might make you pee in your pants and then we’d have to do laundry. Yuk.

Another funny thing was the vast number of options that exist for covering a bald face and head. I received hats with hair on them, bandaids with moustaches on them, fake beards, and bandanas with every variety of design and picture. My favorite was the Halloween bandana covered in spiders and skulls . Very “biker-ish”. Although the loss of my hair was upsetting, I chose to laugh about it.  I found that it helps those around you if you can stay upbeat and positive despite your circumstances. I trIed not be a a WHINER but to be a TROOPER and an INSPIRATION.  (check out my previous posts about SICKIES to get filled in on that)

It’s also funny how people lie to make you feel better when you’re sick. “You look great!”even though I looked like Uncle Fester on a bad day. I had no eyebrows, eyelashes, or hair and resembled a very tall baby pig. I never “looked great” before I was sick. It was usually “You look tired” or “You look like something’s wrong”, but once I had chemo for 3 months and could barely crawl down the hallway, I looked “AWESOME”. Best I ever looked, apparently, because it just kept coming. “HMMM? Maybe I should have shaved my head and plucked my lashes years ago. I must really look hot now!.  That must have been the missing ingredient to my beauty recipe. CHEMO! They should sell it on QVC in the “make yourself look great” segment. I’ll be famous and rich!  No more bags on my head! Can you imagine?”

“Thanks, Jane. What’s next? OOOH look! The chemo skin refinement and hair removal system…..a steal at $12, 999.00 a session.” “Wow, Joan. I think I’ll try one. What a deal!”

I started this blog while recovering from cancer surgery. I recently went back to work but due to some new issues am again recovering, have a new case of CABIN FEVER and am anticipating more surgery. Ever try getting rest while in a hospital? It’s not easy. Every four hours they come in to get vital signs, draw blood, or my favorite, “Just checking on you” at 4 am, as I was just getting to sleep after the last interruption. When you finally get to go home after 4 days with no sleep, sitting in a wheelchair, with tubes still  sticking out of you, someone will see you in the hall and say “Hey, how are ya? Going home already? Wow! You look great!”

Stay tuned for “Laugh When You Can -part two” coming this weekend.

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