My daughter wondered out loud what is it about cancer that makes people so happy? I was totally taken back at first…but it is true (from her standpoint especially)….all the people we have known who were diagnosed with cancer exuded joy.
One sweet friend, after losing all her hair to chemo, made the best of it and purchased three beautiful wigs – a sassy red, a cute short brunette and a glamorous blond. She wore them randomly, matter-of-factly – with a contagious smile and a chocolate bar in hand.
We’ve known feather boa wearers who clipped bold flowers on head scarves and others who only wore the most colorful outfits…..they always had a nice thing to say, seemingly laughing their way through treatments, facing mortality with joy. – now, I knew a little darker side, saw more of the fear and sadness….but as far as my little girl was concerned….cancer made them happy. After all, the cancer walks are full of happy pink ribbon-wearing people and visits to the cancer treatment center at the hospital was always full positive images and nurses wearing colorful scrubs…and smiles.
We had to have a little talk about the possible reasons why…. to be honest, it was hard to explain. I “knew” what they were doing, but was stuck on an answer that made any sense…laughter is powerful, the infectious nature reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity….it does not come naturally after being issued the diagnosis, my friends -chose- to laugh.
When faced with a cancer diagnosis, it is said that laughing is one of the most beneficial things to do. Laugh and pray, pray and laugh…a will to live, faith and optimism…we don’t have to really understand how it all connects, only that it does.
Watch those laughing baby clips on YouTube….the laughing scene on Mary Poppins…your favorite comedian…cartoons….tell bad jokes…laugh out loud, go out in a feather boa if you want, dance in elevators – be willing to live a little louder and you will be able to face ~whatever~ a little stronger.
“Laughter in and of itself cannot cure cancer nor prevent cancer,
but laughter as part of the full range of positive emotions including
hope, love, faith, strong will to live, determination and purpose,
can be a significant and indispensable aspect of the total fight for recovery.”
-Harold H. Benjamin, PhD
Walking on the Wild Side
laughing zebras come up about half way through the 2 minute clip