laughing at cancer

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

                                                       ~*~*~*~*GBE2 -Laughter*~*~*~*~



9 thoughts on “laughing at cancer

  1. Loving life and every second of it! One of the funniest families I know has a dad/husband who has been fighting multiple myeloma for over 7 years. It's been unrelenting and torturous for him and exhausting, heartbreaking for his wife and girls. But they laugh and joke constantly. They never waste a moment! Thanks for a completely apropos reminder Thanksgiving week to truly count your blessings and enjoy every minute of them!

  2. Absolutely a brilliant piece. Laughter makes us all better. Better people feel better and act better and let's face it, if you give up, it's over and it's all but impossible to give up if someone is making you laugh.

  3. One of my husband's dear friends has been battling cancer for about ten years now and was "supposed to" die soon after his diagnosis. He has now lived to see his kids into young adulthood, something that sounded impossible initially. He's one of the most joyful people I know and even when he struggles, physically, he looks for and therefore finds the funny side of whatever challenges he faces.

  4. @TamLyn – exactly, do not waste a moment!@Jo – oooo..brilliant? thank you lady, (that made me laugh!) @Mike – it is odd isn't it, with "all the time in the world" it is wasted, when it is limited, it is celebrated. @Beth – YEAH for him! Examples like that are exactly why my daughter thought, cancer makes people happy…that's okay, LIVE!!!!

  5. I can totally understand your daughter's comment, and how it must seem that anyone associated with cancer is somehow always happy. We do laugh to hide he tears, but I think we also laugh because we need to, because our body knows we need that boost and herds us into it. Great post :o)

  6. Laughter, one of greatest values this world has.It costs nothing to give, and yet it does so very much to lift the human spirit!Your words are wise and inspiring, laugh often, laugh hard….its a perfect remedy!Peace…Marc :)

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