Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding the Humor in it All

Good Morning Cancer Survivors
In most situations humor can be found, even in cancer treatment. The medical profession is ripe for humor; the medical practitioners just don't expect it from their cancer patients which is why you have them at a disadvantage when you use it. I am the first to agree there is nothing humorous about being diagnosed with cancer. Once you've internally reconciled your diagnosis of cancer that it is what it is, and you've started the treatment journey, you have to let your sense of humor resurface and use it to your advantage during treatment.

I used humor as a defensive mechanism during treatment to mask my fear and anxiety and to provide a little enjoyment. I thought, even though I have cancer, I still have to live life and humor is a part of living life. Several months ago I had to get a CT scan of my lungs because of an infection. When I arrived at the radiology department for the scan they asked me the reason I was there because they knew I had been released and was finished with CT's and PET's for cancer. I responded that I had been getting my dose of CT radiation quarterly for the last five years and had felt my radiation level had declined and needed a radiation booster to keep my body's radiant glow in the dark. More importantly, I had become accustomed to being there every three months at 7:30PM and was going through withdrawal.

When I was deep in chemo treatment of five days a week for 4-5 hours each day, every fourth week, I found mosquitoes and chiggers wouldn't go near me. We would sit outside on the patio, mosquitoes biting everyone and swarming everywhere but they wouldn't bite me. The summer I was in chemo treatment and the following summer after I completed my last treatment round in early June, I never got a chigger bite. Before chemo, chigger bites would be all over my ankles and legs like bees on a hive. The humor was I had found a good side effect from treatment and a really expensive mosquitoe and chigger deterant that was covered by medical insurance. There were numerous occasions where humor rescued me from the drudgery of treatment and its side effects. Use your sense of humor to get through it. It's a great resource.

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