Humor and Cancer

Humor and Cancer

by Angie Robinson

So, what is humorous about Cancer? Actually nothing, but using humor is very helpful in coping with Cancer treatment. Once you get over the shock of diagnosis, it is time to focus on treatment. Treatment is more than the medical options. Research has already demonstrated that a positive attitude is very important in dealing with Cancer.

How can a person focus on the positive when dealing with a negative disease? There are several options. Laughter is one of the easiest exercises to gain a more positive outlook. Laughter triggers the endorphins in the brain that make us feel better. You can practice laughing even when you don’t feel like laughing. There are numerous on-line videos to laugh along with. Laughter is contagious, so hearing another laugh can easily spark your own laughter.

As I dealt with my own Cancer diagnosis, I laughed as much as possible until I lost my voice, and laughing caused coughing fits. I was then able to use a more humor approach each day. I watched comedies as much as possible. I read funny stories and cartoons. The AATH Facebook page was very helpful with this. These things made me smile. A smile also triggers positive endorphins.

I focused on looking for the silver lining in the side effects of chemo. I lost my appetite, but lost the weight I had been trying to shed for years. My fingernails got stronger and longer than ever before. I became more focused on nutrition and maintaining my health. I shared with the doctors and nurses about laughter and humor. My doctor said I was the most positive patient he had seen.

Of course, I had days that were difficult when I did not smile at all. But I knew that if I didn’t work on keeping my attitude positive, I would be in trouble. Another strategy was focusing on what I had to be grateful for in my life. We all have people and things in our life for which we are grateful. This would give me motivation to manage through the side effects.

For anyone facing Cancer, these simple steps can help make the journey a little more pleasant, and hopefully improve the outcome. To review, laugh as much as possible, focus on humor in what you watch or read, look for the silver linings and acknowledge what you have to be grateful for in life. I am now Cancer free, but I continue to focus on these steps to maintain and improve my health.

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