Life kicks sand in all of our faces. The face full of sand (or the dune up to your earlobes) is an invitation to be a jerk, but does not necessarily give you a license to be one.
No matter how dismal your situation may look, you still have choices, even if they are not the ones you’d planned on having. You can choose to be married to your diagnosis, or you can choose to be bigger than mere physical stuff. You have no choice about being in need, but you can choose not to be needy. No matter how reduced your circumstances, you still have a responsibility to be alive.
None of us is born knowing innately how to deal with someone who is suddenly outside the usual order of things. You can choose to help your friends learn how to be with you (and, consequently, others), and you can choose to give them the pleasure of doing something for you. Always say thank you, but remember, you get to choose whether you say it warmly or glistening with hoarfrost.
And for those days when you have no response left, and everyone seems to have scattered, just shake your fist and yell, well, @+$% it!
Life may deal you a bad hand or take away a good hand you were already dealt. The way you play the hand is how your life is defined. Just like in poker you can end up winning no matter how bad the cards are you have.
A circumstance is a condition, and sometimes when you’re suddenly hit with an unfortunate set of your very own, they can quickly morph from being what would normally be a temporary setback into something closely resembling a big, gloomy, threatening cumulonimbus cloud sure to make any respectable weatherman rush to fetch his brightest yellow slicker on the double.
And that’s okay.
But what’s imperative to keep in mind in the meantime is this: That cloud is not permanent, and neither are your circumstances. Circumstances do not banish you behind bars. They do not render you helpless. And they do not determine the outcome of your life.
Breast cancer is a very serious disease and should never be dismissed as something other than that. But learning to find humor in the midst of breast cancer can be helpful. Sometimes, a good laugh is good medicine.
Making fun of breast cancer might ruffle a few feathers, but for those who use laughter as a survival tool, it’s pretty easy to get a grasp on the power of a hearty belly laugh. And if you aren’t quite sure whether breast cancer can be funny, take a look at some YouTube videos of the aforementioned comediennes. The humor is dark but it is funny, and humor is healing.
I have a friend who was in the hot tub and one of her prostheses went rogue, floating away in the middle of a group of people. We joke about it, smile, and quickly retrieve it. Or the time my granddaughter asked me if my boobs would ever grow back – what do you do in a case like that? All I could do was laugh and continue our conversation. And then there was the time another friend was at the grocery store when one of her lightweight breast forms snuck out of her bra and settled just under my chin. By the time she realized it, a woman on the same aisle looked at her with a sly grin. I’m sure she thought she was stuffing her bra to make herself look more well-endowed. Just laugh and move on.
Although cancer is serious, humor can be a good antidote. Laughter lightens your mood and helps you cope. In fact, Mayo Clinic states that humor reduces stress, controls pain, improves your immune system and promotes healing. It’s one of many healing therapies that can enhance your quality of life and it’s available to everyone.