When we are diagnosed with breast cancer, we often start looking at life as a glass half empty. But more often, we see some survivors who adopt several useful mechanisms to combat the illness; one of which is — humor and sarcasm.
A lot of breast cancer patients have taken to humor to poke fun at cancer and its consequences that affects their physical appearances with rapid weight reduction, hair loss, failure of cognitive abilities and so on. Some claim that the humor also lets them address the fearful, sensitive and embarrassing experiences they go through during their struggle with the illness, hence diminishing their psychological impacts.
“…using humor and sarcasm to deal with dark episodes in life, like being diagnosed with a deadly disease, is definitely an effective coping mechanism for me and many others. It was not my go-to when I was first diagnosed — that was along the lines of shock, tears, grilled cheese sandwiches and running — but I started taking potshots at cancer and everything associated with the disease (bad hospital gowns, platitudes about my ‘cancer journey,’ etc.) soon thereafter. Using humor helps to diminish cancer’s power and the fear that comes with it.”
I’m sarcastic. Always have been. It’s a gift, and a curse. I use it in numerous situations even if somewhat inappropriate (hence the curse), but it has certainly helped me deal with stupid, crappy cancer.
The beauty of using sarcasm is that once you look at things from that vantage point, you can’t stop. And if you commit yourself to coming back with funny anecdotes (funny to me at least) you start to look for the humor in everything. It’s a great tool that keeps me from being ill tempered, and puts a smile on my face! It’s really the only way to deal with crappy cancer and the other pits of life.
I went into this without much knowledge of what they were going to do. I showed up. I trusted these people and placed my total faith in God. I had a discussion with my surgeon about reaching through the incision to get all that fat out from under my arms though! And while he’s in there, could he reach way down and suck some of this fat out of my stomach? A girl can ask, can’t she?
And while I’m at it, let’s stop acting like this is normal…A “mastectomy” is a euphemism for an amputation! That’s the English word used prior to 1950. But of course, we are more polite in our speech these days. Why has the removal of a woman’s breast become so completely normal these days? If I had bone cancer in my leg and it was amputated, would that be normal? What if it ran in my family and I had it removed to be safe, as women sometimes opt for with their breasts. The whole PINK campaign to make women (and men) aware of their breasts have feminized it and made it a normal occurrence. There’s nothing ‘normal’ to me about having my girls whacked off! How do we prepare ourselves for this? I was so vulnerable and NOT in control. I haven’t even begun to experience the physical and emotional pain from this ‘amputation’. I’m not trying to make everyone know how uncomfortable I feel here, but ‘awareness’ (although a good thing) has become so commercialized that it seems perfectly ‘normal’ for a woman to have breast cancer and loose her mammaries!