The Funniest Things?
An account I follow on Instagram (@humanbeatscancer) recently asked: "What is the funniest misconception you had about cancer?" Many of the responses were also about the misconceptions about the treatment of cancer as well.
Humor when living with MBC
Before anyone thinks that I think humor actually does anything to the rogue cancer cells that are proliferating out of control in my body and in others, please know that I don't. I do firmly believe that our mindset and disciplines we enact both on our body and our mind do make a difference in the experience of cancer and may actually re-train our instinctive responses.
Sometimes you just have to laugh
The use of humor, I believe, does affect our mood, our mindset, our outlook, and thus our experience with cancer. And this account is a good help to keep me focused on the funny silver linings that do come about. At some point in my experience with cancer, I've just had to laugh, had to look on the bright side, had to look away from all the awfulness that stares us in the face day in and day out.
Humor to deal with annoying side effects
Our bodies really do unexpected things at times. Some of you may remember my post Top 10 Worst Places to Lose One's Hair and how humor does help in dealing with side effects that are annoying and ever-present. So too are the funny things about the experience of cancer.
Finding the silver lining
Like how freeing it is not to have hair in the hottest part of the summer in Florida. In the summer of 2017, I lost my hair after chemo. I've had thick, plentiful, dark, and somewhat wiry hair since I was born. I was literally born with a full head of hair and it grows like a weed. I was worried about losing my hair, thinking it would be demoralizing and dehumanizing. Little did I know how much I would enjoy not messing with it in the morning and the coolness of no hair would be a welcome relief in the hot Florida summers. Plus, the cute headbands and headscarves and hats I found.
No more pants and no more makeup
Like how much I enjoyed not putting on the "uniform" of a practicing lawyer every day. Not having to put on makeup and worry about my outfit matching my shoes and wearing hose or leggings or pants. I can't even articulate how much I love not wearing traditional pants. Yoga pants have become my mom-uniform and I love it. Yes, I do like putting on makeup once in a blue moon and I try to remind everyone that if I'm with them and wearing makeup, it's a big deal.
Listening to my body
Like how much I enjoy sleeping in on days when I don't have to jump out of bed and rush to the office or rush to appointments. Closing my office and accessing disability means that I can listen to my body and rest when I need to. I don't have to push myself to extremes the way I did when I was running a law office, juggling two children, nursing and pumping every 2-3 hours, carrying the responsibilities of my employees and clients. I'd become way too busy and way too over-extended. Cancer made me lay all of that down and appreciate time with my family more.
And I'll leave you with the response I posted on Instagram...
"I didn't realize that when I elected for nipple-sparing surgery when I had my oncoplastic reduction (a modified lumpectomy that gave me a life and reorganized my tissue to fill in the divot left by the lumpectomy), that my nipples would be stuck in the same position forever. I'd been breastfeeding and pumping for 4 years straight. Now, everyone thinks I'm super happy to see them, all the time."
I'll leave you to interpret that one!
What's your favorite silver lining that came from cancer that you didn't expect? Doesn't have to be funny, but extra points if it is. :)
Caregivers: Do you practice self-care?