Laughter is Empowering
By Debbie Kerr
We all have different things that make us laugh. It could be anything like a joke, a picture, a video, a TV program, or a movie. With all the media that is available to us online, there is always something to make us laugh.
Sometimes it's just the situation we're in that makes us laugh. You know those times where you can feel the tension in the room and you just can't take it anymore. You start to laugh and either people start to laugh with you or everyone looks at you like you've lost your mind. Sometimes just that look can make you laugh even harder. This is when you might use the line, "You'll laugh about this later."
Laughter can be a great coping technique. The more stress there is, the greater the laughter. Some people naturally use this technique while others seem shocked by it; it's not how they would react and so it's unexpected. Those people may go so far as to act like laughing is wrong.
With a cancer diagnosis and the challenges that follow, knowing when to laugh and when to cry can be a challenge of its own. There's no right or wrong answer. Just as each person's cancer is unique, so too are the emotions that come with it. Something that you, as a cancer patient, find funny will be upsetting to someone else. It doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong, it might come down to timing.
There are so many firsts in the cancer experience. It could be the first time you look at yourself after surgery on your breasts. It could be seeing your hair fall out in clumps and then seeing yourself for the first time when you are completely bald. It could be the first day that passes when you don't have to go for a chemo or radiation treatment. Each first experience requires an adjustment period and, once that period is over, it becomes a lot easier to laugh.
It's been seven years since I was diagnosed with cancer. I laughed during the experience and I continue to laugh about certain aspects of it even today. Don't get me wrong. The experience was not so funny that I would like to have cancer again; however, I recognize and appreciate the power of laughter and how it can make a difficult situation much better.
Take a look at my short presentation of what I found funny. I hope it adds a little humour to your day.
Over 30-years of writing experience, about 10 years as a cancer survivor, and a lifetime purveyor of wit and laughter.
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