Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Laughter Is Medicine -by Joe

Balances.  Tears seem healthy to me in a cancer patient unless they become self-pity.  Anger also seems healthy, if it's aimed at cancer cells, helping motivate the battle.  You see both at a world reknown treatment facility like Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  But not much laughter.  We, among others, are working on that in our own little way.

The picture shows Heidi doing a hilarious 'housewife' commercial for her 'favorite' brand of scan dye in the SCCA lobby, the day she got a Bone Scan and a CT Scan shortly after diagnosis.  A couple months later, when I got diagnosed, we started an ongoing routine arguing about who had the prettiest tumor(s).  I remember times we'd read about some food or household item being carcinogenic, and one of us would say "Oh no! We might get cancer!"  I think regarding cancer itself, we both have developed a good 'sense of tumor'.

Even if someone doesn't like joking about cancer, there are plenty of reasons to keep laughing in life after diagnosis.  Funny movies to watch.  Loved ones to tease.  Pets to play with.  Even in the chemotherapy rooms, the excellent, professional staff have great senses of humor available to patients and families that are interested.  SCCA offers a free 'Laughs at lunch' series of comedy films for families & patients.

I saw an interesting research article at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute website exploring the potentially healing, strengthening effects of laughter in cancer cases.  One mechanism was the release of the body's natural endorphins.  So when you hear a statistically significant punchline, chuckle!

As always, thanks for the support!

- Joe


  1. My husband and I shared more laughs during my cancer than the whole time we were married previously.

  2. Hubby and I know how to laugh heartily. Life in general is pretty funny. Especially our expectations thereof. roflol

  3. Thanks Joe, this is a very very helpful post for me because I definitely struggle with humor. I did make my sister giggle a bit though on benadryl.....I enjoy your funnies so much. Blessings to you and Heidi!

  4. Hey, Joe. This is Donna from the old Glorieta days. You and Heidi were heavy on my mind a few weeks ago so I sat down and found your website. My prayers and best wishes go out to both of you on this journey!

    I live in Alpine, TX, two hours from the entrance to Big Bend National Park. I was in Santa Fe at Thanksgiving, but neglected to "tour" Glorieta. I'm sure there's been lots of changes since 1976 when I worked there. I still love New Mexico and vacation there when possible.

    I wish the best for you both! I will check in on this site now and then now that I know how to find you. God bless you both.
    Donna Greene