PDA

View Full Version : The NEED for Laughter


cheri
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 06:11 PM
I recently read a post by Ryan Jay (AA forum) with the title
"We all scream when we eat ice cream"........( or close to it) and it made me laugh out loud. Then I posted a wisecrack reply and someone pm'd me that they thought it was funny. Humor is a HUGE part of my "real" life.

It then occured to me that I never laugh when I'm on this site. I feel educated, supported, hopeful, empowered, and inspired...I also feel ignorant, confused, defeated and overwhelmed and just plain sad. Sometimes I just want to feel a little bit "lighter"( in more ways than one...) I check this site daily and some days would like a little emotional lift...or provide some positive reinforcement as a way of giving back to those who have taken the time to help or bolster me....

I think there are a bunch of smart, amazing people on here who are all going thru the worst time in their life, myself included. Who see the irony in what has happened to us, and some of the random, funny experiences along the way...like how I went to a Leukemia fundraiser for someone else and was really excited about a nite out, dressed up...first one in a LONG time. As it turned out, could have bled to death because my platelets were ultra low and some drunk bimbo fell backward in her huge teak barstool and landed on my shin & ankle, that swelled and turned purple immediately....what are the odds? Why couldn't have I just won the 50-50?
Funny in an ironic sort of way... See, it's not all bad! lol....

Wonder how, in a tasteful way, we could incorporate a little levity? Not in a joke telling way, but some of the little things that make us chuckle or smile during this crazy experience. Laughter and inspiration. I have some other anecdotes that have happened as well....I think there are miracles all around us and I have experienced a few, through amazing coincidences. And some "angels" I have met too...I would like to hear those stories from others as well.

Perhaps we could lighten our day, either by establishing a new forum, or whatever....maybe no one else agrees, but if you do, please let me know! If not, I just wasted 5 minutes of your time...my apoligies....

Neil Cuadra
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 08:35 PM
Cheri,

You are absolutely right. I can appreciate your sad-funny story about the fundraiser and I invite you to tell us others.

My wife and I have always relied heavily on a sense of humor to get us through difficult times (and to enjoy good times that much more). Sometimes it's hard to avoid making a wisecrack when it comes to mind despite the risk that someone else will think we're making light of a serious situation. But, at least for us, humor is one of the best coping tools.

For some reason we still laugh when we think back on some of the mini-disasters during my wife's treatment. I guess they're some of the most memorable events.

One was when we were staying in a little residence unit on the hospital campus during my wife's pre-transplant radiation treatments:
The radiation left her nauseous and she'd get sick to her stomach at the slightest smell of food. It got so that just talking about food made her feel icky. The trouble was that we'd brought food supplies so that I could feed myself while taking care of her that first week.

The unit was like a tiny one-bedroom apartment, with a kitchenette area near the door. I'd stay in the kitchenette area and try to prepare myself food without letting any smells get over to the other side of the room. I made it a habit to go outside to eat my meals on a patio. Even though she had no appetite herself she wanted to know that I wasn't starving, but without discussing food. She solved the problem by saying "Tell me IF you ate, not WHAT you ate." I'd say yes.

One evening I microwaved myself a frozen dinner. While it was cooking I opened the patio door and put my tableware out there. Then, when the microwave beeped, I grabbed potholders, opened the microwave door, and as quickly as I could whisked the cooked dinner out of the room to the patio so I could eat it out of "nose range." But in the less than 2 seconds it was in the room, she got sick again. It was comically awful for her.


Now we laugh that she could be so sensitive that 2 seconds was too long to be in the room with food, and we still say "Tell me IF you ate, not WHAT you ate" to each other as a joke. :)

cheri
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 09:01 PM
See, I knew it! So good to hear from someone, especially you Neil! I was hoping for your approval, without putting you on the spot! Where should we put our humorous stories/inspirational messages?

Ah, there is good stuff in them there hills..........

I was given 3 months to live, in Oct 2009....been thru near death and back...
and believe me, I say ...HA HA! I'm still here! :D

Paula W.
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 09:28 PM
Cheri & Neil,

I loved your stories! Yes I believe that laughter is a great way to heal. Even if it just takes your mind off your illness for a couple of minutes, we all need to laugh.

Tonight my parents were over for dinner, I asked my mom if she would like a glass of wine or something, she asked if I had any blood in the fridge. She caught me so off guard, we laughed so hard. It's great when you can make light of a serious situation. Laughter will never hurt you!

God Bless,

Paula

cheri
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 09:30 PM
LOL!
Could you spare a glass of Pinot Platelets?
Ahhhh...
This is good!

Chirley
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 10:58 PM
What about the time the cancer centre nurse told me I had a lovely wig. I've never lost my hair, it's all my own. She was embarrassed but I thought it was very funny.

Ryan Jay
Sun Jan 30, 2011, 11:00 PM
My hematologist and I are both total wise asses! Sometimes, when it's quiet in the infusion room and we have just the regulars being treated, we'll play little pranks on the nurses.

She knows the kind of irreverent humor that wins me over.

I'll never forget the time that my counts started to rebound and I asked her if I had any restrictions on coffee or alcohol.

Her reply:

"Do you want to get drunk? Yes Ryan, let me call the pharmacist and see if we can get you drunk! If I had aplastic anemia, I would want to get drunk too. Do you want to do drugs as well?"

You have to imagine it in the voice of a 50-year-old woman with an Indian accent, and then it's WAY funnier.

This is a woman who had identified my symptoms and made the diagnosis almost on the spot, when other doctors were still floundering around guessing. I knew she was a keeper!!

*Haystack Calhoun was a rather large hairy old-school wrestler who wore overalls.

ifoundjimmyhoffa
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 12:32 AM
If any one ever watched Boy Meets World..

My little brother has always been a comedian - he was joking around in the ER the day before I was diagnosed to lighten the mood. He started saying "Paging doctor pudding....doctor chocolate pudding!" over and over again....until a short, indian man came in and introduced himself as my hematologist. To which my brother responded..."Paging doctor pudding..doctor chocolate pudding!"

Luckily, the doc wasn't offended. After he laughed, we all joined in too.

I have a few great stories from the last week of my hospitalization for transplant. (Shenanigans with night nurses when I was allowed into the hallways while the other kids were sleeping..we'll just say window chalk became a very popular thing on the hem/onc floor while I was there!) :D

Paula W.
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 08:10 AM
Cheri,

Look what you started!!!!! AWESOME!!!!

Paula

Marlene
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 09:53 AM
We used to joke that Johh's Transylvania lineage was in some way connected to his SAA. He was always a night person and prefers shade to sun.

Even at his worst times, he kept his sense of humor and would joke around with the nurses to help lighten the intensity of the day. We also got some good laughs, I guess at his expense in way, when they gave him the pre-meds for the cytoxan. He was so loopy and we were not used to seeing him that way...he was pretty funny.

cheri
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 11:31 AM
Laughing! (I need to wait 1/2 hour between meds and breakfast, so I often come on line) I was thrilled to see more posts!

The wig story cracked me up, and I'm imagining all sorts of funny things with sidewalk chalk on a hospital corridor floor....wish I had thought of that!
The others were great as well and I am so happy that others are willing to share their lighter moments!
Keep 'em coming!

Robi1Knobi
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 01:16 PM
My friends all accused me of being a vampire, that was the real reason I needed blood! I was working nights, sleeping all day, pale as a ghost, you get the picture!

Neil Cuadra
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 02:04 PM
Where should we put our humorous stories/inspirational messages?
Right in this thread!

We put it in the "Living with Illness" forum. A good sense of humor is a key to living well, keeping the right perspective, and fostering optimism. And you don't even have to go the pharmacy to get it!

kellym
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 02:08 PM
I couldn't agree more, laughter gets my daughter through in hospital and takes her mind of things, even more so when it's me being silly and she and the nurses can have a good laugh at me, i try to keep her happy and laughing as much as I can it really helps her.

Lisa V
Mon Jan 31, 2011, 02:17 PM
Back when Ken was getting ATG and being transfused, I became very familiar with those hang bags of saline solution. Around that time I went into a Sears store and just about lost it when I saw the cashier's name tag: "Saline". I'm sure she pronounced it "Celine", and probably wouldn't have got why I was cracking up, but every AAer I told that to thought it was funny.

Jen B
Wed Feb 2, 2011, 01:09 AM
Thanks for the laugh everyone.

I was videotaping my son getting his head shaved at the hospital, as hair on his pillow falling out from chemo/radiation was bugging him.

I just recently was looking back at pictures/videos - you see my cutie son with his grump on, but his emotion is eclipsed by the fact that the woman cutting his hair is wearing a low cut shirt. When she bends over to shave him in the 10 minutes of video - well, it should be rated X I guess...

My husband thinks it is the funniest thing!

Snuuze
Wed Feb 2, 2011, 11:58 AM
Great idea. All the ups and downs have opportunities to laugh somewhere if we look for them. Yesterday was my birthday and my daughter asked what I wanted. My reply: blood. I was scheduled for a transfusion. That won't really get your funny bones jiggling, but it's just part of how I look at this whole thing.

Neil Cuadra
Wed Feb 2, 2011, 10:28 PM
Yesterday was my birthday and my daughter asked what I wanted. My reply: blood. I was scheduled for a transfusion. That won't really get your funny bones jiggling, but it's just part of how I look at this whole thing.
I have a T-shirt that says "Got Blood?" as a spoof of the "Got Milk?" commercial slogan. I think they sell it for Halloween but I wear it anytime.

When I wore this shirt to one of our appointments at the hospital, not a single person commented or laughed. :( Maybe everyone is too respectful of privacy to say anything. In any case, WE think it's funny. :)

Marlene
Thu Feb 3, 2011, 08:42 AM
Wearing the mask got us interesting responses from strangers. We found that everyone moved away from us, especially in an elevator. I guess they thought John had something really bad they didn't want to catch.

The funniest was when we were walking behind a mother with her two children. Her son must have been about 3 yrs old and he saw John with his mask on. Must have been pretty scary for him because he started to push his mom and yell hurry up! hurry up! to get away from us. When the mom saw what was causing his distress, she smiled and shook her head and we all laughed.

But the sweetest response was when we walking around the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and a women came up to ask why John wore the mask and ask if we wouldn't mind if she put him on her prayer list.

To this day, the kindness from people we don't even know, is still emotionally overwhelming.

cheri
Thu Feb 3, 2011, 11:41 AM
That story reminded me of how I went into a health food store, and I randomly started speaking about tea to a very religious woman, who said that she missed her flight, and believed that she was meant to encounter someone special that day.
After telling her my story, she grabbed both of my hands and on the spot, prayed for my recovery and said that I was the reason and the person! VERY powerful stuff!
I also went to a lawyer I had never met, to draw up my will and get my affairs in order...he HUGGED me on the way out and said he would pray for me....
Then there was the girl selling cosmetic products....and the lady at the jewelry party, and......
Needless to say, I am humbled and so appreciative... What a comforting, generous thing to say "I'll pray for you"

Lisa V
Thu Feb 3, 2011, 02:24 PM
Has anyone tried drawing features on one of those masks? Seems like it might help break the ice and make people more comfortable if there was a big goofy grin on the front (no toxic markers, of course). Just a thought.

It's hard to gauge humor though, or to know what is appropriate unless you know the person or they give you a clue. I'm surprised Neil's "Got Blood?" T-shirt didn't at least get a chuckle from the nurses, although I wouldn't have expected other patients to say anything.

It's the same with shows of concern, particularly where religion is involved. Although we are not religious people, I have always been deeply appreciative if someone offers to include Ken in their prayers, because it means they care. On the other hand, I get very angry if someone tries to tell us everything will be okay if we just have faith. To the person saying it, those may seem like similar sentiments, but the intention behind them feels very different to me.

I was particularly moved when Ken's brother started going to a "remote healing" practitioner. Every week he'll call and find out what's going on and what areas are the most problematic, and then he goes to someone who uses him as a proxy to send healing vibrations across the ocean to Ken. Now, I don't for a minute believe this has any medical efficacy whatsoever, but it has turned what was formerly a distant relationship into a close one, and that's all that matters.

cheri
Thu Feb 3, 2011, 05:59 PM
Therein lies the "good medicine"....not all healing comes from a prescription!

cheri
Mon Jun 6, 2011, 10:08 AM
These never fail to crack me up...........

The Evolution of Dance, parts 1 & 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inLBPVG8oEU&NR=1
Enjoy! :)

BerryP
Tue Jun 7, 2011, 07:39 AM
I recently read a post by Ryan Jay (AA forum) with the title
"We all scream when we eat ice cream"........( or close to it) and it made me laugh out loud. Then I posted a wisecrack reply and someone pm'd me that they thought it was funny. Humor is a HUGE part of my "real" life.

It then occured to me that I never laugh when I'm on this site. I feel educated, supported, hopeful, empowered, and inspired...I also feel ignorant, confused, defeated and overwhelmed and just plain sad. Sometimes I just want to feel a little bit "lighter"( in more ways than one...) I check this site daily and some days would like a little emotional lift...or provide some positive reinforcement as a way of giving back to those who have taken the time to help or bolster me....

I think there are a bunch of smart, amazing people on here who are all going thru the worst time in their life, myself included. Who see the irony in what has happened to us, and some of the random, funny experiences along the way...like how I went to a Leukemia fundraiser for someone else and was really excited about a nite out, dressed up...first one in a LONG time. As it turned out, could have bled to death because my platelets were ultra low and some drunk bimbo fell backward in her huge teak barstool and landed on my shin & ankle, that swelled and turned purple immediately....what are the odds? Why couldn't have I just won the 50-50?
Funny in an ironic sort of way... See, it's not all bad! lol....

Wonder how, in a tasteful way, we could incorporate a little levity? Not in a joke telling way, but some of the little things that make us chuckle or smile during this crazy experience. Laughter and inspiration. I have some other anecdotes that have happened as well....I think there are miracles all around us and I have experienced a few, through amazing coincidences. And some "angels" I have met too...I would like to hear those stories from others as well.

Perhaps we could lighten our day, either by establishing a new forum, or whatever....maybe no one else agrees, but if you do, please let me know! If not, I just wasted 5 minutes of your time...my apoligies....

I have AA and when I was first diagnosed we did not have a prognosis so it has become a standing joke with us that my husband will find a thai bride. It has become shorthand for when stuff gets grim to call it thai bride time. It is so much easier to wisecrack through this than to sit and be sad. I got some blood the other day which made me feel drunk and my sister in law commented well so what beggars can't be choosers! Someone the other day wanted some support and I said, i'm in your corner, I may be slumped in your corner, but i'm in your corner. I am nicknamed Huff Puff. I'll support a laughter forum.

cheri
Tue Jun 7, 2011, 10:17 AM
Berry P
LOL! "Beggars can't be choosers"....great way to start my day...thanks!

Karenish
Mon Jun 13, 2011, 02:03 PM
Laughter is essential for so many positive reasons, laughter actually releases endorphins into the blood stream, even a genuine smile can do that too. I am naturally a giggle box, and have found it an absolute life line through all of this...
stories to share.
whilst in isolation i was getting extremely bored, so, when the nurses were doing their handover outside the rooms I would stand at the door looking through the window and would slowly bend my knees so it looked as if i was going up and down in a lift, it would crack them up everytime - i even heard the head nurse say one evening "and this is karen miles, well, she is being karen" and everyone smiled which i thought was such a positive but funny moment.
Another is always at transfusion time, I sit in the chemo unit ordering red wine and a bag of gin and orange - then when they put the piriton in I will smile inanely and say something on the lines of being a little drunk, makes everyone smile. On the ward, I got so bored one day (I am an occupational therapist, so the clinical staff expect me to be creative) I got those little "hat" things that people pee or be sick in and made it into a hat - the nurses faces when they walked in with the consultant and I just sat there wearing it was a picture. I decided that this disease was never ever going to rob me of my personality and although it has tested me I will keep that resolve. I am no way out of the woods yet and am now 3 months post ATG with no real signs yet although whites and nutrafils have improved, but as I say to everyone, I am special my marrow is special and in a very highly theatrical voice I finish with "so we will improve our counts when we want to" and then I stomp my foot!!!
I love an audience...can you tell?
have a lovely day all xxxx

Darice
Mon Jun 13, 2011, 06:44 PM
My husband got his stem cell transplant in Omaha, Nebraska, and we spent the 2+ months together in a hospital room/suite with a mini kitchenette, etc., much like Neil described. Many of the transplant patients were dealing with nausea, again much like Neil described. Not my crazy German. One of our nurses came in to check on us the evening of the transplant (or maybe it was the next evening?). She found us sitting at the coffee table feasting on sardines and black bread. :eek: I think he is still a legend there.

She couldn't understand how anyone could eat anything like that anytime, never mind right after a stem cell transplant. One of our doctors was Dutch . . . he understood.

cheri
Thu Jun 23, 2011, 10:38 AM
On last nights 11:00 news:

"Someone left 2 trash bags of human vomit outside of a "Bed Bath and Beyond" store at a local mall.

One of those bags weighed in at 35 pounds."

:confused:

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it just reminds me that there is always someone out there who is worse off than I am!

Juli F.
Tue Nov 1, 2011, 04:19 PM
So many things along this journey to remember, but one of my favorites is what more or less set the tone for my life. My first oncologist was supposed to be in touch with Moffitt Cancer Center as a consult for my chemotherapy. He wasn't, and when I found out, with much pushing he called. I was on the WRONG chemo! He had me on ESHAP and I should have been on Hyper CVAD. He stopped the first and admitted me to the hospital for four days of the second. It turned into 30 days with a stay in ICU. I had pneumonia, kidneys shut down, septic, temp of 105 and pulse of 238. Believe it or not they asked my husband if he wanted to call a priest :) he thanked them and said no, she will make it...and I DID. Wonderful, except when I got out the doctor said, "I'm going to put you on hospice and cut the chemo....you're not strong enough to take it and even if you made it through the chemo there's no way you'd make it through a BMT." THIS after I was just released from ICU! He also said I'd be dead by Christmas (three months). I went home and prepared for my lack of future. Then, after four days I said, "wait a minute, I'm calling that Doctor who confirmed my diagnosis at Moffitt Cancer Center". Dr. Eduardo Sotomayor refused to let me stop hoping and told me that I could make it. He put me through chemo at Moffitt only this time I was out in 5 days like it should be. After six arms I went into remission and had my BMT and was put under the care of Dr. Claudio Anasetti ~ NEVER could I say enough about these two wonderful, caring physicians. One year after my transplant I went to visit my former oncologist and when he saw me he almost fell over~ I told him, "This is the ghost of Christmas Past coming to say hello!" NEVER tell someone they are going to die, there is no expiration date on my toe! :) I am now two and a half years post transplant with testing due on Nov. 15. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers that all will continue to be well. Smile ~ life is good.

donna j.
Tue Nov 1, 2011, 07:57 PM
After work last night I went to my hemotologist to begin my 3rd round of Vidaza. Much to my chagrin, he informed me my numbers were down, he was postponing the chemo and I needed a red blood transfusion. He gave me the paperwork to bring to the hospital in the morning. I drove to the hospital, alone, early this am, calling work as I drove, that I was getting another transfusion. Once in the hospital, still bummed out, I texted my son and brother to let them know, what was going on. My son texted back "Go With the Flow". I loved it!: