the best medicine

PUBLISHER'S NOTE - Sept/Oct 2018


By Louise Sukle

As awkward as it is, I think it’s important to find humor in any situation. Any woman who dared sneak a peek at her pancaked breast during a mammogram knows what I’m talking about.

Admittedly it’s hard to find humor in battling cancer, but it helps work your way out of the dark places. I had no idea such a rich variety of cancer humor existed. I’m glad cancer patients can still find humor in their everyday lives, and that they have the courage to share this with others.

In her blog, Perks of Having Cancer, psychologist and cancer survivor Florence Strang shares this priceless insight, “It is unethical to use one’s cancer to make other people’s problems seem insignificant. However it is totally acceptable to use your cancer as an excuse to avoid household chores. (I feel confident that the entire cancer community will back me up on that.)”

When Florence started blogging, she had no idea how it would change her life. What began as a little project to keep her spirits up through her cancer treatments not only helped her, but there were others out there getting inspiration from what she was writing.

When she lost her hair during treatment, Florence wrote, “Getting a hair in the food I am preparing is one less thing I have to worry about.” She added, “and if someone happens to find one, I can convincingly say ‘Hey, it’s not mine!’”

“Try to find the humor in any situation,” is breast cancer survivor and cartoonist Kate Matthews’s advice to anyone going through cancer. In a Huffington Postarticle, she tells this story: “I remember standing in a room naked with eight male doctors (some interns) standing around grabbing at my stomach to see if I had enough flesh for reconstructive surgery.” As awkward as it was, Kate says it was equally hilarious.

Woman columnist Deb Baer Becker wrote a story about a visit to her plastic surgeon after undergoing a double mastectomy and subsequent breast reconstruction. Her doctor suggested adding a stitch that would give each nipple dimension and make the nipple tip stand up. Deb took a pass on the doctor’s special nipple stitching skills because the one perk of a double mastectomy is not having to wear a bra anymore. “I’m going to wear halter tops and strapless dresses and backless dresses without ever having to cover up the high beams,” she wrote.

The comedian, cartoonist  and writers  mentioned here give you just a taste of how much is available. To learn more about any of the women included above visit the links listed below. 

Florence Strang’s blog

Debra Baer Becker’s columns

Huffington Post article about Kate Matthews

CBS article about Nicole Osborne