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By Christine Clifford
Last August, the 21st to be exact, I tripped over my son’s hockey skates (I know, I know…hockey skates in the middle of summer?!? But hey, that‘s what we do here in Minnesota), broke my toe, tore two tendons in my wrist, and thoroughly damaged my pride. Under ordinary circumstances and for the average person, this would be just one of life’s little “mishaps”.
The real challenge lay ahead, however, when over the course of the next several months, I rebroke the toe another four times…in the same place, mind you, as I have a condition known as “chemotherapy induced osteoporosis”. Now, the first time, I was angry at my clumsiness. The second time I was astounded at my stupidity. The third time I was stunned that I wasn’t being cautious enough. The fourth time was truly an accident. But the fifth time, I simply had to laugh.It was someone’s way of telling me that I needed some new material…
“Finding the humor in life’s challenges, and particularly as it relates to the cancer experience, is what helps us to get through the day…”
Finding the humor in life’s challenges, and particularly as it relates to the cancer experience, is what helps us to get through the day, reminds us of life’s absurdities, and provides relief from the stress and strain of our treatments. If you have been feeling sad or low, perhaps it is time to search for the humor in your life. In fact, the secret to a happy, joyful life is as simple as A,B,C…
Attitude is the key- be positive!
Believe in yourself- that you will get through your treatments.
Cheer others with your sunny disposition.
Donate your time to those less fortunate.
Eat dessert first!
Find a humor buddy to exchange jokes with.
Give the gift of laughter.
Ha ha, ho ho, hee hee. Tickle your funny bone.
Invite your friends over for a celebration.
Join a support group.
Keep your spirits up.
Laugh at least twelve times daily!
Make a journal of all the funny experiences you’ve had.
Nurse yourself with special treats every day.
Order something whimsical from a catalog.
Pursue a passion- something you have always wanted to do.
Quit that bad habit today!
Read a humorous book.
Smile at everyone you pass by.
Talk to an old friend you have not heard from in ages.
Upbeat tapes and videos can cheer you.
Visit your relatives- even the ones who annoy you.
Write thank you notes to your caregivers.
Yes I Can are words to repeat every day.
Zzzzz… get plenty of rest to be your best!
I finally got the casts off my wrist and foot four months later, just in time for the holidays. This month I will travel to Arizona to escape the cold Minnesota winter, and when I finally tee-up a golf ball, it will be six months to the day that I first broke my toe. But I haven’t felt sorry for myself, harbored anger or despair. Because I know that I have braved far worse and come out on the other side a far better person.
What ever bumps and bruises life sends your way, step back, remember the simple things in life, and don’t forget to laugh!
Christine Clifford Beckwith, CSP is CEO/President of The Cancer Club, a company that markets humorous and helpful products for people with cancer (www.cancerclub.com). She is the author of four books including Not Now. I’m Having a No Hair Day!, Our Family Has Cancer, Too! Cancer Has Its Privileges: Stories of Hope & Laughter, and her newest book, Your Guardian Angel’s Gift. (800)586-9062. Don’t forget to laugh! TM