A Mother and her Two Daughters

29 September 2010

Cancer with a Twist of Humor

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” 
                     – E. E. Cummings

All of us were born with the gift of laughter.  And while some choose to use the gift more than others, laughter is considered by many in the healthcare community to be medicinal.

Medical journals have acknowledged that laughter therapy can help improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.  The evidence is so strong that many hospitals now offer laughter therapy programs as a complementary treatment to illnesses like cancer and heart disease. 

Research by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore found that laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack.  It has also been found to reduce stress, boost your immune system and enhance brain chemistry. 

Did you see the movie Patch Adams?  Dr. Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams still practices medicine today in the Washington, DC, area where he continues to utilize laughter therapy as an integral part of his patient treatment.   

So, in the spirit of good humor, here are a few laughs for the day . . .


Yesterday I met up with my oncologist for the first time in weeks.  You might remember my anxiety when I realized how long I would go without seeing him.  When a man like Dr. Makhoul has been a constant caretaker and your premier cancer healer, it’s was a bit scary to sever myself from the very frequent visits to his clinic. 

When we finally saw each other yesterday, here’s how the conversation went:

Dr. Makhoul (in his beautiful Syrian accent):  Oh my goodness, look at your hair.  Your hair looks so beautiful. 

Me:  Thank you, Doctor.  It feels good to have hair on my head again.

Dr. Makhoul:  Really, it looks so good.  You must love it. 

Me:  Yes, I do, other than the fact that it came back gray. 

Dr. Makhoul:  Oh, darn it.  I forgot to put the hair dye in your chemotherapy. 

Last week I posted my favorite new photo, the one of me and my girls on my 50th birthday. 

Today I’m going to post my new favorite t-shirt.  I even stopped by the UAMS gift shop to see if they could find me one.  This is completely appropriate considering where I am right now – restoring my shadow. 

We’ve all heard that laughter can be the best medicine.  And I agree.  A good belly laugh keeps my spirits high and helps me feel so happy wherever I am.  I thank my lucky stars that I grew up in a family where laughter was a big part of each day.  Thank you Mom & Dad, and Mike too!  It’s a contagious emotion that has long brought me closer to others and lets me feel more alive!  

Here's to tickling your funny bone and having a good dose of laughter today!  


  1. That is SO funny - Love Dr. Makhoul and love the T-shirt. Thanks reminding us to laugh. This is such a wonderful blog.

  2. Stacy-- Google the t-shirt, you can order them on the internet. You definitely need to have one.

  3. Love your story and your picture in AY. Seriously, you look so elegant and stylish with your short hair.

    Laughter, I love it. After 1st grade Nikara told me how she loved me and told me I was the best teacher, I waited for her next compliment when she said Ms.Blann can I tell you something and then she said, "You got a big ole booger hanging out your nose"

    You can always trust a first grader to put you back in your place.


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