©2017 Humor Beats Cancer | Humor Beats Cancer is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization.

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Cover and page art by Natalie Battaglia • Logo by Stacy Curtis

Humor Helps Shift the Cancer Mindset

My name is Anita and I'm currently undergoing consolidation chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I come from a big place up north called Canada where the health care is FREE! But the truth of the matter is, there is a lot of people who don't have that and end up depending on insurance approval before they even begin their healing journey; and that is no laughing matter.


There's nothing humorous about cancer period.


But being in the right mind frame and even using humour during what I like to call your "healing journey" is crucial.


I was 32-years-old when I was first diagnosed. Being the youngest on a unit filled with patients that seemed to have given up mentally has given me the drive to instill some positive thinking and laughter to those around me.


I have noticed that humour works best to break the ice when I meet new people in the unit so I usually end up making fun of myself. One of my most memorable stories happened to me recently when I decided to expose my new "haircut."


When I walked into my hospital room a new nurse who was taking my vitals asked me if I've just been in jail! "Is it because of my bad-ass look?" I replied.

With an unsure look in his eyes, the nurse was very confused and I think at that point a little scared. Since then, you can't imagine how many jokes this situation has given me and the countless smiles it has put on other patients faces when I tell them.


Just seeing even one other person smile in this unit because of me has given me the drive to continue to use humour and positivity to bring people together and to shift their mindset.


Maybe it is true what they say that laughter is the best medicine!