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Use Humor to Cope, and There Are No Rules

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For several years before her cancer diagnosis my wife, Chris, received a monthly newsletter on healthy lifestyles with an emphasis on nutrition. (It came by U.S. Mail… on paper… remember those??)

About six months after her diagnosis, while in the middle of her treatment, we received a renewal notice for the newsletter. When I asked Chris whether she wanted to renew she said, “Give me the notice.”

She returned it a few minutes later; on it she had written, “I’ve been receiving your newsletter for several years and I did what you said. I got cancer anyway. Now I eat pie.”

I laughed and said, “You want me to send this back to them?”

She said, “Yep! Send it just like that.”

I sent it with a grin and we never heard from them again.

Frankly, I don’t know how they reacted to Chris’s note. My guess is that a clerk opened the letter, read the note, canceled the subscription, and went about her day without even giving it a second thought.

Here’s the lesson: use humor to cope, even if the humor is just for you. Most people think of humor as something that you laugh about out loud, and with others. There are no rules, though: who says you have to have an audience? Both of us had smiles in our hearts over that one about a week, and the smile came back for me just now by telling the story to you.

Oh, sure, it’s more fun to be funny when you can see folks’ reactions, but even subtle fun will do the job, which is to help you feel better and to get those endorphins going that will help you heal.

Dealing with cancer or another major illness? For more stress management tips and techniques visit http://www.CopingUniversity.com where world-class experts share their wisdom to help you cope. Hours of FREE online audio programs will help reduce your stress and restore your hope. Topics are unique, unusual, fascinating, and just plain fun! Learn how to find humor when nothing seems funny, how to love the way you look no matter what, and how to be romantic even during a serious illness. Our online content is free, so visit today!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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