by: Carl Benson

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We live our lives laughing at anything that stresses us out, dealing with family crises through humor, including unemployment, car accidents, parenting and just about anything else that might make one fret.

However, it wasn’t a laughing moment when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2004. It was one of the most helpfulness and hopeless feelings of my life. Yet, in that moment, despite my feelings, I decided to do what I have always done – not take life too seriously and; above all, make my wife laugh.

It started the day she was diagnosed. When the subject of a mastectomy came up, my youngest stepdaughter innocently asked, “Why does mommy need “them” anyway, she already has a man?” – as if a peacock’s beautiful plumage might be superfluous once it has chosen a mate.

Our creative approach to this experience quickly escalated into the Family Head-Shaving Days when my wife went through chemo. In general, we would find a way to make each step of this experience humorous in some way, just like we did everything else in our lives. Somehow it just made us move through the experience a little easier.

Thankfully, my wife is nine years past her diagnosis: healthy, and happy. She continues to laugh at her brief illness as though it were an alligator that just walked into a bar. Several times a year we participate in cancer-prevention fundraisers and share our humor with our unsuspecting audience. We dress up in zany costumes. I actually have bra-shaped tan lines as I type this from one of my costumes. I make sure everyone stays abreast of the abundant chest of zingers that cancer has afforded us.  🙂

When life presents a serious experience, you’re left with two choices: rack yourself in misery or make lemonade.

Choose wisely.


About this Guest Blogger

Carl Benson and his wife live in Michigan with an insatiable sense of humor. They demonstrate to others how to live life fully by bringing their brand of humor to various charity outings.

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