We start things off today with a passage from Barbara Delinsky’s book UPLIFT. I keep this book in the downstairs powder room and depending on the amount of time I’m in there … oh never mind, you don’t need to know this … After receiving Bonnie’s uplifting phone call yesterday after her first expansion process with our Plastic Surgeon I returned home to find my wife in a great mood. The television was off, our daughter Logan was home and we sat back and enjoyed the peace and quiet offered by the gorgeous weather and the fact that Bonnie’s visit was so positive. During my visit to the powder room I opened up the book to the section on “Humor” and started reading. Below is a verbatim passage from the section titled “You Gotta Laugh …”
“No way, you’re thinking, and it’s understandable. The last thing you can imagine when you first learn you have breast cancer and become embroiled in the haze of doctor’s appointments, treatment schedules, and family needs is laughter. After a bit, though, the haze clears. You start adjusting to the reality of the diagnosis – finish making decisions, adapt to a new routine – and your mind isn’t as cluttered. Nor is your mouth as busy talking with everyone and his brother after that first frenzy. So. That mouth can either turn down, stay flat, or turn up. It’s your choice. ¶ Members of the sisterhood opt for the latter. Val Long, who was diagnosed in 1999 at the age of 47, is currently an administrative assistant for the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition. She wrote, “Laughter is a big help. Believe it or not, there are a lot of funny things that happen when you’re being treated for cancer. Learn to see the funny side. Everything has one. ¶ Asha Mevlana gives a good example of this. A musician from New York, she was diagnosed in 1999 at the age of 24. “Keeping a sense of humor definitely helped me get through the worst. Right around the time when my hair started coming out in clumps, my friends and I happened to be out at a restaurant. The food was taking a while, so when the waitress came over, I pretended to get angry. I grabbed my hair with both hands, said I was getting very frustrated that it was taking so long, and pulled huge chunks of hair out in a fit of fake anger. Her mouth dropped. We got our food shortly thereafter. ¶ It isn’t just survivors who talk about the importance of humor. Researchers are starting to talk about it, too. While psychologists have long praised humor as a way of decreasing anxiety and stress, more formal studies are showing the actual physiological effects of laughter. Some studies make a connection between laughter and improved circulation and respiration; others suggest that laughter can increase the production of pain-reducing endorphins, or even enhance the immune system. Yet other studies chart a rise in heart rate, circulation, and blood pressure during robust laughter, akin to the most beneficial effects of aerobic exercise.”
Bonnie was on the phone early Sunday morning with our friend Betsy. Logan and I were downstairs doing our thing. I looked over at Logan and said “when Betsy’s sister Margie gets her – plan on this type of laughter the entire time!” I don’t know how long those two were on the phone but there were massive bursts of laughter coming from the bedroom which put smiles on our faces each time we heard it.
The network of friends we have and the laughter associated with your numerous phone calls, coupled with the great mood she was in yesterday puts the day in the A+ category – PERIOD. Later in the evening Bonnie received calls from her lifelong Boyle St/Brookhead Circle partner; Mary where the laughter continued, along with her conversation with her sister Carrie. I love all of you for keeping her close, keeping her laughing and reminding her she CAN and WILL get through this.
Today we have no scheduled doctor appointments and Bonnie was in great shape when I left for work this morning. I brought her the morning coffee, some rye toast while she watched the morning news. A day with the Lu-dog, drain free. I’m hoping there’s still some wine left when I get home. 🙂
Keep her close you guys.