Laughter and prayer - the best medicine

To say that my family enjoys a light moment is an understatement. My husband’s dry wit was one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place and his father was a comedic jewel. Dad White was always keeping everyone laughing and smiling. My own father was a very quiet man (let’s face it – he couldn’t get a word in edge-wise!) but whenever he spoke it was either very important or funny. My sister looked like Carol Burnett and has always been a hilarious clown despite her two fights with cancer. We’ve had a lot of fun through the years.
Starting with Valentine’s Day of this year the tables could have turned if we had allowed. Things could have gotten fairly dim at our house but the Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” So we have persevered with laughter.
On February 14th I reported to the women’s clinic for those wonderful medical imaging miracles called mammograms. Yep, folks – I had found a lump so I knew that the next few days might be harrowing. My daughter accompanied me every step of the way and we just kept smiling. Two days later the biopsies began.
Now those things make mammograms look like a sunny walk in the park. To say that the experience is “cold” just doesn’t do it justice – what I say is that you just haven’t lived until you’ve walked around with ice packs in your bra! Now, that is an experience.
Two days after the biopsies the visits to the surgeons began due to a tubular carcinoma – another cute phrase for breast cancer.
Well, I’ve never been one to do things without flair so I have to approach this the same way. My biopsies showed the tubular carcinoma in the right side and “atypical, suspicious” tissue in the left. On March 3rd I’ll have a lumpectomy on the right and a “deep biopsy” on the left since more tissue is needed to determine what the next course of action will be.
During all this we had not told my two school aged sons or my 3 adorable grandchildren about any of this. We hadn’t wanted to alarm them needlessly. We still don’t have a definitive plan for treatments but will after the lumpectomy and deep biopsy so we decided to tell the kids when they were all together.
That evening my daughters family was over so we called everyone into the living room. “Come to the living room – we have to have a family conference,” went the call. My oldest son, a senior in high school, said, “This had better be important – when Dad calls a family conference it’s always over something dumb!” My oldest granddaughter – almost thirteen – looked at her mom and said, “Are you pregnant?” when my youngest son – fourteen – chimed in with “Have we won the lottery – are we rich?”
When everyone was settled we began to explain the process and tried to keep a smile on our faces and a positive attitude – after all, attitude will get you everywhere. The fourteen year old boy is a budding guitarist and had his acoustic with him. When we got to the end of the explanations he broke out into a rock rhythm on the guitar – “Mom’s got a growth in her boob, da-da-da-da-da; and one in her armpit, too. da-da-da-da-da. The doctor won’t like it one bit, da-da-da-da-da, when he gets in that stinky pit, da-da-da-da-da.”
By this time everyone was screaming with laughter, the two youngest grands were rolling in the floor but we “adults” tried to keep our dignity by remaining off the floor. Approximately four more verses were made up by those in attendance and the laughter continued.
It proved to be a great way to break this news and gave all of us a different outlook.
Our other component is our faith. We haven’t missed a beat yet and we won’t – God is too good to all of us for us to give up now! I think He loves a good laugh , too.
Just this morning my pastor’s wife – a darling young woman who is one of my daughter’s best friends – gave us a card that said “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” On the inside the verse reads, “But when life hands you a load of crap, don’t make anything. Trust me on this one.” She added that since we were the “quirkiest family in town” she thought it just fit too well! Needless to say, it is my very favorite card ever received from a friend.
So, dear friends – please keep those prayers coming, we trust in the Lord and we know He will get us all through many things. But I also ask that when you pray you smile and give a hearty laugh – prayer and laughter, the two best medicines ever!

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