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drawing of a turkey in makeup and holding a sigh with the R X symbol HOW I STARTED LAUGHING: MY FIRST CANCER JOKE

Stanley Kubrick's satirical, 1964 black comedy "Dr. Strangelove" has the biting subtitle, "How I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Love The Bomb."

Well, it took me a couple of months before I learned to find humor in my situation but when I did, it was funnier than "Strangelove" or any movie that had made me laugh.

My first laugh

My first laugh after diagnosis came not from something I heard or saw but something I imagined. It wasn't THAT funny but I nearly choked with laughter. It was the first time I had tears of joy, rather than sorrow, and it felt wonderful. Here it is:

I needed a new wallet and imagined going to a store and finding a nice one. It had a tag reading "Lifetime Guarantee." I imagined turning to the clerk and asking, "Do you have anything that will last the rest of the year?"

Now, nearly two years later, it still makes me smile.

My first real joke

I always wondered where jokes came from until I thought up one. You have know the side-effects of PCa hormone therapy to really appreciate it.

Doctor: Well, we better discuss treatment now for your prostate cancer. I recommend hormone therapy.
Man: Are there any side-effects?
Doctor: A few. You will have a loss of potency. You might get some hot flashes. And when lost, you will have an inexplicable urge to ask for directions.

As I said, knowing HT is what makes it funny.

Laughter & Taste

Then this one broke me up.

Doctor: I've got your test results and some bad news. You have cancer and Alzheimer's.
Man: Boy, am I lucky! I was afraid I had cancer!

My apologies to those who take offense to the Alzheimer's half but I learned there were times when I had to laugh first and worry about taste later.

Speaking of Dying. . .

I soon found that jokes about death took on new meaning, such as this one.

Three buddies were talking about death and dying. One asked, "When you're in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time and a great family man."

The second man says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last guy says, "I would like to hear them say LOOK, HE'S MOVING!!!"

And finally. . .

A man elects to have a prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) and asks the surgeon to try to spare the nerves that produce an erection. Well, he goes into surgery and wakes up in the recovery room and sees his doctor.
Man: So how did it go?
Doctor: I've got good news and bad news.
Man: Give me the good news first.
Doctor: We were able to save the nerves.
Man: That's great news! What's the bad news?
Doctor: They're under your pillow.

When you have cancer and can laugh about it, do it and save your worry if it offends others.

Cancer gives enough worry.

Let it give you some laughs for a change.

Robert Young
Webmaster Phoenix5


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