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Laughing man looking into a mirror and seeing his inner self at peace

Dynamic Cynicism, A Twisted Trait That Guides Me in Life

“The sad, sorry, terrible thing about sarcasm? It’s really funny.” ― Brandon Sanderson

We all know that when Life hands you lemons, you learn to make lemonade. And on a really, really bad day, when you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer like I was in May 2018, you’d trade that unwelcome news for an entire container ship full of lemons. Was this the end? Or a detour? I had DaVinci Robotic Surgery August 30th, 2018 a day where I faced the beast and had it extracted for hopefully ever. December 2018 my first PSA <0.001 undetectable! So here I am, on the other side of that diagnosis and cancer-free for now.

How I found Dynamic Cynicism

What twisted trait enabled me to make this death-grazing detour without ample servings of depression, self-pity, anguish, and anxiety? Imagine working in three federal prisons, the Army following the Vietnam War, channeling it through the chip wars for Intel Corporation operating a bed and breakfast, and being a business coach to very dysfunctional business owners.

The recipe is a strong dose of an optimistic outlook, a healthy dose of God’s love, a beautiful loving wife, an army of support, a strange sense of sarcastic humor mixed together letting it age for 69 years. What emerges is Dynamic Cynicism (DC)!

Humor me, or rather, humor is me.

Using humor as protection

On reflection, DC is sarcasm wrapped in sheep’s clothing, an edgy questioning and commentary on the most trivial of life’s events. DC is not meant to harpoon or hurt anybody. It’s more like a kevlar vest that protects me.

If you don’t have a sense of humor and your gearing up for your first biopsy to get your Gleason Score, and I’m not talking Jackie Gleason, I suggest you go out and buy some yucks, and do it quickly. Trust me, it only hurts when you think about it.

I reflect on my journey with Prostate Cancer and those around me with a healthy dose of DC humor to stare down this deadly disease with middle finger raised high. As the late comedian Robin Williams said in his Scottish rant on Golf, “They plant a flag on the greens, to give you hope.” Humor gives me hope. Advances in prostate cancer therapies give me hope.

Laughter is the best medicine

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has published the benefits of laughter in part, “The healing power of laughter for people living with cancer.” It may seem strange to find humor when facing such serious issues. Yet, laughter may be helpful in ways you may not have realized or imagined.

Laughter may help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. Laughter may be a natural diversion. When you laugh, no other thought comes to mind. Laughing may also induce physical changes in the body. After laughing for only a few minutes, you may feel better for hours. Combined with conventional cancer treatments, laughter therapy is the game changer in the overall healing process.

Laughter therapy may also provide up to eight essential physical benefits such as…

  • Enhance oxygen intake
  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  • Relax muscles throughout the body
  • Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • Ease digestion/soothe stomach aches
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance blood pressure
  • Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

Laughter therapy may also help in these seven areas:

  • Improve overall attitude
  • Reduce stress/tension
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Strengthen social bonds and relationships
  • Produce a general sense of well-being

Have you laughed today?

Try to watch something funny prior to going to bed (I know, I know…don’t watch television before bedtime). Every time my wife and I stream a comedy show or watch one of the late show monologues we laugh. I mean from the gut laughter. We bid ourselves a good night. My average sleep time is now 6-7 hours uninterrupted by visits to the bathroom. This is a major improvement in the quality of my life since DaVinci Robotic Surgery in August of 2018.

Every prostate cancer survivor that I’ve met has a humorous story or two about their experiences. What is yours?

With that said…

Hank is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose.
A young student nurse appears to give him a partial sponge bath.
“Nurse,” he mumbles from behind the mask, “are my testicles black?”
Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, “I don’t know, Sir.
I’m only here to wash your upper body and feet.”
He struggles to ask again,
“Nurse, please check for me.
Are my testicles black?”
Concerned that he might elevate his blood pressure and heart rate
from worrying about his testicles,
she overcomes her embarrassment and pulls back the covers.
She raises his gown, holds his manhood in one hand and his testicles gently in the other.
She looks very closely and says,
“There’s nothing wrong with them, Sir.
They look fine.”
The man slowly pulls off his oxygen mask, and says very slowly,
“Thank you very much.
That was wonderful.
Now listen to me very, very closely:
“Are – my – test – results – back…!”
(Unknown Source)

The author Nick Hornby (Fever Pitch and High Fidelity) once said, “Sarcasm and compassion are two of the qualities that make life on Earth tolerable.”

Now, who’s having the last laugh?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • JoBu
    5 months ago

    I found laughter was the best way to deal with my prostate cancer, even though it made me pee myself in the first couple weeks after my surgery.

  • sevensix
    5 months ago

    In the hospital pre-op cell patiently waiting for surgery time (for some reason always late) doc and nurse appear with the usual litany of questions every patient receives reviewing meds and general health. No stranger to surgery this is my 11th or 12th, ten as an adult. I’m wheeled down the hall “high five” to nurses in the hall on break all the way to the end and a sharp turn to port I am in and on the table. Introductions are made to everyone. The spider(robot) is tucked in the corner like a spider ready to pounce. Propofol hits without warning and I am gone. On the way to PACU wake up feeling very good and quite talkative. I wasn’t too happy about the analgesic boluses where the sun don’t shine but (pun intended) that passes quickly when my surgeon wanders in and we begin a post-op conversation, and gesturing him closer I asked him a question, to wit, can I have sex tonight. I think I heard him said no. Then it was up to my room anxious to see my wife. I know what you are thinking and no that didn’t happen. The next morning doc came in for a brief visit where we had a great laugh about propofol doing the talking. Apologies aside recovery was uneventful.

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