Opinion: Yes, it was a laughing matter


Cancer isn’t funny, especially when someone you love is fighting it. I’ve held off writing about my dad’s battle, but recently my mom encouraged me to share a particularly hilarious incident. She declared, “You gotta laugh!”

Dad was set to receive his first dose of chemo, and because we didn’t know whether he’d even survive the treatment, I went to visit him in the hospital, thinking this might be it. Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, I was by myself when he had an accident, mere minutes after my arrival and an earlier episode. I wanted to call the nurse back in, but Dad insisted he could clean himself up, despite being too weak to stand. “Just grab me some toilet paper,” he grumbled.

The TP did little and the paper towels were worse. We eventually resorted to high-grade bleach wipes and their “Do Not Apply to Skin” warning. Desperate times, desperate measures. Keep in mind, he’s attempting this challenge while remaining under his covers because he doesn’t want me to “see anything.” At one point, he yelled “Look away!” and I bolted for the bathroom, where I hummed Jimmy Cliff’s “Reggae Night.”

Once given the all-clear, I emerged to find that Dad had successfully changed his diaper pad, although he had slid far enough down the bed that his head was scrunched at painful-yet-comical 90 degrees. I had to smile.

Talk about making memories. Cancer or not, that’s funny.

Peace out.


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