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Learning to Laugh About Cancer

I heard my first cancer joke the other day. I assumed that cancer jokes must exist, but I had just never heard one. It's not the easiest subject to joke about, of course. I know that when I joke about it, it can make people uncomfortable. But I do think it's important to be able to laugh about it all. I mean, funny things do happen. And of course there's the old cliche, I laugh so I don't cry.

So here it is:

When a cancer patient dies, why do they nail the coffin shut?

So the doctors can't do just one more round of chemo.

OK, so it's not really all that funny, although there's certainly a ring of truth to it. But I am still encouraged that someone even tried to come up with a cancer joke. I wouldn't recommend telling it at a party, for instance. But who knows, it might get big laughs in the chemo room.

Cancer takes so much from our lives. I think it's important to keep it from stealing our laughter. And for all the people who don't have cancer, and who get uncomfortable if we joke about it, it's OK. It's just a disease. We need to be able to laugh about it, and we need you to laugh with us. Not the uncomfortable nervous laugh, but real laughter, the kind that makes you feel better. We'll all be better off.

So have you heard this one? Two tumors walk into a bar... OK, that may be in questionable taste, but I've just always wanted to say that.