I was devastated to have to deal with cancer again, and this time it hit me much harder emotionally. I don't know if it was the optimism of youth that carried me through the first two, or the cumulative effect of 'here we go again'. Perhaps there was even an element of the unfairness of the breast cancer being caused by the radiotherapy I received for the previous Hodgkin’s lymphoma. One way or another I experienced an overwhelming sense of emotion. I found myself just crying for no real reason, I couldn’t sleep, I’d often wake up with tears streaming down my face and I found it really difficult to articulate what was going on. Mortality had smacked me in face again and at least some part of me felt smashed, whether that be my sense of myself and who I was, my loss of innocence, my view on time, my view on what next.
Steph just wanted to do something to help, and I'm very glad she did. I never thought that Laughtercise would become such a useful tool, but it did, and continues to be so. Through it, I felt more in control of my life at a point when it seemed like cancer had taken over everything and every thought. Laughtercise gives me more energy, and significantly reduces some of the stress and fear around cancer. And it's a hugely invigorating thing to do as part of your daily life, anyway, whether you're happy, sad or just need a little pick me up. Who doesn't want more laughter in their life?
After the last of many surgeries and the real beginnings of my recovery Steph and I decided that it was time to bring more laughter into the world of cancer and other difficult situations, such as dementia or depression or divorce. We had seen how it had worked and could continue to work, not just for patients, but for friends, family and medical teams too.
So we created our first DVD.
It’s called “Dealing with Cancer? Laughter Works”