Costumes and blogging help patient through chemotherapy

After her second chemotherapy infusion, Naomi Ziva realized that she was going to need more than medication to get through metastatic colorectal cancer treatment. “The seriousness of having cancer was overwhelming, and I’m a jokester,” she says. “For me, it just got to the point that I had to break the heaviness in my head.” So Naomi and her friend showed up to her third chemotherapy session dressed as superheroes. “The nurses thought we were hilarious,” she says. “People who looked miserable in their chairs lifted their heads and smiled at me.” At that moment, a new tradition was born. Naomi now shows up to every chemotherapy infusion appointment channeling a different character and passes out flowers. She’s been Wonder Woman, Slash of Guns N’ Roses and even the lamp shade from “A Christmas Story.” Sometimes, she involves the patients around her, too. “When I did ‘A Christmas Story,’ I handed out little gifts. By the time I was done passing them out, people had on Santa sunglasses, hats and reindeer antlers,” she says. “It just changes the mood of the entire infusion center because we’re all going through this together.” Naomi’s colorectal cancer diagnosis Naomi found out she had stage IV colorectal cancer in June 2016, just one month after her 86-year-old aunt died from the disease. “I was in so much shock that all I could say was, ‘I have cancer?’” she recalls. “There were things wrong with my body, but because I was diabetic and I’m used to things going wrong, I didn’t really look into it. You don’t think that you’re going to get colon...