How I laughed in the face of cancer

When I was 16 and undergoing treatment for a type of brain cancer called medulloblastoma, one of the best pieces of advice I got was from a nurse at MD Anderson. Early on, LeighAnna Hutchinson told me: “Find your laugh.” It was hard sometimes, but I took her advice. I looked for every opportunity I could to laugh at what was going on. And laughing in the face of cancer was what helped me get through some hard and unpleasant experiences. Finding humor in hair loss One way I found my laugh was by wearing different color wigs. I lost my hair within a few months of starting chemotherapy, so my mother and grandmother bought me a ton of wigs. I had so many colors: red, pink, blue, blonde. You name it, I had it. There were a bunch of different hairstyles, too. Some were long, and some were cute little bobs. Obviously, the wigs were purchased for me to wear. But whenever my grandmother or mom noticed I was feeling sad, she would put on one of the sillier ones. It never failed to make me smile.  Inside jokes about bodily functions and bathroom humor Bodily functions also became kind of funny. Sometimes during chemotherapy, I’d pass gas unexpectedly, right in the middle of a conversation. I’d usually say something like, “And that’s what I think about that.” The whole room always had a good laugh. I also wore a button on my shirt that read, “I pooped today,” because cancer patients get asked a lot if they’re having regular bowel movements or are constipated due to pain...