Laughter is the Best Medicine
I have never laughed so hard about cancer.
When Dov Siporin was diagnosed at age 33 with stage 4 colon cancer he realized that his life would suddenly consist of lots of time spent bare-bottomed in a sterile hospital, being injected with poison. Interviewed by his father, Steve, Dov explained how instead of joining the masses of depressed patients and somber medical staff, he decided to have some fun. “If you make fun of something, it loses the power to scare you.” On days that Dov had radiation, he would ask his wife, Tara, to write a quote in marker on his behind. Quotes like “Does this radiation make my butt look big?” had nurses in stitches.
On St. Patricks’ Day, Dov asked his wife to write, “Go ahead and pinch me.” When he asked the nurse if she was going to pinch him he received a slap across the face. Shocked, Dov asked for an explanation, and she told him the quote read, “If Dov asks you to pinch him, please slap him.” On another occasion, a doctor told Dov his butt read, “Please remind Dov to take the garbage out.”
The pranks and jokes haven’t eliminated the pain and very real possibility of death. But the laughter between Dov and his wife, his parents, his nurses and doctors, has made everyone enjoy life, appreciate one another, and cope together. Steve told his son, “I wish you didn’t have cancer but it has brought out the best in you.” And Dov has cancer to thank for the realization that, “It’s the fact that we die that makes life sweet.”
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