Humour - It's no joke

5 minute read time.
Humour - It's no joke

How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice. Hi, I’m Syed, a member of the Community Team and today, I would like to draw your attention to something the opening remarks didn’t. Humour. It’s almost a taboo subject that poses the question: 'can humour be used as a coping mechanism if you’re affected by cancer?' I want to leave a short disclaimer that this blog may not be for everyone as it will highlight an alternate coping mechanism through humour. For those who regularly use humour to cope, and for those who are curious as to how anyone would see the funny side with a diagnosis, I hope you find this blog helpful.      

Here on the Community, we have our own Laughter is the best medicine forum. You may have spotted me liking your content on this forum. Alongside the jokes scratching an itch on my funny bone, reading your posts for this blog underlined how effective using humour can be to release tension and change our perspective in difficult situations.

You’ll find Community members sharing silly images as well as rib-tickling jokes to help bring a smile to your face. It’s always interesting to see how each person has a unique approach to the subject of humour and how they use it as a coping mechanism. The forum is only available by request as it may be upsetting for other members.

The rest of this blog has been curated to highlight how some members may have given their funny-bone a tickle during their cancer experiences. Some members may tell jokes, others may share their cancer experience in a comedic fashion.

If you’re feeling especially mischievous and you don’t mind a bit of comedic profanity, you might like to give this fantastic guest blog a go, written by the fantastic Jon, that you can access here. It was beautifully named "Knob Blog" and details his dealings with penile cancer as a 40 year old. The blog itself is full of profanity, graphic detail and his own signature brand of humour that allows him to convey his message in a way he feels comfortable doing so. It is not to everyone’s taste, but if you’re feeling curious go ahead and check out the rest of Jon’s blog here.

Now, all jokes aside, it’s time to have a look at how the Community views humour as a coping mechanism and a support tool during trying circumstances. Again, please keep in mind that this way of coping with a diagnosis is not for everyone.

It may be a reflection of how other members channel their humorous energy in the forums that some may find comforting:

It may also be reassuring to have a partner, friend or family member, on the same wavelength:

Building rapport with the medical teams that you may be seeing regularly can help you feel more relaxed around familiar faces, if there’s some invasive tests that may need carrying out:

Members share how keeping a humorous mindset helps with treatment which may be difficult to handle otherwise:

Sometimes members pool together to share their experiences in a light-hearted manner. The thread called ‘Just for fun as we all need some!’ in the Breast Cancer forum fits the bill:

Some members may simply agree with the following statement:

Now then, let’s take a look at what some of the Community members in the Laughter is the best medicine forum get up to when trying to cheer fellow members up. Here are some of the highlights of what you can expect to find on the forum:

To conclude, there is no right or wrong way to behave when it comes to getting a diagnosis or being indirectly affected by cancer. People may feel lots of different emotions when they're facing a cancer diagnosis. For some, humour can be a helpful way to cope and I hope this blog can highlight and enable other members to understand why humour may be used to cope with potentially life-altering circumstances.  

Please feel free to take a look around the Community for members talking about their experiences with humour. If you feel like having something to giggle at on the Community, please see: