I am writing this because a dear friend of mine asked me to write something about illness. She just wrote a wonderful blog entry about “Being Invisible,” and the good and bad things people can do or say to help you with illnesses.

At first I wasn’t sure what to do – she wanted me to write about my experience battling cancer – but I just wasn’t in the mood to dig up all those feelings and write a serious piece about it.  Not right now. So this is the result of that.

Let me preface this by saying that I am well aware of the serious nature of the disease. I had it myself and I have lost family members to it. It can be a long, tough fight – never easy.  My prayers go out to everyone struggling with it on ANY level.

Instead of offering my thoughts – which would take forever – I want to focus in one one way to fight cancer: HUMOR.  Humor is essential in life and it is essential in fighting any disease.  Humor can produce endorphins, lesson stress, and keep a person focused and strong.  It is POWERFUL medicine.  I used it all the time in my fight against cancer, and all the subsequent struggles with medication and side-effects; and I am here 26 years later as proof that it works.

So, here is my humorous “take” on what I had to go through.  (Please, no throwing bricks at me.  I am ugly enough as it is without a few more scars.)

First, the bad stuff…


1. You don’t look so good.

2. I think you’re shedding.

3. Wanna play some football?

4. How does it feel?

5. How fast does that wheelchair go at full speed?

6. I bet I can beat you at arm wrestling.

7. Man, does this paper cut hurt!

8. Why did you get cancer?

9. Let’s try to find another vein.

10. This won’t hurt much.

11. Hey look, you get cable TV in your hospital room.

12. Can I have some of your Fritos?

13. Are you scared?

Now, the good stuff…


1. It’s an even more effective weight loss program than a low-carb diet and you will get into those skinny jeans in no time.

2. No need to worry about pesky razor stubble, as your legs will always be silky smooth.

3. People give you nicer Christmas presents when they think you are dying.

4. You can eat all the junk food you want and never gain an ounce.

5. Women dig the Vin Deisel look.

6. When some boring event pops up, you can stay home and no one will ever question why you didn’t go.

7. Life insurance salespeople don’t bother you.

8. You can have Fritos whenever you want.

9. Women dig scars.

10. When a telemarketer calls you can say “Hey, great, nobody ever sells me anything cuz I have cancer. I’ll buy it!” (Then see how fast they hang up.)

11. Nobody ever calls you “lazy.”

12. You get to pick where to go on vacation.

13. Sponge baths!



About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

5 responses »

  1. Colleen says:

    Reblogged this on Life in the City with a Future and commented:
    In my post, I’m Invisible, I asked for a list of acts of kindness performed for those that have an illness to bring awareness to Invisible Chronic Illness Week. My buddy Joe wrote this entire humorous piece for that purpose. Invisible Chronic Illness Week doesn’t start until September 9th, but there are people that need a laugh today. So I hope you all laugh as I did. Thank you Joe for bringing laughter into my life.

  2. Loved it!!!!! BUT– I have always been the one who laughs at everything no one else seems to think is funny!!!! 🙂 Love your warped humor— 🙂 I am laughing with you!!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing— (I am an MCS sister of Colleen!!!)

    • Joe says:

      I know that it might seem strange to a lot of people, but the art of humor can be a precise science. I have long been drawn to it ever since a young boy (as opposed to an old boy which I am now.)

      Humor is one of the STRONGEST defense mechanisms we humans have. It can be used to deflect the attention of a bully (been there, done that) and thwart personal assault. It can also be used to help us cope with trouble that seems insurmountable…

      One January, I was so sick that I had to be taken to the Emergency Room 3 different times. I just told people that the hospital had been refurbished and now included: Examination Room 1, Examination Room 2, and Joe’s Room.

      Sometimes you just have to laugh because the alternative is way too sad.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments! 🙂

  3. Colleen and Joe – Thanks for offering this. Not only did I laugh, but I understand–maybe just a little bit–what it is like to experience such an illness. You captured it.

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