Frumpy Mom: Here’s some funny cancer stuff I didn’t make up

Let me just tell you a little secret: Having cancer isn’t nearly as much fun as you might think.

I remember flouncing into the chemotherapy infusion room, dressed in my best cocktail attire, and waiting for the nurses to bring on the margaritas. Surprise: No margaritas. I came close to walking out, but I decided to stay and try the concoctions they offered.

Pro tip: Margaritas are better.

Finally, one week I got fed up, so I brought my own margarita. Along with the glass. The chemo nurse was rather taken aback, but she agreed to take my picture with my frozen tequila beverage. But then she only let me have a couple of swallows before she made me throw it out. I guess I should have gulped it before she got there.

Not long ago, I reconnected with a friend who’d moved away. I hadn’t seen her for years, but I heard she had cancer, so I sent her a supportive email. Well, she called me, and we ended up talking on the phone for four hours – undoubtedly the longest phone conversation I ever had with someone I wasn’t sleeping with. A good part of the time, we were regaling each other with funny stories about absurd things that happened during our cancer treatment.

So I asked my Facebook friends (you are on my Facebook page, aren’t you?) to give me their own funny cancer stories. Here are some they shared with me. (I edited for length and to remove some minor, and totally understandable, curse words.)

One Halloween, chemo left me pale, hairless, round-faced and puffy-eyed. I slipped into a white wrap robe tied with a sash to hand out “treats” and told everyone I was dressed as a Buddhist monk. One child’s father touched my smooth head to confirm that I was genuinely bald and said, “Wow, when you choose a costume, you really commit!” – Sheri

During my radiation and chemo, I was told that if I lost weight I would have a feeder tube. Oh, no. Not me. But I got chemo sick during Easter week. Deathly afraid of the morning weigh-in, I wore boots, jeans, a large belt, two blouses, a T-shirt and one or two jackets. And for good measure, I put rolled quarters in my boots, pockets and every other piece of clothing. I came in very close to my pre-chemo weight. Later, I got great pleasure in sharing that story with the radiation and chemo oncologists. – Karen

My pastor’s wife had cancer and she had just lost all her hair and was wearing a wig … People threw her a birthday party, but nobody thought to help her take the presents to the car. It was a super-windy day, and she was walking out to the car with her hands full of presents a sudden gust of wind came up, flipped off her wig, and it went tumbling with all the leaves and branches. She was running after it, with her hands, full, trying to stomp on it, like it was some kind of creature! When she told that to a room full of women, we were all rolling on the floor in church. – Teri

I had breast cancer and a mastectomy. I used the (silicon enhancer) “chicken breast” in the bra to even things out. It got interesting a few times: It migrated to the middle so that I had one large breast on the left, slipped down toward my pants so I had two widely and weirdly spaced breasts, and my favorite — fell out completely (usually in public). That last one happened several times. – Synthia

My mom had a partial mastectomy so she had a “chicken breast”. One day while she was hand-stitching something, the doorbell rang. She poked the needle into her chicken breast and answered the door with the needle sticking out of her boob. – Judye

I’d lost my hair from chemo. I always wore a wig or hats with scarves. My baldness didn’t bother me – others were unnerved and uncomfortable. I was barhopping with friends, donning my wig so we could be viewed as just some girls having fun. Bars closed and I volunteered to drive us to Naugles – why do we get so hungry after a night of cocktails?! I had stopped at a light, windows down and loudly singing along to the radio. A car full of young guys stopped next to us and massive flirting back n forth. Just as the light turned green, I yanked off my wig and waved it at the guys. We took off, I looked in the rearview mirror and they were frozen at the light with a look of total shock! We laughed until we (well, you know.) – Pam

My mom’s doctor wanted to see her in person after a mammogram follow-up. This can’t be good news, Mom. I’m coming with you. Yep, a breast cancer diagnosis. We had the deer-in-the-headlights look as we stumbled out of his clinic that day. The receptionist called out as we left, “Well, have a nice day!” My mom and I looked at each other in the hallway and just burst out laughing at the inanity of it all. That became our mantra, through thick and thin, and never failed to crack us up. “Yes, >insert some new horrible thing< … BUT, have a nice day!” – Melanie

My friend is a breast cancer survivor. When she was diagnosed, I would go to her appointments with her. She was too tired and overwhelmed to fill out the forms so every time I asked her a question on the health form – like “Do you have …” And then she, as loud as she could in the waiting room, would say “Well, I probably do now!” We would laugh so hard. – Gina

P.S. Want to meet me? Come to my next book signing at Nectar of the Dogs wine tasting room ( Saturday, May 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Stop by to say hi, get your book signed, buy a copy of my book or just drink some wine. A portion of the proceeds go to help animals. Address: 791 Chambers Lane, Suite 110, Simi Valley. (702) 275-0482