Cancer is not one bit funny. So don't be misled by a book title suggesting otherwise: Now It's Funny. How I Survived Cancer, Divorce, and Other Looming Disasters.
This memoir by a 40-ish producer of documentaries begins with his decision to finally schedule his overdue screening colonoscopy, a test needed because of his family history of colon cancer. One thing leads to another, but the bottom line is he...
- Has lymphoma.
- Faces his mortality.
- Undergoes surgery and achieves remission.
- Tries to glean the life-enhancing lessons of surviving life-threatening illness.
- Develops a recurrence before he has a chance to adjust to life after cancer.
- Undergoes surgery and achieves a second remission.
- Strives to accept the uncertainty, use the life lessons in ways that make him a better father, ex-husband, friend...human being.
Clearly, his is a ho-hum storyline in our age of Facebook and CaringBridge.
But the nuggets of wisdom skillfully wedged between the bullet points make this a good read for people who want to understand the cancer experience -- whether theirs or that of a loved one.
To get to those nuggets, you have to get past the cover (a photo of a man in a hospital gown, unwittingly mooning the reader) and the R-rated language, both of which made me terribly uncomfortable.
But that's the point, isn't it? Finding peace with the discomforts. Getting past the pain to embrace life, whatever the circumstances.