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Because of Cancer I...

June 3, 2019

Yesterday I was lucky enough to speak at the Cancer Survivor’s Day at Cancer Survivor’s Park just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail in downtown Greenville. They referred to me as a “Nationally known comedian.” I guess that is technically true. Syracuse, NY and Scranton, PA are indeed part of the nation. 

 

Since they raised the bar so high, I decided that I would try to be funny. The theme of the talk was “Because of Cancer I….” Today’s blog is part of that speech. I pulled a little from my show STAGES. If you haven’t seen it we are at Furman University in Greenville, SC for six performances at the end of June. Tickets are available at davidleenelson.com/stages

 

Here is part of yesterday’s speech. Have a great day! 

 

 

I saw a quote today:

 

“I contend that not only can you laugh at adversity, but it is essential to do so if you are to deal with setbacks without defeat.”

 

I know that cancer takes a lot from us, but one thing it cannot touch is who we really are. Before I got sick I was a comedian. And I’m still a comedian. Cancer might zap me of my energy, but it cannot take away my sense of humor. So here my answers to the statement Because of cancer I… 

 

Remember if you don’t like any of my answers, I was recommended by Kay Roper. 

 

1.

Because of cancer, I now know that men are allowed to be sick. This wasn’t always the case for me. If we didn’t feel well I thought our options were to suck it up or rub some dirt on it. Rub some dirt on it. How masculine is that. Take a problem that is completely fixable and make it infected. This is the message men are given. On June 11, 1997, Michael Jordan scored 38 points in game five of the NBA finals while he was sick with the flu. After Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he won the Tour de France 54 times. In Game of Thrones Jon Snow was literally murdered, stabbed to death by the Night’s Watch and he came back to life to fight the while walkers. Spoiler alert. 

 

 

2. 

Because of cancer, I am an expert on matching my pain to smiley faces. You all know those smiley faces? I love this so much because we stand on the shoulders of thousands of years of medical research and the first thing they have us to is match our pain to smiley faces.

 

3.

I used to have a fear of using the bathroom in Public. Because of cancer, I no longer have that fear. Anyone who has experienced chemotherapy, knows exactly what I am talking about. 

 

4. 

Because of cancer, I am a way more passive driver. Someone honks at me, I used to want revenge, now I realize they are the least of my concerns. 

 

5. 

Because of cancer, I never have to help anyone move again. Really, you’ll give me pizza and beer? Well guess what, those aren’t good for my tumor markers. 

 

6. 

Because of cancer I no longer do most things I don’t want to do. Like helping people move or working full time. Or watching Zombie movies. Between Zombie Land, Shaun of the Dead, and 8 seasons of Walking Dead, I think I get the point and I’m done with them now. 

 

 

7. 

Because of cancer, I’m an expert on HGTV. Any body like HGTV? Well I hate it. And in almost every single lobby of every single waiting room of every single hospital, HGTV is on the television. Right as I’m about to get chemo I am forced to watch House Hunters, Flip or Flop, Your House is Ugly. 

 

That day the show was Love it or List it. That’s where they renovate someone’s home, and they have to decide if they want to keep it or sell it and buy a new one. 

 

Now that, my friends, is a first world problem. If you had to list all the first world problems, this would be right between having a facial rescheduled and choosing a day care for your dog.

 

On this episode the couple lived in Vancouver and their budget was 3.5 millions dollars. 3.5 million dollars. And their current house was beautiful, but all they could see were the “problems.” 

 

The laundry room is upstairs.

The kitchen doesn’t look out into the living room.

My husband no longer loves me. 

 

And these people were being shown all these amazing homes and afterwards saying they weren’t, “Wowed by the experience.” 

 

There was one house they were wow’d by. But the problem was it was thirty minutes from their old house and weren’t sure their children could handle that kind of uprooting. Meanwhile I’m screaming in my head, “Have you heard of Syria???? You are buying a house for 3.5 million dollars!! Thirty minutes doesn’t mean shit because your children are all going to be assholes!!!”

 

8.

Because of cancer, I play more golf with my dad. I wish I could say that because of cancer I have trouble breaking 100, but that’s on me. There’s a lot we can blame on cancer, my short game is not one of them. 

 

9.

My relationship with my family has improved so much. For example, my family is Republican and I am a Democrat. Because of cancer they have forgiven me for that. 

 

 

10. 

Because of cancer I know I am loved beyond measure. I know that I have family and friends from all walks of life who are with me every step of the way. Because of cancer I’ve met some of the most amazing people at every stage of survivorship. And because of cancer I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that none of us are in this alone. And that it’s not the time we have it’s what we do wit that time, because any of us can get hit bus a bus at any time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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