“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charlie Chaplin






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Besides being a great source of humor for my boys between having old man comb over hair and no eyebrows, I find the daily laugh beyond hysterical. Got to laugh at this…just too weird to cry about. It also helps having lost my hair so often that I am used to the odd look. So, maybe it is weird to plot against Alex since he can’t see in the morning by drawing on zig zag lined eyebrows and waking him up. Got to have some fun for the tween behavior he has inflicted upon us daily! Deep breaths for tween attitudes!

Many of you recall my online shopping problem. My mom reminded me of the problem when she saw a top I was wearing was the one I bought in duplicate. Well, the forces that surround my online shopping problem thought they brought an end to my online shopping habit. Walmart.com was hacked and so, thank goodness for my fraud alerts on my credit card company, I was notified immediately of the problem. Unfortunately, it took 40 minutes for Walmart.com to delete my account. I tried to accelerate the resolution by pulling out my cancer card. (no such luck) Reminder to everyone, change your passwords often and don’t use anything personal. Try fruits, vegetables, random toys with number combinations will help to avoid a “breach” in your online shopping experience. Also, fraud alerts are a great way of monitoring your spending especially when you have chemo brain and don’t remember what you bought yesterday or even an hour ago.

With the recent passing of my cousin, the reality of finishing my “in case of emergency” stuff became a high priority. I met with my Rabbi and had an honest discussion about the soul, organ donation, and mitzvah projects. Yes, it is a random mix of topics, but I wanted to understand more about what Judaism says in combination with how I was raised and my own beliefs. It is good to know that all is aligned. Also, forgive the morbidity of the topic, but once you are in Anatomy and physiology class, the cadaver part is something you will never forget. Besides the desecration of the body, I am not into the donation of the body to science. Plus, there are only so many good parts when your body is full of cancer. Okay, enough said. I only visit this “island” very rarely, but it needs to be done. Your spouse and family should know and understand your wishes. Talk about it once and then, put it away. I also wanted to go through my “stuff” and make a list of what to give to whom. Yes, I know it all sounds horrible, but it is like a check list for me and I am all about lists and making things easier. This is in no way meaning that I have stopped fighting, but only makes me fight harder to survive. There are no other paths for me except to fight, fight, fight.

On a side note, when reflecting upon who I am, I realize that I have always been about others and giving back. My dad has always taught me to treat everyone you meet how you would like to be treated. When talking to my sister, Sue about the Maccabi games (a Jewish type of athletic and arts games for kids ages 13 to 17 from around the world) I decided that on my one good day, I wanted to be a part of it. I decided to help with the community service aspect which involves the teens with giving back to different organizations in the OC. The women who organized this part reminded me of my old life before cancer when I was organizing PTA events especially the book fair. It was nice to be told what to do. I set up different tables with craft activities. The kids visiting from low income area of the OC would be assigned to the athletes to visit each project. Then, I organized my own project which was to decorate a frame. Of course, there are entitled teens even across the ocean, but there are a lot of special teens who loved giving back and interacting with these kids. I talked to different kids who lit up when we talked about math. Two boys who were going into 7t h grade were doing high school math. They were so proud to talk about it and asked me several times if this activity was free. Many of these children also asked me if the snacks were free and explained that they always have to pay for snacks at their camp. The conversations were rewarding and the time was well spent. When I was cleaning up, five kids came over to thank me and tell me this day was the best day of their summer.  I wanted to tell them I loved it just as much. It is so rewarding to give back and forget for a moment about my cancer job. Even better was a chance to see my niece, Sofia in her element and talk with her.

Alex participated in free trumpet lessons in 5th grade from a foundation organized by a wonderful couple who wanted to have children who don’t have experience with instruments to get free lessons as well as free concerts and meetings with musicians. This began Alex’s love of trumpet playing. Even though his band teacher almost squashed this love, Alex continued this summer with those special experiences to continue his playing. Recently the husband of this wonderful giving couple passed away. Alex and I were interviewed by the OC Register about this man. I was trying not to laugh at Alex’s comments. He decided to send the wife a sympathy card which he created.  This version of a pop up sympathy card had a trumpet and drawings of music.  Yesterday, I came home to have received a phone call from the wife of the husband who just passed away. She is a cancer survivor among other things. She really wanted to know how I was doing and thank Alex for the card. She shared some very special moments and I felt so honored to talk with her and knowing that Alex’s card really touched her. You never know who will come into your life and have such a major impact to your family or your child. I love seeing Alex’s passion for music grow and his enjoyment of playing the trumpet and piano.

I decided to continue to laugh throughout the day even including some torture to Jim without any eyebrows.


Thanks to something called the mind-body connection, the simple act of laughing can tell your brain to produce chemicals that:

  • Lower your risk for heart attacks.
  • Increase your blood circulation.
  • Help your heart work better and pump more evenly.
  • Boost your body’s immune system to help you fight off infection.
  • Increase your deep breathing, which relaxes your muscles, gives you more energy, and lowers your stress.

Scientific research backs this up: The more you laugh, the better you’ll feel and the healthier you’ll be. Give it a try.




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