New Book with Dark Cancer Humor

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

JANUARY 08, 2018

It is a pleasure to start the week with a posting about a terrific new book: Laughter is the Best Medicine by Alice Ruby Meltzer. Ms. Meltzer died of breast cancer in July 2016, and her daughter, Nina, created the book from illustrations and comments that her mother had completed.

In all honesty, I usually don't much like humorous books about cancer. I am so aware that there really isn't anything funny about this horrific disease that kills far too many people. On the other hand, as someone who has been through two cancers and has spent almost 40 years working with people going through cancer, I am even more aware that there is plenty that--in the darkest possible vein--is hilarious about cancer and cancer treatment.. Most of us feel rather protective about our shared vulnerability and humor. In groups or when I talk individually with patients, there often is a lot of laughter (otherwise known as sick jokes), but we don't want anyone else making those jokes. They are ours. Clearly Alice Ruby Meltzer was one of us.

cancer cartoon with bike

And that is one of the tamer images.

More full disclosure: Her daughter, Nina, is a friend of my daughter's, and we met yesterday for coffee. She is absolutely lovely and works as an Oncology NP. Today she is being interviewed on Fox News:

Check her out on Boston 25 local news today starting at 7:00 am.  Her story will run again at 8:00 am, 9:00 am, and then during the 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm news.

The book is available at Amazon or from the website. I love it.

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