I say now with all the joy in my heart, that my mom gracefully won the cancer battle, is now done with five months of chemo, 6½ weeks of daily radiation, and is completely cancer-free. Her hair is growing back, she’s regaining her energy, and she’s a more inspired, happy woman now than I’ve ever seen her before.
During her treatment, and through many of the those that I watched my patients go though, I searched for ways of sending them light to raise their mood a little. Companies like Hallmark have greeting card lines that are cancer specific, but I found them clichéd and saccharine. So I started LumpyCards. Most of the cards are playful and witty, some are congratulatory for when patients finish treatment, others are seasonal. I’ve had so much fun designing these cards!
Since cancer is a word that has quite possibly the deepest anchor of fear in the the English language, we don’t need to be reinforcing that fear by sending sympathy cards. The most healing thing you can do for someone who is feeling sick is to make them laugh, especially if they can laugh at their own situation, which puts things in a new, not-so-scary perspective.
Consider the customary card: pleasant pastel artwork with a syrupy message written in a font intended to look like handwriting. Although there is a time and place for such cards, I feel they lack a very important factor- humor! Now consider this card type: a comical photo or art with a come-on-in message on the front, and a surprise, makes-you-want to-belly-laugh-message inside.
Laughter is one of the most therapeutic things we can provide. When a stimulus triggers amusement, something magical happens. The brain activates a chemical cascade: releases endorphins, sends signals to dilate blood vessels, and down-regulates the production of the stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine, followed by the involuntary rhythmic contraction of stomach muscle and diaphragm, also known as laughter. A cathartic exercise, it releases built-up tension and trapped emotions.
So if you know someone with cancer, and you want a way to make them smile, send them a LumpyCard!. Until then, go see a comedy show, tickle a friend, watch a funny movie, play with your pet, or put a whoopee cushion under someone in public!
Are you interested in sharing your cancer story? Let’s get started! lumpycards.com/share-your-cancer-story