Survivor Turns Negative Thoughts Into Laughable Moments During Cancer Treatment

A survivor shares how she chose to approach her mindset during cancer treatments to keep herself from spiraling.

A survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma who went on to create an adult coloring book making light of uncomfortable aspects of cancer treatments explains how she was able to approach the experience from a positive, comedic angle.

In an interview with CURE®, Jeri Davis spoke about combatting negative thoughts with humor in order to keep herself from spiraling into a dark place.

“I found ways to laugh through it all,” said Davis. “And it seemed to – what I got from it was also that the people who were working with me, the nurses and the aids and the doctors, they were kind of feeding off of it, too. So it was sort of this I wouldn't say joyous approach, but just the fact that we could have this candor with each other, and treat each other with a little bit more humanity.”

Transcription:

Well, it wasn't that I didn't have the sad or negative thoughts. But I kind of convinced myself because I got forced into this so fast that because there were so many different things this could have been, I got myself in a mindset that I would acknowledge all that stuff. I wasn't going to let that really heavy stuff through unless I knew it to be true. And that was, I don't know, how I did it. I didn't plan it that way. I remember very consciously thinking I had to do that because otherwise I was going to be a basket case while they were talking about sending me possibly to MD Anderson for head and neck surgery and all this kind of stuff, like everything was just swirling. But by the same token, I'm laughing at myself getting up to go the bathroom and having to bring along my IV. And kind of just laughing with the nurse about my predicament, about having to force right through the MG tube to try and unclog it, and get a shower with this. I found ways to laugh through it all. And it seemed to – what I got from it was also that the people who were working with me, the nurses and the aids and the doctors, they were kind of feeding off of it, too. So it was sort of this I wouldn't say joyous approach, but just the fact that we could have this candor with each other, and treat each other with a little bit more humanity. You didn't feel like we're stepping on eggshells anymore, I guess is what it did. It led me to the moment that kind of brought the humanity back. That's what I needed.