By Robert Schimmel
Within the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel used to be using excessive. He’d gained the Stand-Up of the 12 months Award, his HBO distinctive used to be a tremendous hit, and his sitcom were picked up. after which all of it got here crashing down. clinically determined with level III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he used to be informed he must endure chemotherapy instantly. The sitcom was once dumped and the hearth of his white-hot occupation began to exit. yet Schimmel by no means misplaced his humorousness, his knife-like part, and such a lot of all, his ardour to entertain. certainly, it used to be his simple have to laugh-even if the one humans round him have been struggling with melanoma and the room he was once enjoying used to be the Mayo health center infusion center-that carried him via his ordeal. From his colourful banter with nurses and different sufferers in the course of chemo, to his hilarious dialog with a wig salesman, going for the snort was once Robert Schimmel’s survival mechanism. Alternately laugh-out-loud humorous and profound, melanoma on 5 cash an afternoon is a decent account of ways one man’s face-off with a plague helped him greater comprehend himself.
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Additional resources for Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
But he had changed. He refused to ignore his battle with cancer. In fact, he embraced it. He adjusted his act to include comic riffs about being diagnosed, smoking pot to alleviate his nausea, sex during chemotherapy, and losing all his hair, including his pubic hair. But talking about cancer wasn’t enough. Robert went way beyond that. He closed each set with a ten-minute Power-Point presentation featuring photographs taken during his chemotherapy. He punctuated each picture with a joke, but the underlying message was clear: my comedy is raw but my life is rawer.
The hardest part is accepting that they’re talking about me,” I say. “I keep thinking they’re talking about some other guy. ” “That’s human nature,” the rabbi says shrugging once, twice. Looks like he’s doing some weird penguin dance. He raises a bony finger toward the ceiling. “Your vacuum cleaner breaks, you accept it. A lightbulb burns out, you toss it away, get another one. But when it’s us? When we face the Angel of Death? Difficult to accept. ” I smile gravely as if he’s just handed me the secret of life.
A thousand questions slam into my head, one after another, machine-gunned through my brain— When did I die? Where is my spirit gonna go? Do I even have a spirit? Is there a God? What about Jesus? How does he fit in? I didn’t believe in him on earth so is he gonna be pissed at me now? Maybe not because, after all, he is Jesus. What about my kids? Where are they gonna go? Did I ever finish my will? Who’s gonna talk at my funeral? I’m not really close with any rabbis. I probably should’ve gotten close with some rabbi so I don’t get the generic funeral eulogy.
Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life by Robert Schimmel