Find the Healing in Humor

Cancer is no laughing matter, but as Pam Lacko discovered, humor can be healing. Here’s how she kept her spirits up during treatment.

Lori Miller Kase

Find fun in the frightful.
Pam quelled her anxiety about losing her hair by gathering together a few close friends for a playful wig-shopping expedition before the hair loss began. She and her friends tried on pink and purple wigs, sampled bouffant styles and donned pin-straight ponytails. In the end, Pam chose the “Dixie Pixie,” which resembled her usual short blond do.

To calm her nerves on the way to her genetic-testing appointment, she and her mother wagered a bet on the outcome. “I thought, why not make a contest of it?” Pam says. “I bet I didn’t have the gene, she bet I did. I thought, God, my mother is betting against me? Well, thanks a lot. Little games like this made scary moments much easier to deal with.”

Laugh whenever possible.
Every year, Pam organizes a “Women Only, Bad Golf Encouraged” golf tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society. She always delivers a humorous welcome speech. The year she underwent chemo, she whipped off her baseball cap to expose her bald head. “I’ve been selected as the year’s Chia Pet holiday season promotion,” she announced. “It broke the ice,” recalls Pam. “It made people realize, She’s okay; she got through it.” 


March 2013