Friday, April 03, 2009


Offspring #3, aka "strapping young man": Don't take this the wrong way, but don't you think there is something a little bit funny about a brain tumor? [He prefers to refer to refer to my husband's pituitary tumor as a brain tumor, for the sake of drama.]

Husband [in deadpan voice]: No, I don't think it's a little bit funny...I think it's hilarious!

You would have had to have been there. My husband's timing and delivery was classic.

Apologies to all those who are dealing with real, serious brain tumors. No, they aren't funny. (Although we'll never forget the woman in our church who, after having a large cancerous tumor removed from her brain, lettered "This space for rent" on her bandage.) I suppose it's not surprising that our children have been infected with our oddball senses of humor, and with our tendency to react to things with semi-morbid attempts at joking.

Me: I'm sure you can understand why your father forgot your weekend plans.

Same Offspring: That's OK. He has an excuse --- he has a brain tumor.

Or then there was this...

Husband [after viewing his MRI]: That tumor looked huge compared to the brain.

Me: Well, yes, compared to your brain!

Some people might think this sort of joking is inappropriate, insensitive, and a form of denial. But, in our defense, it can be good medicine.

Our tears and fears are bonding us closer as a family, but so is our laughter.

This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice at the bottom of the sidebar. Thank you.


  1. Wow, I completely missed this last week. I'm sorry to hear things have been so rough, but glad to hear you have a diagnosis that doesn't include the word "malignant". Another person I follow on Twitter who is far younger than we are just discovered her husband has stage IV lymphoma. My heart breaks for her and her family. His first chemo treatment was yesterday.

    Prayers for you and your family that the surgery will go well and pituitary function will be restored. I'll ask for it all in faith, knowing that the answer will be the right one.

  2. Yes, it's a huge relief not to be facing cancer. My heart breaks for those who are going through that, or who are walking through it with loved ones.

    When Sam's melanoma reached stage IV, he liked to say in his dramatic yet low key sort of way, "And there is no stage V". Horrendously ominous, but he found some odd pleasure in telling people that.

    Don't think I could handle a cancer diagnosis right now. But, then again, if someone would have told me a year ago everything we'd be facing right now, I probably would have expired with panic on the spot. Amazing how God gives us the strength we need, when we need it.

  3. Hi Rebecca. Glad to hear it's not malignant, and yet I can hear that it's difficult for him and you. I love the humour - and I think we communicate our acceptance and support of each other with that kind of humour. If that makes sense.

  4. Gallows humour. . . does the soul good.

  5. Thinking of you, praying for you. . . Hubby had an MRI Tuesday (it was positive news, btw), but while I was there I was reading Anne Lamott -- didn't realize it was a novel about a dad with a brain tumor. Something darkly ironic about listening to an MRI while reading about brain tumors. . .