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Multiple Myeloma- Tig Notaro’s Comedic Brand of Mind-Body Therapy

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“The point here was not merely to shock, as quickly became clear. In fact, it was to convince us that there is nothing to be shocked about. For the next 30 minutes, Ms. Notaro told jokes so funny and involving that any anxiety or tension in the room disappeared.”

Let’s take mind-body therapy to a whole new level… A generation ago or so cancer was not discussed openly. I have read that it wasn’t considered polite to discuss one’s cancer diagnosis. If I understand it, talking about your cancer made people feel… well… uncomfortable. I talk, blog, research, etc. about my multiple myeloma. Tig Nataro even jokes about her cancer.

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) in early 1994. I live with the idea that I could relapse at any time. I live with long-term and late stage side effects. My risk of dying from a treatment-related secondary cancer is greater at this point, than dying from my MM.

Mind-body Therapy and Multiple Myeloma

It took Tig Notaro a couple of months what it has taken me 25+ years to figure out. If I understand it, Tig Notaro was diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in 2012.

“On August 3, 2012 Notaro addressed her recent cancer treatments and other personal difficulties during her live stage show at Largo in Los Angeles. The set has been described as “instantly legendary,” with many comedians praising her work…

I blogged about the issues of mind-body cancer therapies and being “defined by one’s cancer” recently. My thinking is that cancer patients, survivors and caregivers need to heal their mind after a cancer diagnosis as much as they have to heal their bodies.

Tig Notaro has taken mind-body therapy way beyond anything I had ever imagined.

Does Tig Notaro want to be defined by her cancer? Is she healing her cancer by talking about it during her comedy routines? I don’t know. What I do know is that Tig Notaro has single-handedly managed to launch the good, bad and ugly aspects of cancer survival into the public’s mind better than any pinking, walking or racing ever has.

Thank you Tig.

Are you a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient? Breast cancer survivor? What do you think of Tig Notaro’s cancer coping strategy? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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Going Topless, Tig Notaro Takes Over Town Hall

“… The point here was not merely to shock, as quickly became clear. In fact, it was to convince us that there is nothing to be shocked about. For the next 30 minutes, Ms. Notaro told jokes so funny and involving that any anxiety or tension in the room disappeared.

…She showed the audience her scars and then, through the force of her showmanship, made you forget that they were there. It was a powerful, even inspiring, statement about survival and recovery, and yet, it had the larky feel of a dare.

Ms. Notaro’s new act is not just about conquering illness. It’s an ingenious expression of the commanding and persuasive power of art. She shows that comedy can not only transform tragedy into humor, but that it can also distract people from the most marketed and objectified image in popular culture: the naked female body…”

“I don’t want people to define me by my cancer.”

“1) I do want to be defined by my cancer. It took a lot of research and effort to get here.

2) Cancer is not a battle. It’s not a fight. If you need an analogy, call it a chess match.

3) When oncologists refer to a cancer or a stage of cancer as “incurable” it only means that they haven’t figured out a way to cure it. Meaning the cancer patient must think outside the box.”

Mind-body therapy and cancer

“While I cannot provide evidence-based research about every type of mind-body therapy I will say that ALL cancer patients and survivors must “get their mind right (remember the warden in the movie Cool Hand Luke?).”

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