My Journey from Cancer to LaughterGo Back Kate Squire Howe, South Africa 4 January 2017
It’s the week before my 37th birthday. I’m in hospital, I’m neutropenic, I have an infection second to none on the right side of my chest, where my breast was, where the cancer was. I’m a stage 2 Cancer patient, halfway through Chemotherapy. For the first time the reality of my diagnosis hits me…I’m fighting for my life, SHIT!
As a Buddhist, we’re constantly reminded that the time of death is uncertain, that none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow but was I really living my life from that depth? Was I postponing anything?
For two years I’d wanted to be a Laughter Professional, but had thought I’d wait until I’d got the serious business of career and life underway, well now it was dawning on me, that THE time might never come.
For me the journey through 2010, my year of Cancer, became the year I ceased postponing my life, my Laughter, my Joy – I realized at a fundamental level that this Life is to be Lived!
Four years later I am now a Laughter Yoga Teacher & Laughter Coach. Being a Laughter Professional has been a life changing experience. I’ve learned to take life and myself less seriously, you see I’m hardwiring my brain for happiness, NOW!
The benefits of Laughter are enormous: it is a positive outlet for stress, allowing the immune system to work at optimum. Laughter increases blood & oxygen flow throughout the body, it also helps circulate lymph, which alleviates swelling in my right arm.
They say in order to be happy you should do something for someone else: I run Social Laughter Yoga Clubs, I offer Laughter workshops and trainings, I am passionate about connecting people with their own unique laugh. Laughter Yoga is practiced as an exercise, you see the body does not know the difference between real and fake laughter, so we start off by fake laughing and it soon becomes real & contagious. Laughter Yoga was started by Medical Doctor, Dr Kataria in India 1995 and is now practiced in thousands of clubs in more than 74 countries around the world.
Am I saying that Laughter cured my Cancer? NO! Laughter and a sense of humour helped me through Chemo – Laughter takes your mind off the disease so that the body and the treatments can do their job.
I have found that it is about the quality of my life that is important and being happy, filled with joy and laughter adds a great quality to life.
Norman Cousins in his book, Anatomy of an Illness reminds us that Disease is a great clarifier, we don’t get better just for the sake of getting better, we get better to do something ~ well, Laughter is what I do!