Things That I Like TodayIf You Can't Laugh, Then You're Just Going To End Up SadPolly Holton

I had something else completely different planned for today but then I saw this lovely and sweet video and it warmed my heart despite the incredibly sucky news.

Michelle Ward is a life coach from NYC and last week she got some bad news: she found out she had breast cancer. It’s pretty much the crappiest news to get  but once you’ve come to terms with it, you’ve got to tell people and that’s sometimes so much worse. Before I go any further, I must say that it wasn’t me who got diagnosed, it was my mum. So while I cannot fully comprehend what it is like to be told, I sure as hell know how hard it is to tell people and the way Michelle Ward has gone about it is possibly the most perfect way I can think of.

With a smile and a pink ukelele, Michelle lays it all out there in a ditty: she’s got boob cancer. There’s no beating around the bush, there’s no getting out of it; it is what it is. In the video description, Michelle says that being the bearer of such bad news was the worst job she ever had and that she needed to tell it in a way that wasn’t going to bring people down. She succeeded because I watched it with a huge smile on my face and tears welling up in my eyes.

This kind of thing makes me have faith in people and that, you know, everything can’t really be all that bad. Cancer is bad – it pretty much sucks and if you let it own you, it will destroy you and those around you far worse than simply the loss that comes from the disease. If you can style yourself a smile when life is throwing simply the worst it can at you, then you’re going to make yourself that much tougher to crack… and that’s half the battle. Speaking from experience, a positive outlook goes SUCH a long way and truly if you can laugh at it, you can deal with it. That’s what makes the unbearable bearable.

So here’s to Michelle Ward for being amazing and choosing to smile through this. Thoughts are with you but with that outlook, well damn, you’re going to be one helluva tough cookie to break.

If you want to send your thoughts, well wishes or whatever to Michelle, here’s her website www.whenigrowupcoach.com

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  1. You are so amazing and strong, you remind me a bit of my mum when she was going through this, I hope your ending is different to hers though.

  2. this is wonderful

  3. Love.

  4. amazing.

  5. OK, now I can die happy. Wait – someone with boob cancer shouldn’t say that. Instead I’ll say, THANK YOU Polly! Not only for the feature, but for acknowledging my 2nd least favorite thing about getting diagnosed: having to tell everyone. For about 3 days I was calling my family and saying, “We love you, which is why you’re getting a phone call with horrible news that will ruin your day at the very least.” To those we told over email, the subject line was “An Email to Ruin Your Day (I’m Serious).” The thought of just writing a blog post or a Facebook update to tell The Interwebs you have boob cancer – terrible. I mean, how the hell do you say that without freaking everyone out?! Hence, the pink uke and penning/performing I Got Boob Cancer. Sure, people were still shocked/sad, but I got a lot who told me they were laughing through the tears, like you did. Mission accomplished.

    Since I got the diagnosis (the day after Thanksgiving), I’ve had a lumpectomy (so we think the cancer’s all out), got upgraded from Stage 2 to Stage 1, got confirmation that my lymph nodes are clear (so it can’t be anywhere else in my body), and got a negative result for having the cancer gene (which means it has a 5-7% chance of returning instead of a 65% chance of returning). So seriously, it’s been nothing but good news since the initial bad – but, as my Mom said, “Any bad news on top of You Have Cancer is just shit on top of cancer.” So the truth.

    And lady, sorry you had to go through this with your Mum. I think this all might be harder for my Mom and my husband more than it is for me. So big hugs to both of you!

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