The Real Housewives of Chemotherapy: Laughter in the Face of a Cancer Diagnosis

When you’re 22 and diagnosed with leukemia, it’s not always easy to find reasons to laugh. But for Suleika Jouad and her self-described “cancer friend” Kristen Howard, there is laughter and catharsis in “The Real Housewives of Chemotherapy,” a video they created after meeting in the Mount Sinai Hospital cancer ward. Jouad and Howard – who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 30 – spoof the popular Bravo television series “Real Housewives” in their YouTube video. They get dolled up hoping to meet a cute cancer doctor, make fun of nurses who wear Crocs, and demand 3,000-threadcount sheets in their hospital beds. Laughter is a powerful therapeutic act. And if the feedback they’re getting from others fighting cancer is any indication, laughter is contagious, too. “I'm old enough to be your grandma, and am living with stage IV breast cancer and don't watch any of the housewives programs but I think you are darling and wise beyond your years! If you were my granddaughters, I would be so proud of you!” writes YouTube user ‘pambreakey.’ The video has even spawned a spinoff: “The Real Housewives of Chemotherapy: Miami,” in which cancer patient Michael Maryanoff dresses up in drag, and costars Christine Anderson and Jessica LaBonte poke fun at alternative cancer treatments. Here at Natural Horizons, we recognize the healing power of laughter, and we’re okay with a few light-hearted pokes at alternative cancer treatments. Of course, we’re also fans of improving public awareness about alternative treatments. That’s why we launched a Cancer Treatment Library with links to reputable sources of information about alternative cancer treatments.

Tell Us How Laughter Helps YOU Fight Cancer

We’d love to hear how you laugh, smile and live life fully in the face of cancer. Leave a comment telling us (and other patients!) how you keep your spirits up. Your story can help others!

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