Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me by Robert Schimmel

By Robert Schimmel

Within the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel was once driving excessive. He’d gained the Stand-Up of the 12 months Award, his HBO particular used to be a tremendous hit, and his sitcom have been picked up. after which all of it got here crashing down. clinically determined with level III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he used to be instructed he must suffer chemotherapy instantly. The sitcom used to be dumped and the fireplace of his white-hot occupation began to exit. yet Schimmel by no means misplaced his humorousness, his knife-like aspect, and such a lot of all, his ardour to entertain. certainly, it was once his easy have to laugh-even if the single humans round him have been being affected by melanoma and the room he used to be taking part in used to be the Mayo health facility infusion center-that carried him via his ordeal. From his colourful banter with nurses and different sufferers in the course of chemo, to his hilarious dialog with a wig salesman, going for the chortle used to be Robert Schimmel’s survival mechanism. Alternately laugh-out-loud humorous and profound, melanoma on 5 funds an afternoon is a decent account of the way one man’s face-off with a scourge helped him higher comprehend himself.

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Extra info for Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life

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Vicki isn’t here. There are no muffins. I remember now. My dad brought me in. My mom came later. She called Vicki, told her what happened, and said she’d let her know when we had the results. “Wow,” I say. “You were out,” my dad says. ” I sit up slowly, rub my eyes. ” “Not yet,” my mom says. “Wow,” I say again, and then I laugh. “That was nuts. ” My mother shifts in her chair. My dad dips his head, studies his hands. There is dread etched into their faces. These are two people who have survived the Holocaust and then the loss of their grandson, Vicki’s and my son Derek.

See that nurse out there? ” Dr. Mehldau laughs, shakes his head. I wink at my parents. “Old joke,” I say. ” “The good news is,” Dr. Mehldau repeats, “I’m being conservative. I have to be. ” I swallow, look over at my parents. My mother is wiping her eyes with a tissue. My father is nodding as if he’s davening. “What we’re gonna do now is a bone marrow biopsy to rule out stage four. ” my dad asks. “Yeah,” I say. ” “So Wednesday,” Dr. Mehldau says and pats the blanket next to my leg. ” I nod, peek at my parents again.

Who cares? It’s my time. After twenty years of stand-up, America has embraced me and my raw, take-no-prisoners, balls-out comedy. I’m gonna be famous. Bizarre. I go into rehearsal for the pilot. The hours are grueling, the work is intense. I feel fatigued and dazed, and then right before we’re set to shoot the show, I start getting chills, two, three times a night. I’ve got the shakes so bad that I pile on extra blankets. When I wake up, the bed is soaked, totally drenched, as if a pipe has burst beneath the sheets.

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