By Robert Schimmel
Within the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel used to be driving excessive. He’d received the Stand-Up of the 12 months Award, his HBO certain was once a major hit, and his sitcom have been picked up. after which all of it got here crashing down. clinically determined with degree III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was once instructed he must endure chemotherapy instantly. The sitcom used to be dumped and the fireplace of his white-hot profession began to exit. yet Schimmel by no means misplaced his humorousness, his knife-like facet, and such a lot of all, his ardour to entertain. certainly, it was once his uncomplicated have to laugh-even if the one humans round him have been being affected by melanoma and the room he used to be taking part in was once the Mayo medical institution 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 chuckle 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 ways one man’s face-off with a plague helped him greater comprehend himself.
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Additional info for Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
Then we turn away. This, too, this end, is a kind of death. ” Melissa says. ” “You have to,” I say and mean it, but then add in a canned, tinny voice: “You deserve somebody better. ” She glares at me, her eyes tiny blue dots of rage. ” I can’t say anything because she’s right. I am full of shit. I’m also full of heartbreak, loss, guilt, regret, pain, and terror. Plain, simple, unadulterated fear. With a capital F. Not the fear of dying, believe it or not, at least not at this moment. The fear that I have made the biggest mistake of my life.
You’d do everything you could to prepare so that when you stepped into the ring for the fight of your life, you’d know all his strengths and weaknesses. ” He holds for a beat. ” “No,” I say. ” “Well, hang up with me, and go on the Internet and start reading all about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And when you’re at Mayo, go to the library and do research. Find ways to help you get through it. Read other people’s stories. Find out how you’re gonna beat it. ” “Exactly,” Dr. Mehldau says. I feel my breathing slow down.
Every night when he finished his set and clicked off the last slide, the audience as one leapt to their feet. And as the house lights came up and the audience filed out of the club, their faces alternated between those who were still smiling and those who were overcome with tears. One Thursday night in January at the Improv in Irvine, California, a young man named Jesse Gonzalez shared a table with his family. Jesse’s brothers, sister, and mother had bought seventeen tickets to see Robert, Jesse’s favorite comedian.