They say laughter is the best medicine. This is obvious nonsense, as Sinemet is the best medicine in my case. But laughter helps and I truly believe in its therapeutic power. So I’m looking for the funny side of Parkinson’s disease. When I was diagnosed in 2011, at the age of 58, a neurologist said I could expect five good years, which I found fantastic. By then, I had an unusually good year. But five? At the box office?
If I give myself and those who care for me permission to giggle from time to time, then I find that life is easier to live. That’s why I love Maggie’s, which offers free practical and emotional support for people with cancer and their loved ones. one of the charities supported by the latest Telegraph call.
They encourage people to tell jokes and share humor with each other. I wish Maggie’s centers would have helped 50 years ago when my mom had cancer. In their beautiful buildings, around the cozy kitchen tables, there is an atmosphere that creates fun and warmth.
I have been supporting charity since before I found out I have Parkinson’s disease. I always wanted to do something to help people with cancer and their families, as I had a very hard time facing the death of my mother when I was barely 20 years old. The thing is, I didn’t deal with it. Even though this happened 50 years ago, I still think a lot about it.
Long before co-writing The Vicar of Dibley and pursuing a career in television comedy, I began writing games and jokes as a teenager – not to make other people laugh, but to make me laugh in a home where there was quite a bit of humor . From my 14th to 20th my mom was dying very slowly. We didn’t have one support networks that Maggie’s offers to family and friends now or people you could talk to.
Her mother was diagnosed with spinal cancer at the age of 14 and was given another six months to live, but her father and doctor decided not to tell her. She used to have breast cancer and was scared, so they didn’t want to worry her too much. As a result, even though she actually lived another six years, we never talked about it. It would be much better if we had. I didn’t come to terms with it at all and I think it affected me a lot.
Nevertheless, I am an incurable optimist. Ever since I was diagnosed with an incurable disease – I performed in a solo stand-up show for the first time, amazing things have happened to me. I think I’m curious to become a stand-up comedian at a time when it’s getting harder to stand because of illness, but I feel like I have to play a show. I feel the need to hear people laughing. He only works miracles for me. As if he were taking an extra dose of his medicine. It makes me extremely happy. At the end of the two-hour show, I’m full of energy and buzzing, not exhausted, and I meet all sorts of people and hear their stories.