Bif Naked, A Cancer Survivor, Speaks Out About Caregiving.

“Cancer is the big reveal.” 

So states singer/songwriter Beth Torbert, more popularly known as Bif Naked, in her article in the September 27th edition of the STARMETRO.

Epiphanies and transformations happen within the cancer patient, she says, allowing for deeper self-knowledge, for discarding or examining pre-conceived notions, and ideas about the self.

Bif observed that women are often uncomfortable with being cared for:  They are used to being the caregivers.

It can take time to accept nurturing.  And for many cancer patients, unrealized issues of self-esteem can arise.

 Bif found her natural reaction to her own cancer was to make others laugh.  To use self-deprecating humour to lighten every situation. 

Being able to use her special brand of humour to make people break out in “snort laughter” was an important aspect of making others more relaxed with her condition, and with what was happening in the present moment.

She felt at her best when she was helping others.  And, she reflects, taking care of others can be a natural response for women.

This ability to invoke laughter in others helped Bif to lose all sense of time: to allay her fears. 

It was her way of caring not only for herself, but for her family, her medical teams, and her companion cancer patients.

Now that she is a cancer survivor, Bif says she feels it’s her responsibility to visit, to bring cheer.  This amazingly intuitive vocal artist suggests that our Canadian culture makes us reticent, hesitant to intrude.  

But Bif says, Be a pest.  Always be a pest.

The old-fashioned approach, bake a pie, call, bring flowers, read a book, is what best helps overcome the isolation and alienation that families can feel when cancer strikes close to home.  

 Laughter, Bif reiterates, is the best medicine!

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