A hand holds a bag with a bottle of yellow liquid, along with a flashlight, sunglasses, and spare change.

Humor Is the Best Medicine: Finding Laughs Along the Way

Last updated: January 2023

I was stuck in traffic heading home from the airport in the early hours last winter, having just returned from a trip to Mexico. I quickly realized there was a bad accident ahead, and I was not going anywhere soon. 

After a couple of hours of not moving at all, I knew I had to empty my bag soon. Luckily for me, I always have an empty water bottle in a baggie underneath the seat of my car - in both of my cars, actually.

I have emptied this way before and have not had a problem. That night went fine, and a couple of hours later, I was home again. 

A car detail

Fast forward a few weeks, and my car was being detailed at a nearby shop. I received a call asking if I wanted him to save the items randomly found in various places. I said sure - never know what treasures were lurking. 

Well, imagine my surprise when I arrived to find, among change, a pair of sunglasses and a flashlight, a baggie with a gold-colored liquid in it labeled "P." I had completely forgotten that I had placed the bottle back under the seat versus tossing it when I got home. 

Note to self - email yourself to make sure you have tossed this away immediately. We still laugh about that one.

Costco and gassing up

I had a scan scheduled for late that day, and as I am doctor-approved to drink 32 ounces of water within the hour before my test versus drinking that other agent that makes me ill for days, I brought a leg bag to attach later in the day. 

Just before I left work, I realized the straps were not with the bag, so I grabbed some wide rubber bands and used those instead. All was good, and off I went. 

It was a Friday afternoon, and I was finishing up my annual scan. Just after 5, the facility was to close. Long story short, there was confusion about my scan time, and they tried to change it to another couple of weeks down the road. 

I was there and had the document showing my test time. Anyway, the tech did the testing and let me know that they had accommodated me but that the building was closed, and I needed to leave right away.

I knew I should have quickly run into the restroom but did not. As we lost the urge to urinate after a cystectomy, I quickly forgot about that need and drove down the road to Costco to gas up.

Just as I put the hose into my car for gas, I felt this painful snap on my leg and then felt something weird. The rubber band had snapped, and the whole bag of urine was sitting at my ankle, sticking out from my cropped jeans. Classy, to be sure. 

Being able to laugh at yourself

I was horrified for a minute as, of course, there was a lineup at the station. Filling up the tank seemed endless, but finally, I was done, put the hose back, grabbed my receipt, got in my car, and drove home.

About a mile down the road, I broke into uncontrollable laughter at the thought of someone wondering what the heck was sitting there on my foot and, more so, wondering if anyone actually knew what it was. Anyway, it is a great story now, and a lesson learned, make sure you have the right equipment with you - always.

Stay cheeky

One time I was stuck in a long wait in my sports car and emptied into a water bottle. It was when I finally looked around after I was done and realized a semi had moved up next to me, and the guy in the passenger seat was just looking down with the weirdest look on his face. 

I just raised the bottle and winked at him. He turned his head pretty fast, and the semi inched up immediately. Note to self: Be aware of your surroundings.

Finding humor with a urinary diversion

I do not ever mean to make light of the fact that we go through really difficult challenges with cancer. It is a horrible disease that can turn your life upside down. 

But I also have learned over the years that cancer can take control of you if you let it, and I was never going to allow that to happen. For that reason, like other challenges in my life, I find that finding laughter sometimes makes it much more manageable. 

Some things that have happened to us are funny, and it is nice to have those who can see the humor as they clearly understand what and how these things happened and can laugh with me. 

Sending hugs, love, prayers, and positive vibes to everyone out there. Sometimes we have to laugh. Thank you for letting me share these stories with you.

Have you ever found some humor in a situation with your urinary diversion? Tell us in the comments below, or share your story with the community.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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