Comedian Robert Schimmel's new book- Chemo on $5 a day

Robert Schimmel
Robert Schimmel

Comedian Robert Schimmel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2000. He recently described his first day in the chemo room: He noticed a particulary pissed-off looking man seated along the wall getting the chemo drip. The nurses instructed Robert to "stay away" from the guy becasue he was so unhappy and negative. Robert said he purposely sat near him. He started talking with the guy and the guy was not interested in chat.  He basically told Robert to "talk to him in few weeks after he'd had more chemo". Robert became determined to make the guy laugh and continued to sit near him. The story of how he did this is a bit off color (thus Robert's awesome style) - so I'll leave it out here just in case someone is easily offended. When he finally made the guy laugh- Robert said he felt so good. He realized that he really needed the guy to laugh; it gave him a purpose, and made him feel good. Robert says the only place he feels completely control is when he is on stage and he is making people laugh. When he steps off the stage anything can happen. He realizes we have no control over life. He seems to have learned this lesson over and over again in his life. His parents are holocaust survivors and in 1992 he lost his son to cancer!

Robert Schimmel knows pain and he knows comedy. If you are going through cancer or know someone else who is - get his new book.

His book is called, "Cancer on $5 a day, Chemo not included".  He's on the press circuit right now promoting his book- so you may catch him on late night TV. He was on Conan a couple weeks ago but you'll have to download it if you want to see his interview. Robert is also in the book "Hope Begins in the Dark" in which 50 lymphoma survivors share their experiences with cancer (including me). He's hysterical and inspirational.

Love & Light,

Dr. Regina