When Terrible Found Me, I Smiled… with Teeth

Dark humor “strengthens your immune system, relieves pain, eases depression” and makes all those ridiculously annoying people, who seem to walk around with a giant stick up their rears, rather uncomfortable… a detail I find freaking hilarious. ~ from The Healing Power of Humor [and moi]


If we are friends on Instagram, then you have already glimpsed this. But since I promised I would write a bit more about it, here it goes again, with an extra detail (or 3): I am slightly fascinated by how the chemo cocktail affects the body, and by how quickly the effects make themselves known.

– The anti-nausea meds that accompany the bulk of the healing poison grip one’s nether regions (for about a second). The feeling is not exactly painful (not even all that unpleasant *cough*), but it is always surprising, regardless of how many times the quirky meds have previously clenched one’s behind without asking for consent or offering a refreshing beverage.

– Then… comes the high. Mostly from the anti-allergy stuff (lots of anti-stuff during chemo[ning]). Many people (perhaps, even most) get sleepy. Me? No, I get giggly, which makes me laugh at the slightest provocation, and quite often without being provoked at all. And since my nurses are a wonderful riot (and I insist on watching all the funny videos friends post on social media while I am getting my chemo infusions), well… the result is a lot of cackling. I enjoy every minute of it, even the weird looks I get.

– There is wild twitchiness and pains, which aren’t as bad as they sound. Really. Some muscle spasming—around my left eye, in the left side of my back… These are not the torturous neuropathic events (which are nasty). I’m referring to spasms that feel almost like tickles. They go away after I stretch. But… can you imagine the number of funny faces you must make to stretch your twitchy facial beauty? Many. And when you do it in front of the mirror, the doing can get quite hysterical, particularly if you are still riding the chemo high… And yes, by “you” I almost always mean “me”.

Soon, I’ll share a bit about the sexy side effects. Let’s just say that phrases like “Port! Port!” might’ve become safe words. See? Never a dull moment, especially with a sexy Piano Man who dances with me no matter the tune.


post-chemo scowling
selfies are quite diverting
when my eyelids hurt


When terrible found me,
I smiled… with Teeth.


See? with Teeth.


What about you, my Wicked Luvs, how do you deal with terrible, when it comes knocking, knocking, knocking… on your door?


45 thoughts on “When Terrible Found Me, I Smiled… with Teeth”

  1. I don’t know why, but I find bald heads (male or female) to be sublimely hot.

    I love the closing implication that you are heaven (“knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door), which is just so perfect and true.

    This is a fantastic post. You show us how to do it, always — how to live through anything with not just a smile, but a cackle. You are ever the inspiration, Magaly.

  2. One of the first times I donated blood, I giggled the whole time, but I suspect it was from nervousness and nothing directly related to the process itself. Glad that you are facing down the process with your toothy grin.

  3. Magaly, sincerely, thank you for sharing this all with us! I sit here and cry with you and then I sit here and smile with you! Girl, you keep going! You keep laughing! Both your photos are beautiful! I use to deal with terrible differently, but now I say, thank you and go forth! Big Hugs 🙂

  4. Magaly, you’re truly beautify person, who inspires, by just being you. Thank you. I love the opening quote that you shared, as I use dark humour, as shield to protect myself, from life’s daily trials. May the Goddess watch over you, as your body heals from the poison that we call modern medicine.

  5. So do the doctors realise you are running the Magaly bus yet… I have a feeling they are in for a wicked ride with you at the wheel… as long as those doctors pump in premium juice you will keep running (and laughing) until back in full health… then, do it without them and choose your own juice to keep the engine in tip top shape (stretching anywitchway you want 😆)

  6. Magaly, your pictures are beautiful and I love the “smiling – with teeth”. I hope it’s not too long before you can sip a cocktail of your own choosing, as referred to above by Shelle and another thing I want to say, thank you for writing so well about your experiences.

  7. Your ability to find humour in things many of us would find dismal is what makes you a winner. I couldn’t help but laugh at the image of you standing in front of the mirror and making funny faces. 😀

    I can’t wait to hear about the sexy side of things; never a dull moment, indeed. As they say, humour is the best medicine. Take it in large doses!

  8. “it is always surprising, regardless of how many times the quirky meds have previously clenched one’s behind without asking for consent or offering a refreshing beverage”

    Choked on my coffee! Now… Laughing. Out. Loud. ♥ ♥ ♥

  9. You are SOOOOOOOO wicked !!! CWS and wickedly beautiful :D…me I just let the tears flow….though anyone who knows me knows to stand well back in those moments. Running to hug or sympathise is likely to result in torn limbs while I vent any frustration or rage mwahahahaha . Keep on being you , you marvellous miracle of Creation XXX

    • So, if I really dislike someone, I just have to convince them to hug you when you are in the mood to rip limbs? I shan’t forget!

      On a serious note, I completely understand the stay-away-tears. I have stay-away-smirks. Someone who doesn’t know me might feel the danger in the eeriness of the curve of the lips, the glint of the teeth… But those who do know me just run. They like their skulls uncracked.

  10. Your humour amongst even the most terrible of times, just blows me away. I can just visualize you cackling through your chemo! I hope your presence serves as a soothing tonic to any fellow ladies alongside you, whilst also facing the cocktail that is chemo. Thank you for being you even when life is trying to kick your backside. You make me cry & laugh in equal measures & you may just have made me spit my coffee out whilst reading this, as only you could do! Love you to the moon and back dear friend 😘 x x

    • A few days ago, I was telling one of my dearest friends how my highest accomplishment for this year was to inspire a 72-year-old woman to twirk (half-naked) in front of a huge mirror with me. We laugh until we had to wipe our tears. She had been feeling down because, well… you know, the scars (she had a double mastectomy) and such… also, the steroids they are giving us aren’t doing anything healthy for our waistlines. She told me that she was having a hard time finding things to feel joyous about. I told her that I grinned every time I saw my butt giggle to the holiday jingles, something I had not been able to do when it was tight as a bubble drum. After that, it was all twirking (and slightly terrified healthcare personnel who had no idea what was happening in the locker room). Whenever I feel a bit annoyed by… whatever, I think of that day. And the annoyance melts. It’s wild magic!

  11. Dark humor is the best. I agree you have to have it to get through trying times. I love your smile with teeth!
    You are beautiful and so strong and such a gift to all of us!

  12. You light up a room, the page, my day! I had a friend that said his bald pate was a highly sophisticated solar collector that furnished the energy for his libido. For you and the Piano Man, I hope you get to sit in the sun and charge up as much as you want!

  13. I’m watching a Hallmark movie set in N.Y. which prompted me to visit your cyber home. Your smile brightens my day and your expressions of life fill me with a warmer heart.

  14. To answer your question, the way I deal with terrible when it knocks is to slam the door in its face, hopefully on its fingers in the door frame, then run and hide in my blanket cave, hoping that I will somehow look pitiful enough to get a head pat and some chicken soup (throw in a grilled cheese too) from my own Mr. Wonderful. I am not brave like you and I admit to being cowardly. My respect and admiration for you knows no bounds. It was this way before your illness, but now it is over the moon. I send you many tight, tight hugs. Put them in an imaginary box and take them out one at a time on those days when you might need one. xoxoxo

    • I believe that all the finger-less (and most likely toe-less) terribles searching for their amputated bits, around your door understand, that brave comes in all shapes and forms.

      And now, I want a grilled cheese and it’s all your fault!

  15. How can I feel such love for you even though I ve never met you? If i ever come to the ny or you to athens I am going to squeeze the hell out of you… Us greeks are very handsy and well this emotion has to express itself…

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