Bill Murray is famed for his spontaneity and need to interact with people.  From crashing an engagement photo shoot to becoming an impromptu bartender to doing the dishes at a party, he acts on his impulses – of course with hilarious results.  You can find all the stories with a quick Google search for these moments, but don’t forget to YouTube them too.

One of the many things that I have relied on my husband for throughout my cancer journey has been his humor.  Cancer itself is a terrible disease and there is nothing funny about it, but there is plenty of humor to be found in the circumstances around it.  Eddie has this way of making me laugh, even at my lowest.  It never ceases to amaze me how he can find such humor in such dark places, but it seems to be his natural reaction.

The latest cancer scare came at the tail end of this past summer.  For years we’ve been watching a couple of spots on my liver which have been presumed to be hepatic hemangiomas (  One of these little buggers has been growing slowly but surely.  It was a noticeable growth at the last scan, but still we couldn’t be sure because I had just switched machines.  The options were the old “wait and see approach” or to go in and biopsy.  Had this situation been one where the traits and behavior of the spot leaned towards cancer, we would have gone for the biopsy.  However since we had just switched machines, I opted for the less invasive approach – to repeat the scan under exactly the same circumstances in 3 months.  Bad news: it did not tell us anything more about what it is.  Good news: it did tell us that it was not cancer.  I’ll go back to this part of the story in another post.  I have to bring you back to the funny.

After the scan and just before we got the results, we made a late night run to the grocery store.  I needed ice-cream and thankfully we have a 24-hour Safeway just a short drive away.  It was nearly midnight and we really did not expect to see too many people there, but apparently it was prime time for late night shoppers.  With much on our minds, and anticipation in our hearts, we waited in line.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, Eddie had his Bill Murray moment.  I broke off my chit-chat with the lady behind me in mid-sentence and watched astounded as my husband stormed to the front of the line to start bagging groceries.  There was no anger there – only hilarity.  The checker knows us as we usually frequent her line and I believe that this is the only reason they didn’t have someone dragging off the crazy man up front.  She laughed at his madness and told him that she was required by law to charge $0.10 for each bag used.  The madman pulled out $5 and declared that the next 50 bags were on him.

Meanwhile, in the back of the line, the lady behind me asked if that was my husband.  I chortled a laugh and said absolutely.  It was exactly the riot I needed.  We made our way through the line as Eddie slung groceries into bags, thoroughly entertaining everyone (and probably terrifying some of the older patrons).

Sometimes it’s the very small things in life that lift you up on a bad day.  Besides being the uplifting moment that we needed, it was the moment that the lady behind us needed.  As we left, she thanked Eddie.  She was having a very bad day and this allowed her to end it on a good note.

I have to admit that I don’t really remember exactly the things Eddie ranted about that night.  I only remember the way that he made people feel.  I saw my own laughter reflected on the faces of everyone else in line at the sudden and unexpected display of impulse.  And for a little while, everyone was able to forget about their cares.  So go out and have your own Bill Murray moment.