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Joking About Cancer

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North Park resident Summer Golden opens up about how her stand-up comedy routine is helping her cope with cancer.

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Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm wearing Kavanagh and I'm jade Hindman. There are different ways to cope with a new chronic medical condition. Some may want to learn everything there is to know about their condition while others may seek out support groups for help, but one San Diego resident found comfort in humor after she was diagnosed with cancer. She shares her story as part of our first person series. Hi,

Speaker 2: 00:26 my name is summer Guldan and a year ago is that now it's with Milo fibrosis.

Speaker 3: 00:31 Yes.

Speaker 2: 00:40 When you see me you probably think, oh at a sweet little old lady and I really appreciate that. Thank you. But my bone marrow is really over the top and wild and now it's Milo fibrosis. I'm not real well versed on it because I don't think that's a good idea to dwell on your illnesses. There's only 1,855 people in the United States that have this better had something to do with the blood cells and the bone marrow not doing what it's supposed to do. So it's very serious and in care of a

Speaker 4: 01:17 [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 01:28 for awhile I was just pretty down. Then one night I thinking about it and I had taken standup comedy and even performed at New York a few times. So I know I was pretty good at it. So I called, I emailed my comedy teacher, Tony Calibri. Geez, he's very good. And I said, do people ever make a cock head deal, comedy routine about cancer? And he went back and he said, if they really have it, they do. So I said, okay, I'm coming to your class. So [inaudible] you're probably wondering, why do I mad gangs and brown hair because I have cancer and it's than me.

Speaker 2: 02:21 And once I started riding through routine and observing things, I've felt more like a kid control it because I was turning it into something. And I'm not too, you know, I'm not really in debt. Having that as my identity. Sam [inaudible] dresses company called me when I was in math and she, yeah, that can happen. Condo find out if I'm still around and it's Kinda like the body counts. And every time when I first did my routine, I was so sick. I thought I was gonna say that I was terrified. I had told a few of my friends about it, but I was just so scared because I didn't add the audience, take an eye on invited my doctor and two girlfriends said, those are the only people I knew in the audience. I was so scared that all day long I kept starting to call the phone and I could easily tell my teacher I have a stack. Is that what makes sense? I just felt I was so nervous on stage. I had my notes, I was just shaking that I still thought I was funny. I have to say that. And then they laughed more for me than anybody else in the shower. I'm not bragging, but they really did. And I think, well maybe they felt sorry for me, but they seemed really laugh. [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 04:02 here, I can't see it here.

Speaker 3: 04:08 Oh, hi. [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 04:11 she was talking about having a phone, their towns and how can we are grateful I'd be to the donor. I don't think I can handle it. I have to take my own cheese and then go to the hub town.

Speaker 3: 04:27 [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 04:35 like the idea of touching someone else's bone there. That the last year has gone from really suffering from physical ailments to now I feel the same as you. I don't feel sick or anything. I'm not tired. I'm going to zoom. But tonight I've already walked along ways today. Then a lot of shopping. Um, it, it's been a scare a year, but it's really made me appreciate everything. Comedy has helped me be in control and put the endorphins up so to speak. Cause right now I'm in two plays. One of them's a comedy. One of them's fairly sad vet. I think when you do comedy, you have your own mind, controls everything you do. So it goes a little bit above that. And I, I, I totally believe in it.

Speaker 3: 05:41 [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 05:54 Samara golden helps run the North Park Vaudeville theater with

Speaker 1: 05:58 her husband. This first person was produced by Marissa Cabrera

Speaker 3: 06:06 [inaudible].

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First Person

KPBS' recurring series that tells the stories of San Diegans in their own words, offering a unique lens into the news of the day.