Coping strategy: “tumor humor”
After routine bloodwork flagged Stan Hagen as having prostate cancer, he still found humor through the challenge. “I thought I was a goner,” said Hagen, “But hey, my cholesterol level was good!”
In 2002, Hagen, age 50 at the time, embarked on a grueling treatment regimen of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
“I fought [cancer] with humor … tumor humor,” he said.
Always one for a laugh, he liked to walk into Samaritan’s infusion therapy clinic in Albany and call out, “Look alive, people!”
“Thinking back on it, I have fond memories of chemo,” Hagen recalled.
Fond memories? Of chemotherapy?
“It’s because of the people — they were all very caring,” said Hagen. He paused then quipped, “Even with me, the most obnoxious patient!”