In 2012, comedian Tig Notaro got sucker-punched in multiple ways over the course of four months: First, she was diagnosed with a digestive illness. Then her mother died. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.
What was her response? To keep working. She came out on stage amid all the chaos, doing her regular live stage show at a Los Angeles club, and greeted the audience with, "Hello, good evening. I have cancer. How are you?"
"I thought there was a silliness to delivering, 'Hello, good evening. I have cancer' in the way that most comedians say, 'Anybody drinking tonight?'" she said on TODAY Friday.
"When I looked out at the audience there was truly people stunned and confused and then other people crying and other people laughing," she recalled. "It was a roller coaster."
She impressed fellow comedian Louis C.K. so much that he released that show as a live concert recording called "Live," and it quickly went viral, selling over 75,000 copies.
Three years later, Notaro has "no evidence of disease," she said, but will have to wait five years before she considers herself in full remission.
Want to find out more? Check out a brand-new documentary about her on Netflix called "Tig," streaming now.