Ultra Sounds Monday, October 8, 2012

Cartoonists hold a special place in my heart. Aside from my love of them leftover from childhood, there is something about the whimsy of cartoons that allows the dark side of a situation to be exposed to the light. I recently, happily stumbled upon a new cancer cartoonist and I  her humour is spot on to describe the life of a cancer patient (or any seriously ill patient for that matter).

This wonderful cartoonist is Kate Matthews and you can find her in all of these different ways:




twitter: @cartoonsbykate



Her story is woven in through her cartoons. Enjoy.




Cartooning Against Cancer by Kate Matthews


One day, close to the end of his life, my daughter offered my Father-in-law a handful of Red Hots (bright-red, heart-shaped cinnamon-flavored candies).  He gestured with his hand and said, “ No thanks, I’m off the Lysinopril” (these were his bright-red, kind of heart-shaped, blood pressure control pills).  We all burst out laughing and for a while, his pain and our sorrow were lifted away.  Eventually my memory of that moment morphed into a cartoon:

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Shortly after my Father-in-law died, I too was diagnosed with cancer.  At first, I fell into that deep dark hole of despair that seems so dreadfully inescapable.  But then I remembered how we had laughed and how much it had helped.  I began to construct a ladder of laughter to help me get out of my hole:

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Cartooning saved my sanity. I was seeking that bright quick moment of mental relief, the laugh that pushes the fear and the pain away. Anytime I found it, I drew it.  I drew in the doctor’s waiting rooms and in the chemo chair, in my living room and in the hospital.    When my treatment was finished, I collected the cartoons in a book in hopes of sharing a few bright moments with others.  We all know that there’s not one damn thing that’s funny about cancer, but no one needs a good laugh more than we folks who are fighting it.  That’s why I’m still cartooning, why I try to post a new cartoon everyday.  When we laugh, we feel good and when we feel good, we get stronger.  Let’s hear it for laughter!

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