My apologies to you all and to Kate. None of her cartoons showed up in yesterday’s posting. Let’s see if it works today.
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 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:
Her story is woven in through her cartoons. Enjoy.
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:
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:
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!