WEB REVIEW – Drawing From The Experience Of Cancer

A few years ago, the cartoonist Matt Freedman started having nagging pain around his ear. No pain reliever seemed to work. In 2012, a bump appeared on his neck. It was a slow-growing, dangerous cancer that had already spread to his lungs.


As Freedman entered treatment for his rare oral cancer, he began to keep a daily journal in words and pictures : part cartoon, part personal history. Each page is filled with drawings, diagrams and explanations of everything from the technical details of proton therapy to his most interior thoughts.


That journal, kept over 60 days of harrowing radiation and chemotherapy, became his new book, « Relatively Indolent But Relentless: A Cancer Treatment Journal ». The title comes from a phrase doctors used to describe his slow, destructive cancer.


Today, Matt is doing fine, even if his cancer is a non-curative disease. « You want to treat it like a chronic disease as much as you can. The tumors in my lungs didn’t grow quite as slowly as we hoped. But, you know, they are indolent, even if they are relentless. … The trick is to stay alive as long as possible and hope somebody invents something. So far, I’m doing my end of the bargain. »

Source : http://www.kqed.org/news/story/2014/05/03/137221/drawing_from_the_experience_of_indolent_but_relentless_cancer