So You Have Cancer...
This comic marks what I consider to be Cancer Owl 2.0. When I originally created Cancer Owl, it was from my hospital bed following my first surgery right in the middle of cancer treatments. My therapist urged me to use art journaling to chronicle my experiences with cancer.
But even from the beginning, I wanted to take this comic farther than just a handful of shares from my journal. So, in the summer of 2015 I decided to begin creating the strip and publishing them online to see how people outside my circle of friends might respond to such gut-deep honest accounts of life with cancer. And the response has been overwhelming. It has plunged me deep into the stories of hundreds of cancer patients, survivors, caretakers, and ostomates, as well as doctors and med students. Even non-cancer peeps have written me to tell me how the comic has helped them better communicate with friends and family diagnosed with cancer. I have been featured several times in online magazines, blogs and podcasts. And I receive weekly, and sometimes daily emails and messages from patients and survivors thanking me, telling me their stories, and often telling me that the comic "made me smile for the first time in months". By November, my website shot over 25,000 views. Not bad for a tiny comic that just got started.
But I felt the urge to move this thing on. It's no longer just my story anymore; especially now that I'm currently on the "surviving" side of cancer, it is no longer an art journal. So I took a couple weeks off of my 2x weekly strip to create "So You Have Cancer", my love-letter to other cancer patients, survivors, deceased, and their care-takers. It is my most personal to date.
So what next? Well, my strip will continue to be produced weekly and will ALWAYS be free, but Cancer Owl will seek to fill a void of greeting cards and gifts for cancer patients and care-takers. It is my heart to bridge better communication between cancer peeps and non-cancer peeps. There really isn't too much good stuff out there for us. So, my my goal is to release one Cancer Owl comic a week, and create one greeting card a week, then see where it goes.
And this strip, So You Have Cancer, will be the foundation for my very first gift book. Rather than making a comic strip compilation, I feel more compelled to take my content and condense it into an easy to read book for cancer peeps, that friends or loved ones can give them instead of cheesy cards or gifts that don't speak honestly (or at all) of the cancer experience.
So stay tuned folks! Cancer Owl 2.0 is underway!