So many story submissions I receive are about awkward conversations or misguided things that others say while someone is going through cancer treatment. I would say it's in the majority of my submissions...meaning, it's a problem. But another thing that shows up often in these comics is how badass, resilient and "fabulous" these patients and survivors are. And Trevor McKee, shows this perfectly.
Trevor is my guest artist for the week. He's the wonderfully talented artist of Conspiracy of Birds, one of my favorite webcomics. He's also one of the first webcomic buddies I made when Cancer Owl took flight. He helped me navigate the social media world and troubleshoot photoshop problems. He was one of the first people to congratulate me being cancer free using his signature bird: Larry the Emotional Owl.
One of the things that Trevor and I have in common is that we both illustrate personal struggles. For me, it's cancer. For Trevor, it's autism. But with Conspiracy of Birds, Trevor shows life with high functioning autism (previously called Asperger's) in a more subtle manner than Cancer Owl. His main character, himself, just tries to live his life like anyone else while stumbling awkwardly through relationships and trying to read social cues. It's brilliant stuff, and i read every one.
And, like all of my true cancer stories, here's her original submission:
I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 15. A terrible time for a girl's hair to fall out, right? A few months into chemo I decided to be brave & go to the Thursday Night Market, which is an evening farmer's market/street fair that happens in my little town. I just wanted to try to be a normal teenager and hang with my friends.
So my friend Lance**, who also happens to be particularly feminine and outspoken, comes up to me and goes "Oh my god, Bri! Did you do something new with your hair? It looks so great!"
And I'm just like "... No, Lance ... It's a wig ... I have cancer, remember?"
And he responds "Isn't that done? It was so long ago."
So I'm like *eye roll* and thinking "dumb teenager," but I say "No Lance, treatment is 2 & 1/2 years. It's not like a cold."
It really pissed me off in the moment. But now I look back and think, yeah, that was a really good looking wig.
** Name changed for privacy. I'm not in contact with this guy anymore.