Mom’s Cancer

I don’t post about webcomics as much as I should, especially given how many I enjoy. So it seems somewhat odd to choose to post about Mom’s Cancer, a graphic novel by Brian Fies that describes his mother’s battle with metastatic lung cancer. But there’s a reason for it.

Brian chose to deal with this awful time this way because he felt it was the best way for him. He originally released it page by page on USENET before putting it on the web. It has since been picked up for publication and that required him to take down the posted pages. But now he is posting it to Gocomics and also blogging each comic with notes and other related materials. Despite what you might think, it’s not as depressing as the topic would suggest and since today is the first episode, you can follow the story from its beginning. I highly suggest that you do.

I chose to put this below the fold because I don’t want to distract from the central topic. It’s personal, so you’ve been warned.

This story truly hits home for me. My own mother had smoked heavily from about age 12 until, like Brian’s mom, she developed metastatic lung cancer. This was in the late 60s/early 70s and treatment wasn’t anywhere near to what is available now. But if you know much about lung cancer, you know that survival isn’t much better than it was then. Those diagnosed with it do live longer, post-diagnosis, but it’s still almost impossible to eradicate especially once it’s spread to other organs. In my mom’s case it spread to her bones and her heart (and probably elsewhere) before it finally took her. I missed my first day of high school to attend her funeral.

I know that smoking is addictive. Despite her best efforts, she continued to smoke on the sly after her diagnosis. If knowing smoking caused her lung cancer wasn’t enough to get her to truly quit it’s obvious that this is an addiction like no other. If you smoke, please, please, please quit. There are those who love you and who will be affected if you become ill. If you can’t do it for yourself, think about them. My mom died almost 44 years ago and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her. She never got to see me graduate high school, or college, or see me get married or hold her two grandchildren. Don’t let that happen to you or your loved ones.

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