I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014, which included chemotherapy, radiation, multiple surgeries and an ostomy bag. This happened while working full time as a therapist and being married with a small child. I'm currently cancer free, but the experience was a complete life-changer.

To cope with the process, I started drawing up a comic while recovering from my first surgery in the hospital. I drew a cute little owl and Cancer Owl was born. I attempted to articulate what was so hard to articulate in the cancer experience: how it feels to have chemotherapy and radiation, working while in treatment, the emotional highs and lows, combatting the terrible misconceptions about cancer, and dealing with others who (sometimes poorly) attempt to deal with you while going through treatment. I also stuck with drawing animals only, and using bright colors and fun fonts.

Long story short: this resonated with people. Especially those going through the cancer experience. I get messages and emails almost every day, and people started sharing their stories. I've had many people tell me it got through a rough patch or it was the first time they smiled in months. Now that I've told my story through many comics, I devote most of my comics to telling other people's stories. I believe that the more people share their stories, the more we lessen the stigma and help anyone dealing with this damned disease to not feel so alone.

More info: cancerowl.com

#1

Good Patient

Good Patient

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Master Markus 2 years ago

At least 1, maybe 3, and 4 are quite similar to how people talk about depression.

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#2

Solidarity

Solidarity

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Lily Panda 2 years ago

It's the thought that counts sometimes.

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#3

Really

Really

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İdil 2 years ago

One of our family friends lost their daughter to an agressive form of cancer. The sad thing is, doctors kept giving her antibiotics and +

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#4

Support

Support

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ADHORTATOR 2 years ago

America...?

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#5

Handsome

Handsome

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Joanna K. 2 years ago

damn, these onion-cutting ninjas!

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#6

Olives

Olives

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JoSta Urban 2 years ago

That one made me cry while on the bus :(

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#7

Emojis

Emojis

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Brenda Olano 2 years ago

Life goal: To live my life like a boss with or without cancer

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#8

Dead

Dead

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nameme the undieing 2 years ago

sans is an owl now

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#9

Superstar

Superstar

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nameme the undieing 2 years ago

also the cancer patient the media loves tends to get cancer from something like saving puppies from nuclear waste and not say smoking or just bad jeans

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#10

That Look

That Look

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Ladam 2 years ago

He's just marrying into a "close" family.

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#11

God

God

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Jace 2 years ago

I hate this attitude in religious people. It's the best example of the worst lack of empathy, all in the service of worshipping their magical sky daddy wish goblin.

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#12

Patient Rant

Patient Rant

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A.S. Galston 2 years ago

It's true, everyone seems to have an opinion about it. And my mom had to endure every single suggestion. Including, a few weeks before she died, someone making her watch "The Secret" and telling her she just had to want to get better. Fun times.

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#13

Mean Girl

Mean Girl

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Valentina 2 years ago

I wish your insurance would pay for a brain implant...

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#14

Haircut

Haircut

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Aish Siva 2 years ago

Seriously, do people NOT know how to keep their thoughts to themselves? I mean I know so many adults who have opinions like this but they keep their mouths shut-none of yo business!

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#15

Lucky

Lucky

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ADHORTATOR 2 years ago

"You are lucky..." A**hole!

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#16

Child

Child

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Jim 2 years ago

I can confirm this to be true.

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#17

Splat!

Splat!

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#18

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

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Cassie 2 years ago

The is the best depiction of treatment I have ever seen.

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#19

Owlet At The End Of The World

Owlet At The End Of The World

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nameme the undieing 2 years ago

I don't like Trump but it disturbs me if people think he's ''as bad as Hitler'' or that his supporters are ''subhuman'' or ''deserve to die''

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#20

Yolo

Yolo

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Pi... 2 years ago

Oh god... these comics are really getting to me..

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#21

Ew

Ew

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Daria B 2 years ago

I dunno, I wouldn't be so harsh about the teen here. This could have as well been their own way of expressing the "man, that sucks" feeling. But I weren't there, so, who knows....

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#22

Cookies

Cookies

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Lynn Lee 2 years ago

Now all you need is... 10,000 gallons of milk!

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#23

Friends

Friends

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Ie Va 2 years ago

"My Plans" is an imaginary friend. For everyone, ill or healthy.

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#24

Dealing With Cancer

Dealing With Cancer

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Rhân 2 years ago

I think, sadly it can be a risk if you're on chemo therapy and someone hugs you. So, I would say, if you want to hug a person with cancer, ask before. maybe I'm wrong, but asking costs nothing, so what.

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#25

Company

Company

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Hamlets twin 1 year ago

depression is the same way

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#26

Sincerely

Sincerely

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3ke 2 years ago

That was beautiful. I'm crying.

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#27

Braaaaaaaaaaiiiins

Braaaaaaaaaaiiiins

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#28

Hollywood Vs Real Life

Hollywood Vs Real Life

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Alia Gail 2 years ago

Before my grandfather had cancer he and my grandma got along perfectly fine like a happy couple, but when he got pancreatic cancer they argued all the time until he died.

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#29

Whatever Works

Whatever Works

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Anouk 2 years ago

OK - all these cartoons are just amazing and funny and moving and thought provoking but this one just made me spit up my coffee. Great job, Matt xx

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#30

Felling Good

Felling Good

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#31

Peace

Peace

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coffee zombie 2 years ago

I read a book once about HELA cells. They are cancerous but have helped so much in the medical field especially in helping eradicate polio. It's ironic but those cancerous cells have saved alot of lives.

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#32

Rock The Chemo

Rock The Chemo

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Anouk 2 years ago

You sir, rock indeed. Keep on rockin', !

#33

See

See

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Cees Timmerman 2 years ago

Not all cancer is terminal.

#34

Happy

Happy

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Aish Siva 2 years ago

Ya know, chemicals in our food, environment and the products we use daily are a major cause of cancer but to cure it, unfortunately we can't just passively wish it away or use some random, newly discovered "power food". Also Ayurvedic medicine IS a thing but it is also scientifically backed (albeit in a different scientific language)-it's not just random shit like "the internet said Kale so just drink a shit of it and that's enough" but enough people seem to have 0 scientific knowledge about any type of natural remedy.

#35

Having Cancer (part 1)

Having Cancer (part 1)

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Anouk 2 years ago

'a tumor the size of an elephant turd'... loooool dammit!!!

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#36

Lightweight

Lightweight

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#37

Mail

Mail

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Aish Siva 2 years ago

I was a door to door sales rep once and I tried to sign up this old man one day. We did a credit score check and he came back with a REALLY low score and it said if he wanted cable, he needed to pay a $200 refundable deposit. He told me that the reason he had such a shitty score is because while he was busy taking care of his ailing wife of 40 years who had cancer, some ASSHAT stole his identity and used all his savings and depleted his bank account. In the end, he could barely afford medicine for his poor wife and she died in so much pain. He didn't even have the $200 for the deposit because he was living paycheck to paycheck, having either lost most of the money to the identity thief or having spent it on his wife. It was an awful story. The look on that man's face when he told me he lost the love of his life...omg.

#38

Prognosis

Prognosis

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A.S. Galston 2 years ago

This comic gets to me so much. My mom was a lifelong vegetarian who faithfully exercised and was really into health. While she had cancer she went vegan, cut out all sugar, and started juicing beats and carrots. She died in 3 years later.

#39

Having Cancer (part 2)

Having Cancer (part 2)

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#40

Healthy

Healthy

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Pi... 2 years ago

Not just cancer,but even when ur sick with other stuff n ppl force food down ur throat! They don't know how horrible it tastes at that time!

#41

Tv

Tv

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