Can I get real with you for a second? This week, I have chosen to talk about something a little different. Cancer. We both know someone who has or is currently fighting against it or has lost their fight with it.
I know, I know. You’ve come to the blog to read about comics and the characters that lay within them, but too bad.
You must be thinking why on a comic website?
The answer is simple. The greatest villains don’t necessarily hide in the pages of a comic book.
Just because these characters are fictional doesn’t mean we all don’t have a hero inside us. You know the kind. Something that someone, somewhere can look up to and say, “if they did it, so can I” or “they really helped me in my time of need.”
The Joker has nothing on this
Dictionary.com describes cancer as “a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, especially one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites.”
I don’t think I need to tell you that there is more than one form of cancer, but I will. Breast, kidney, lung and leukemia immediately come to mind.
The outcomes aren’t predictable and sometimes they turn out the way that we don’t want, but if for a moment you look at that person affected and see them for what they are doing (fighting a losing fight in some instances) you will know that they are braver than any hero in the pages of a comic. Some of them, like the heroes of Marvel and DC even overcome the odds and win their battles.
Personally, I have not had cancer, nor do I completely understand the toll it takes on a person. I have, however, watched as someone very close to me, past away because of it.
A true hero
16 years ago, the greatest villain took one of the most important women in my life; my Grandma. I recall the event much like you recall a bad movie. No matter how many times I attempt to erase the pain she went through, I can’t.
This woman was a true hero.
Even at her darkest time, my Grandmother made sure we kept our chins up and that we moved forward. This was a woman who wasn’t interested in us being sad for her. The way in which she handled herself is something I will never forget. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and the love and support that she gave her family.
From the ashes
As I’m sure you know, not all stories have negative outcomes. Some do in fact end up with the fairy tale ending.
I had the privilege of speaking to a survivor and for reasons of their own, this person wanted me to keep them nameless.
She is a breast cancer survivor.
The moment she heard those words “You have cancer” was the moment her life changed.
She was a mother of two children and a wife. Like most people, when she heard the news, she started looking online to find out about the process and procedures that would come so that the cancer could be removed.
One day, she went to her doctor to get the proverbial ball rolling. Unfortunately, the wait list for treatment was a year long. What could she do? All she could think about was her family and its future. How could she speed things up?
At this time she hadn’t told her friends or family.
What would they think?
What would they say?
When she finally told her friends and family she learned that her Aunt once had cancer and had been free of it for 5 years. With this news, a feeling of relief swept over her.
Suddenly, she knew that she wouldn’t be alone and when she finally got the opportunity to get treatment, her Aunt was with her every step of the way.
I am happy to tell you that as of now, she is a breast cancer survivor.
Move over Spider-Man and Superman
You see, heroes don’t just live on the pages of a comic book. They live in our everyday lives. For this woman, the hero was her aunt.
If you have been affected by cancer or are currently affected by it, remember that it can be beaten by anyone.
A little positivity and some help can go a long way.
Much like the aunt in the story, be the hero that you would need. When things get really tough, be the superhero that they will need.
Image courtesy of