The Big C

I’ve been in front of the computer for the better part of the day, mostly editing, partly reading this really engrossing graphic novel about a 43-year old woman’s battle (war metaphor talaga) with breast cancer.

It starts innocuously enough: “What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married, big-citygirl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds a lump in her breast?!?”

What happens is an adventure filled with denial, dread, financial scares (her insurance lapsed months before the diagnosis), hope, love, anger, despair, confusion all set against a backdrop of loving, demanding friends (“bossiness is love”), a devoted fiancée later husband, dedicated (s)mothers, among others. And though it is only an excerpt, there are 136 pages online. Riveting and engaging, it presents an honest insight about her whole ordeal presenting the varied aspects of breast cancer and how one phone call can neatly divide one’s life into two categories: BC (before cancer) and AC. Although it’s written almost tongue-in-cheek (she’s a New Yorker, after all), you can feel the emotions run through the screen. I may have to rethink my former position on paper being more tangible and transcendent than its online counterpart.

The author also manages to put in the varied aspects of breast cancer: the science behind it, advocacies, and controversies surrounding the causes of cancer – it manages to be political without resorting to hysteria.

The storytelling reminds me of Marjane Satrapi's brilliantly written and illustrated Persepolis (except this one’s in color).

Even though my eyes (and pointy finger) are tired (and of course there’s work to be done) I can’t seem to stop reading. To borrow Teenee’s expression, it’s like crack. I keep telling myself, last page, last page. Where am I now? Page 91.

And oh, it’s called Cancer Vixen and is written and illustrated by Marisa Acocella Marchetto.



Blogger indi said...

ey earns, this is great. thanks for sharing. bookmark ko na siya.

2:42 AM  

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