When I was first diagnosed, I waited over a month before knowing how bad it was. Not knowing the staging, I spent a month facing the possibility that this thing has spread to my liver and lungs like late stage rectal cancers tend to do. I had no idea if my one year old daughter would grow up having to know her daddy through photos, videos and stories. I knew I had to make a decision as soon as possible as to how I was going to face this thing.
So I decided to laugh a lot and play more and cuss more and make fun of myself having cancer and charge into my treatments head on. I decided to stop worrying so damn much and skip things to swordfight with my daughter. I went to work. I served people. I decided to become a voice in the cancer world and lend my abilities. I became the cartoonist I always wanted to be and now we have Cancer Owl.
My life is infinitely better now than before my diagnosis because I now know what I'm made of, and I chose to never let this thing define who I was capable of becoming. It wouldn't defeat me even if it killed me. I was going to live, dammit, and live I did.
This comic was for me, but now it's for you.
Whatever hard thing you're going through, just know you have a choice. But I know this thing is hard as hell. If you need an ear, reach out to me. You're not alone.
This post originally appeared April 3, 2016 on CancerOwl.com.