Our Cancer Year, starts out with a wondering man named Tod, ringing the door bell at his sister Joyce’s house. He sits and explains what he has been up to for the last few weeks. His travels have led him to the west side of town, painting houses for a little bit of side money. Joyce’s husband Harvey jumps into the conversation and tells Tod that since he will be around, that maybe he can help out around the house a little bit. Harvey explains that he will be having an operation soon, and that he may end up with a hernia and may not be able to move much. The day of the operation comes, and it is noticeable that Harvey is nervous and anxious, as he is dressed and ready to go 2 hours before they even have to leave. Joyce convinces him to let her sleep an extra 2 hours more. When it is time to go, Joyce insists that Tod drives, and this too makes Harvey nervous. As they arrive at the hospital 45 min early, Harvey gets checked in and changed, just waiting for the doctor now. As they are waiting, Harvey gives Joyce his wedding ring as a “just in case” type of thing, and says his goodbyes to Joyce before departing for surgery. While in the waiting room, Joyce and Todd see Harvey’s doctor and he gives them the bad news. The doctor tells Joyce and Tod that Harvey has a very large tumor-Lymphoma, and then he abruptly leaves. The nurse tells Harvey that she also was sick with Sarcoidosis but that she learned to live with it. Joyce and Harvey learn that they won’t know anything for 10 more days, so all they could do now was wait. They were very agitated because they felt like the doctor was ignoring them, but the receptionist told them that he had already left. When they got home, Tod left Joyce and Harvey alone in the bed room to talk. They laid in bed talking and Joyce tried to convince Harvey that everything was going to be ok. She said she’d never forget how he was so concerned about her well being if he died. As they lay in bed together thinking one another were asleep, Joyce has taught herself to cry in bed silently, so that Harvey does not wake up and worry. As Harvey lays in bed, he thinks to himself and decides that he will go see a lawyer and possibly draw up a will. The next day, Joyce was on the phone with her friend and she gave her a number for a cancer center. Just for some peace of mind, she called and asked the man all of the questions she had. After Harvey’s cat scan, a follow-up appointment with Dr Cantor is held. The doctor tells Harvey that the cancer was gone in the one lymph node that it was present. As the appointment came to an end, the doctor oddly asks about the house that Harvey and Joyce just bought. As Harvey is still on sick leave from work, he decides to keep busy and do work in the house, packing and moving stuff around. As he struggles, Joyce tried to convince him to stop and rest. He gets angry and storms out of the house. Joyce gets upset and goes and sits in the car, when her landlord Mr. Lattimore and Slim come by. They at there because they want to look at the apartment they were moving out of. Joyce declines, and Slim gets upset and tries to go in anyway. Joyce wins the battle, and Mr. Lattimore calms the situation, having Slim not go inside. Some time later, Joyce goes to visit the new house where Stephanie the carpenter is there working. They talk about Stephanie’s ex girlfriend Crystal. They continue talking about the structure and carpentry of the house, Stephanie’s old profession, and the fact that she may have breast cancer. Joyce expresses her sympathies for Stephanie. The chapter ends in Stephanie apologizing for taking so long to finish the house, Joyce reassures her that it’s ok because she understands what she’s going through and they embrace.
Really Our Cancer Year can not really relate to many comics. It wasn't about a typical superhero but much more than that. This comic was a little bit interesting. It puts life into perspective a little bit, with the message of enjoying life and not taking if for granted while you’re still healthy. I felt bad for Joyce in that she might possibly use her husband and that she didn’t know how to deal with it and be there for him. Seeing him struggle in the house while trying to move cinder blocks and watching him storm out of the house had to be very difficult for her, because she was not used to seeing him in that way. Earlier in the comic when he gave her the wedding ring, just in case something happened, was also really sad to see. I don’t know how a wife or husband is supposed to cope with losing their significant other. I wouldn’t know what I would do if I was her. And on the other hand, it has to be the hardest thing to be him and get news that you have cancer and could die. I feel like Harvey handled it pretty well, besides the little blow up he had when he couldn’t carry the cinder blocks. I was a little confused on why the doctor asked about the property and how much they paid for it. However, as I said before, I think there was a hidden message in this story; even though he was cleared of cancer in the end, the 10 or so days that they had to wait for results, they had to come to grips with reality that Harvey could die. Live life to its fullest while you still can.