A collection of doodles with a bit of commentary by RICK GREEN - your cartooning friend

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Who Ya Gonna' Call?

I've shared before on this blog that my wife has battled breast cancer. About three years ago she discovered a lump and then, when the doctors did test, they told us that there were in fact two lumps and one of them was large. Our surgeon told us that they were going to "throw the kitchen sink at her." And they did. Surgery, chemo, radiation, and then more chemo. During all that I discovered that it is easy to become almost resentful towards the ones who are trying to help. I did not enjoy walking into those doctor's offices and suddenly finding myself having to identify with what I called a cancer culture. The waiting rooms have cancer flyers, cancer magazines, cancer this and cancer that. There were puzzles waiting in the waiting rooms so that during the long waits you can work on them - cancer puzzles I would call them. I don't think my attitude was right or justified, but it's what I felt. Instead of puzzling, I would take my drawing pad. A lot of the work you see on my blog came from those days.

Along our cancer journey we met my wife's Radiologist, "Dr. J". Maybe because I already was not in the best frame of mind I found Dr. J's personality to be rather... uninviting. He wasn't mean, or anything, just rather... ummm... stuffy. Later on I discovered that he was a fairly nice fellow, but on first impressions I thought he could use a little comedic lightening up.

So imagine this scenario: My wife and I are in one of those little examination rooms with Dr. J. It's not a very big room, and from where I'm sitting I have a profile view of him. I've carried my drawing pad in there with me, and before long I find myself sketching the profile of his face that you see here. I think my wife thought I was crazy - glancing back and forth from the doctor to the paper. But I'm thinking, "Hey this really looks like the guy!" But I had to be careful as to not draw attention to my drawing.

After we left, and because I thought Dr. J needed to relax a bit, I decided to complete the drawing by illustrating him in a "Ghost Busters" like get-up; fighting a cancer monster - with his... "RADIATOR!!!" (Say that in a deep echoing voice for the full effect.)

"Did I ever show it to him?", I hear you asking. Yes, but not directly. I wasn't sure if the good doctor was the kind of fellow that had any kind of a sense of humor, but I just had to let him see it. The drawing had turned out so well. So I showed it to his nurse, who then she showed it to him.

The end result is that now, if you go to Dr. J's Radiology Office, and walk into the inner waiting area, you will find a frame copy of this caricature hanging on his wall. It turned out that he was quite pleased with it. I won't tell you where his office is, but you'll know you're in the right place when you see it hanging right next to the table that has the cancer puzzle sitting there waiting for you.

Let's hope and pray that you never have to see it.


~Just A Thought Ginger said...

Mom my just went through the surgery. Her report was good and so no further treatment is needed.

I love this drawing! It's really how you feel. GET RID OF THAT STUFF!!!!!!! It's just nasty!

Brenda said...

I LOVE that picture. I know what you mean. We spend a lot of time at the therapist as we have 2 children with some serious emotional/behavior issues. They really really don't like therapists. You don't like people who touch you where it hurts. Hmmm. Kind of reminds me of some other professions.

Karen Deborah said...

Two years to go. Hopefully your wife has had good follow up care. I'm sorry you both had to go through that. I could give you some material to draw but it's really pathetic. Cancer is no joke, but your drawing was good and you were using your coping skills. I bet your wife thought you had lost it. It's kinda like drawing a bad piccha of the teacher in class, you know if you get caught your going to the principals office right? How do I know that?

datatech57 said...

I love it! I am going through cancer treatment myself, and unfortunately am now in the "chronic" phase of breast cancer. That means, we just try to control it, as we don't think we can beat it. I call it "playing Whack-a-Mole."

I have always told my doctors to "shoot the big guns."

VanDerHoekArt said...

Very, very cool! And now there is something interesting to look at on the walls of a doctor's office.

Have you ever noticed the bland average crap that lives on the walls of most doctor's offices? You would think they would want to inspire their patients or motivate them! That's another thing I love about this drawing, it tells his patients that he'll help them fight the battle with cancer. LOVE IT!

Coffee Bean said...

Exactly six years ago this month, I left my family to go spend a month with my grandparents. My mil graciously came to care for my kids and husband so that I could do it. My grandpa had cancer. I went so that my mom and aunts could get their affairs in order at home in the states they live in so that they could come back and help. My grandpa had been sick and they had been taking turns to go down and help. My grandparents were still caring for their Down Syndrome daughter. I helped get him set up with hospice. I had to explain to them what the nurse meant by DNR. Now, a month seems like such a short time, but then it seemed like forever. I am so grateful for that time I had with them even though it was so heartbreakingly hard. He went to be with the Lord on July 4th later that year.

I often think of the hospice workers and doctors. It takes very special people to be in that line of work.

Mabunny said...

I love the drawing Rick. I too am familiar with those Cancer puzzles, from when I was helping care for my father, who passed away the day after Thanksgiving in 2004.
You want to do something to get your mind off of where you are, but it is very difficult and the puzzles don't always help. I alwasy read a book or magazine. Tried to lose myself in another world , if only for a little while.
Hope your wife stays healthy!
I will keep tooning in:))

Laura ~Peach~ said...

love this one ... have 2 in our immediate family who have battled cancers and so far are cancer free, neither haave been long enough to be considered in remission however... I love this one.. I would love to put it on my blog sometime, especially for the carepage and caring bridge friends to see.
Hugs Laura

Chris H said...

that is really cool! I hope your wife is totally recovered now.

justabeachkat said...

Hi Rick

I know, I know...I'm saying it yet again...I'm playing "catch up" with my blog reading. It happens more often than I ever thought possible. But I'm not complaining though. My life is full and happy, so sometimes I get behind.

It's always fun to visit you and see what you've been up to. I just had to post a comment on this post. As a breast cancer survivor, I soooo know about certain doctors and their bedside manner. I love your drawing.

I'm still planning to have you do a drawing for me. I'll be in touch soon.