XKCD on cancer, and commemorating a biopsy-versary

Today's edition of the webcomic XKCD rings true for me, as I'll be marking the one-year mark from my own diagnosis tomorrow. Randall, much respect. I wish both of you the best.


  1. I regularly read XKCD, but for some reason missed today.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Everything about today’s comic hit home – from the kayaking to the science.  My wife just did her her fourth AC chemo treatment for breast cancer on Tuesday, and the “beep..beep..beep” is a sound I’ve come to know all too well.  I’ll be happy when we can celebrate our own anniversary.  Good luck to you, and everyone else that is having to endure this.

    1. Hopefully this is her last, and she’s shifting over to Taxel?  For most people, the side effects are much easier.  AC is not fun.

  2. Xeni,

    Thanks for posting this.  My daughter’s diagnosis for Medulloblastoma was 9.14.12. Looking forward to her anniversary as well.  

  3. Biopsy 12/09/2005. I actually had to look it up. If I’m starting to forget the date, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? 

    When I had my routine mammogram, a week earlier, I noticed that after their appointment, most women came out of one door, but a few came out of another door, and each of the second group were holding a single flower. I wondered why I didn’t get a flower. 

    The next day I was called back for “a repeat mammogram – just a few more studies!” The week after that, after the biopsy, they gave me a flower, and then I knew why some women got one and most didn’t. I still have it, in a vase in the kitchen where I first put it when I got home. There’s not much of it left now, but for some reason I don’t want to remove it. Maybe in a few more years. 

    The XKCD brought tears to my eyes. Happy anniversary, Xeni, and Randall and partner.

    1. My son was diagnosed over 10 years ago, and there’s no way I’ll ever forget the date.

      It’s a lot easier to make me cry since then as well. Not that I mind; feeling emotions can be cleansing.

  4. As the husband of a cancer survivor (approaching 15 years post-bone marrow transplant), I completely identify with this. Uncannily, several frames mirror my (our) experience exactly. Xeni, I wish you all the best. Like my wife, you’re an inspiration.

    1. Two years ago, my eldest brother (sixty years old) had a rupture in the wall between heart chambers, the surgeon gave a 30% chance of him surviving the night.
      One year ago, my eldest brother asked the doctor three questions, in order of importance:  1) Can I fuck?, 2) Can I fly?, 3) Can I keep on playing baseball (center fielder)?
      The answers were curious – “yes”, “yes” and “are you right or left-handed?”

      I feel like a mischievous rascal right now, so I’ll leave you in suspense over that final one (unless you and only you ask, @twitter-91727271:disqus ), but the true point is that I LOVE telling that story because my brother is alive and well and able to keep enjoying life, the cliche is true – every day is a gift.

      One more thing. People come up to my brother and ask “Hey! Did you have a heart attack?”, he answers “Nope. My heart exploded, but no, I wouldn’t call it a heart attack in the classical sense”. I love his black humor, it runs in the family.

  5. xkcd… damn.

    If in nineteen ninety seven, some time traveler told me “fifteen years from now, you’re gonna be celebrating the reelection of a black USA president, watching TV shows (Sopranos, Deadwood, Mad Men) of a caliber as high as Scorsese and Lumet at their peak, and enthusiastically comparing stick figures to Mutts, Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts”, you know what I’d say?

    I’d say “I’ll take it!  Just get rid of all these computer peripheral wires while you’re at it, won’t you? And make a phone that plays radio stations from all over the world”.

    The world is a generous place.

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