Sharks Get Cancer – An Analogy For Young Adults – Volume one: Diagnosis
[Image Description: A black and white cartoon drawing of a nervous shark sitting in a waiting room. In the chairs next to the shark are various other sea creatures, including an eel, penguin, crab, and fish. There is a sign on the wall that says “Family Dogtor”.]
“Scientists have known for more than 150 years that sharks get cancer. And yet, the belief persists that the animals don’t suffer from the disease.” -livescience.com
[Image description: A black and white cartoon shark sitting on an exam table in a doctors office. A dog wearing a doctor’s coat and an air-filled diving helmet sits on a stool. The dog doctor says, “you’re a shark, it’s probably nothing”.]
Over seventy-thousand young adults are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States alone. Despite this, our symptoms are often dismissed simply because we are young.
[Image description: A black and white cartoon of a tense shark laying on an exam table. There is a cat wearing a diving suit and air-filled helmet sitting on a cat-scratching post. A spot light beam shoots from the cats eyes to the sharks abdomen. There are two signs on the wall with light bulbs above them. The one with an illuminated light bulb reads, “hold your breath”, and the other reads, “breathe”.]
(a play on cat scan)
[Image description: A black and white cartoon of a bewildered shark sitting on an exam table in the doctor’s office. A dog wearing a doctor’s coat and an air-filled diving helmet sits on a stool. The shark questioningly utters, “cancer?”.]
This series is meant to bring attention to the experiences and challenges we face as young adults with cancer.
By: Roman Ruddick
Copyright, 2019 Transgender Cancer Patient Project. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.