As I suspect is true at many houses, the comics are the most read section of the paper here, and everyone has his/her favorites. Two of mine are "For Better For Worse" and "Funky Winkerbean". Those of you who read them now understand the title of this post. Funky Winkerbean, which for those who don't read it, is about a group of people who went to high school together who are now, I'd guess, in their late 30's to early 40's. The most recent story line has been about Lisa, the nerdy girl from high school who was impregnanted and dumped by the captain of the rival school's football team, who just died from breast cancer. She left behind her husband Les (high school nerd who married her years later) and her daughter Summer. In the last few months she has discovered that her breast cancer, which she beat a few years ago, has come back, she found the son she gave up for adoption and has gone through the dying process. The last few days the calendar has sped foward ten years and Les is on the couch in the shrink's office telling him about her last days and the days thereafter. Its not exactly funny stuff. For Better for Worse is about a Canadian dentist's family and their friends. Last week Grandpa had his second stroke and they are now talking about moving him to a long-term care facility.
I've never had to watch someone close to me die of cancer. My father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly before he died of complications from a stoke following chemotherapy, but it was less than a month from cancer diagnosis to death, and about two weeks from stroke to death. However, I did watch my mom die, and other than the pain, I guess there really wasn't that much difference. Slowly her body basically shut down to the point that she couldn't walk or even get in and out of the bathtub, with help. A week or so ago, we could see that Lisa was wearing a diaper. She was in a wheelchair the last time we saw her out of bed. I read an interview with the author some time ago in which he stated that Lisa would die, so why do I keep reading? Why does my other favorite strip have to be starting what I'm sure isn't going to be a thread with a happy ending (well, I guess going to heaven is happy, but the strip is seen through the eyes of those left behind).