Derf Backderf, author of My Friend Dahmer, has a poignant post on his blog marking the 11th anniversary of the end of his cancer treatment:
On that grey day in November when I walked out of the Radiology Department in the basement of University Hospitals for the final time, I was exhausted, sporting several ghastly scars and missing a few chunks of my body, battered and roasted to a crisp, but happy. I'd made it.
Cancer messes with your head. I always thought I'd live to a ripe old age like my grandfather, who lived to 105 (his brother lived to 108!), but my body started to fall apart at age 35 like a Chevy Vega. On that November 18th, I was determined to make the most out of whatever time I had left.
And he did; in the past 11 years he has completed three graphic novels, including the award-winning My Friend Dahmer, published five minicomics, two webcomics and numerous other works, traveled to France and Belgium, won multiple comics awards, and, on a personal note, watched his children grow up and his parents grow old.
It's an impressive catalog of accomplishments, and there's more to come: Derf is working on a new graphic novel Trashed, a combination memoir about his days as a garbage collector and nonfiction work about where our garbage goes. And his first graphic novel, Punk Rock & Trailer Parks, just became available on comiXology.
It's hard to improve on the end of Derf's post: "As Warren Zevon wisely said as he was nearing the end of his battle with terminal cancer, 'Enjoy every sandwich.' Not dead yet! Pass me another sandwich."