So, crazy as it sounds, this coloring book about my personal experience with cancer and chemo began as a way to focus on something else, in order to keep my mind off of cancer and chemo. It worked! And because this coloring book frames things in my own humorous perspective, it may not be for everyone.
My cancer story began in September of 2020, when an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma put me in the hospital for 8 days. Subsequent chemotherapy and “chemo brain” kept me from thinking too deeply, but I had many singular thoughts about all the whole experience and started writing them down. I shared a few of these thoughts with my oncologist and chemo nurses and they liked my slightly off-center take on things, knowing that humor can be essential to get through a chemo protocol. Soon after I spoke with friend and creative partner Cheryl Cook (Cookie) and suggested some of my ideas might make for good illustrations. She agreed, I kept writing. After 6 rounds of chemotherapy, with some infusions lasting 8 hours, it became clear that a coloring book, where chemo patients could see a bit of themselves or their experience, could be a great distraction for them during this time, and they could also provide relaxation and comfort for family, friends, and med teams.
It was time to get the wheels in motion. With over fifty ideas to potentially illustrate, and being a part of the Chicago advertising community, Cookie and I decided we needed to reach out to friends and colleagues to see who might want to help illustrate these ideas. The response was overwhelming, with 15 artists participating to make this book possible, and more waiting in the wings for what’s next. To top it off, this was pulled together in less than 2 months. Whoosh.
The amount of talent and personality that has come together here leaves me incredulous, humbled, and extremely grateful…not just that these wonderful artists pulled together for me, but that they pulled together for all who might benefit. Wow, how cool is this?
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the artists for helping me pay it forward… we all hope you enjoy, and happy coloring!
We have partnered with Alpha Graphics to print and distribute our coloring book .
Your contribution will enable us to develop and provide chemo coloring books for patients of all ages, and support cancer treatment programs that bring art and humor together for healing.