So, in order to bring some relief into the work I employed a few tricks. First, I began a parallel story arc where Darin Fairgood, the son that Lisa gave up for adoption, begins a search for his birth mother, and Lisa, in an effort to pass on her medical history, begins a search for her son. Darin and Lisa’s search for each other allowed me to bring some of that much-needed light I was seeking into the story. My next trick was to leaven the work with humor. This sounds a little counterintuitive, but my time with the cancer patients showed me that if it naturally grew from the situation, humor could provide a cathartic respite. Thus was born Lisa’s HMO, Denialcare, which once denied payment for a scan done in a room with only a scanning machine and a lightbulb overhead, because the lightbulb’s tendency to burn out was a preexisting condition. I was once humorously one-upped by a woman cancer survivor at a book signing for Lisa’s Story who said that her husband, who accompanied her to every one of her chemo sessions, was her chemosabi. Wish I’d written that.
From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. 12