Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Randall's (then, fiancée) wife was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in October of 2010. He immediately immersed himself in research of what cancer was, what treatments were like, etc. Every once in a while, his research, and happenings with his family bubble to the surface in the form of a comic.

  • This is the first mention of the cancer.
  • Here is a blag post from Randall in June 2011 with an update.

You may also notice that the tone of these cancer-themed comics slowly gets happier. This could be due to a number of factors. We can only hope this means Randall Munroe's wife is getting better.