The most widely circulated breast cancer narratives today have the structure of a Bildungsroman. They market personal growth, overcoming, and self-improvement, and reflect a strikingly neoliberal stance, even towards a potentially fatal illness as breast cancer. This is not the case with Miriam Engelberg’s graphic novel Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics (2006), which resists this dominant tendency. Engelberg’s book, does manifest some of the typical Bildungsroman traits (e. g. introspective hero, need for belonging). Mostly, however, it is torn between opposing tendencies: Engelberg oscillates between vulnerability and detachment, irony and expectation, the urge to withdraw from a frightening situation and the desire to speak up against all the injustice and bad practices she witnesses. Engelberg never gives in to “the pressure to become someone different – someone nobler and more courageous than (she) was” (Engelberg 2006: xiii), but mocks and denounces all oppressive cultural attitudes. Instead of becoming “deeper” and more spiritual, in the socially prescribed ways, she chooses “the path of shallowness” (xiii), and remains a witty and critical outsider. These attributes, together with the episodic fragmentation of Engelberg’s book, bring it closer to a picaresque, the protagonist of which, like her, occupies a marginal position, moves from situation to situation, and makes the reader aware of the social norms while she simultaneously challenges and destabilizes them (Moenandar 2017: 5). The goal of my article is to examine Engelberg’s memoir as a minoritarian, hybrid form of writing between Bildungsroman and picaresque, pointing to alternatives to the dominant stories of overcoming and neoliberal survivorship.