My Dear John Letter to Cancer...



I dedicate this post to my fellow cancer warriors, fight on ladies.  
We have definitely got this!  We are survivors!
Mary, Tricia, Christina and Katy:  
I love you guys and am truly honored to call you "friend".




Dear Cancer,

     I'm sorry to do this to you, but I just can't do this any longer...

     It's the eve of the day when my surgeons will remove the remnants of you from my body, and there are a few things that you need to hear straight from me.  You attempted to kill me, and  I'm sure you thought you could beat me.  You probably even looked at me and thought that I was going to be an easy target.  I'm sure you had no idea that I would attack you with all of the fervor and gusto that one little blonde could muster.  I have to give you credit, you gave it a good shot!  However,  you weren't welcome, and I was not the easy target you had me pegged for; turns out I was stronger and I wanted it more, imagine that.  I wasn't willing to let you ruin me, and I most certainly had no intention of letting you take the breath from my body.  I found resolve and strength that I didn't know I had in me.  You picked the wrong target, you would not beat me.  I need you to know that you have not won, and you are most certainly not welcome back here.

     Oh sure, you temporarily got  to me, I won't deny you that.  You started with my breast, and then raced to invade other parts of my body. But, as I'm sure you know, my spirit was untouchable and probably your worst enemy until the chemo started.  I know you happily would have gone further, you probably had your sight aimed on my liver or my kidneys.  However,  you became a challenge to me, and I had other plans.  I wasn't interested in your intentions or your stupid goals.  You had to be stopped.  You forced me to take the most aggressive action that my doctors could come up with.  I had to fight back with the same force that you invaded my body and life with.  With every day, my resolve to beat you became stronger, and my attitude more positive.  A positive attitude is your worst enemy!

     I always said that I would never put those toxic chemicals in my body.  But you left me with no choice but to do exactly that.  I'm only 39, I've still got a lot of life left to live, I've still got a lot left to do and tons to live for.  You had to be taken down, your evil intentions had to be stopped.  This was one battle that you were not going to be declared the victor of.  There was no way that I could do anything but fight back against you.
     
    The 18 weeks of chemo were no picnic... Chemo sucked.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  I have never felt so awful or so tired in my life, and that's saying a lot.  It would have been so easy to throw in the towel.  It's not easy fighting back when you barely have the energy to stand up, and your body aches like it has never ached before, but I wasn't willing to concede.  I could feel the chemo working on you, breaking you down.  It hurt like hell, and many times the pain was so bad I thought I would pass out, but I didn't care.  Fight on chemo...  I'm sure it ticked you off every time I got back up, dusted myself off and went back for another round with even more fury than I had the time before.  And the smile on my face probably wasn't easy for you to see either.  My smile was my armor against you, and no matter how crappy you and the chemo made me feel, I smiled every day because it made me feel better and stronger and I knew you would hate it.  As crazy as it sounds, I even joked about your being in my world.  I made jokes at your expense as you gave killing me your best shot.  My sense of humor kept me sane.  

    I'm sure you know this, and probably take great delight in it, but your unwelcome presence in my body was so enormous that it could not be ignored, although I did try.  I laid in bed at night unable to sleep from the pain that you were causing me, both physically and mentally.  During the day, I had a hard time focusing because you were so strong.  And I refused pain meds as I wanted to be sharp enough to fight you.   I have never felt anything like it, at times I felt like I had been possessed by something more incredible than my wildest dreams.  You turned my entire world upside down,  you are pure evil.  I will never forgive you for choosing me and my body for your little game.  But, just for the record you have not broken me, actually you have made me stronger, although I know that was not your plan.  I will take my life back, and just as a little "gotcha", I promise you that it will be better than before you and your business.

     I lost my hair, my finger and toe nails are a mess, my brain is cloudy and it's just not as sharp as it was before you chose me.  It drives me absolutely crazy that I struggle to finish sentences and find words.   My sight has gone from bad to worse, and I can't read a darn thing without a pair of glasses.  Driving at night is more challenging than I care to admit.  I am full of weird feelings that were not there before chemo therapy enveloped every last crevice of my weary body. My fingers and toes tingle and my muscles are just now beginning to feel normal 6 weeks after my final chemo treatment.  I have a plastic device implanted in my body above my right breast that is a constant reminder of your existence.   It makes many things very challenging, and some days, causes me a great deal of discomfort.   As if all of that isn't enough, I've got 2 surgeons sharpening their knives to remove my breasts from body, and cut the lymph nodes from both of my arm pits.   But, I'm alive, and at this point all that remains of you in my body is scar tissue, and after tomorrow, that will be gone too!  

     I am confident that my hair and my finger nails will grow back, and just as an added bonus, I'm sure they'll be even better than they were before you.  I can't wait for you to see them!  And just so you know, I don't mind the glasses, they make me look more intelligent.  Those glasses are just one more reminder that even though you've been a part of my life, I have not been defeated.  Where this is a will, there is a way. The tingling and the foggy brain are already getting better, and I'm sure that soon, just like you, they will be distant memories.  You will see, I will accomplish great things.  While the breasts that you found a home in will be gone, I have complete confidence that my new ones are going to be spectacular!  When I look at them, I will not think fondly of you, however, I will rejoice in the fact that I am alive, and I am stronger because of my scars.

     As long as I'm airing my grievances with you, you should also know that I did not appreciate one bit the way that your existence worried and stressed out my husband, my family and my friends.  I will never forget the look on my husbands face when the surgeon told him that you had invaded my body.  He never should have had to worry about me that way, he didn't deserve that and my family and friends didn't deserve it either.  But, I bet you weren't counting on them fighting back too.  They rallied around me and gave me the strength and encouragement that I needed to kick you right to the curb.  We don't quit....  I have never felt more loved than I have in the last 6 months.  I had no idea how many friends I had, everyone was rooting for me!  I'm not the only survivor in this great race, my family and friends are victors against you as well, you have broken none of us- we're stronger than you will ever be.  I'm sure you'll never forget this bunch.  Maybe you'll think twice before you pick your next victim.

     What I have to say to you next is going to sting you even worse than the fact that you didn't kill me.  This business with you has resulted in many beautiful things.  I know that wasn't your agenda, and frankly, it ticks me off to even give you credit for anything wonderful or even anything remotely resembling a blessing.   I can only say that the miracles and the blessings that I am uncovering were in spite of your intentions.  You had no intentions of doing anything wonderful for me.  Your plans were only aimed at destruction.  But, I guess I'm not your typical victim, am I?  You're probably not used to your victims looking for silver linings in your dark, evil clouds, are you?  But that is exactly what I did, and believe me when I say not only did I find them, but I cherish them.

     I am stronger mentally and emotionally than I have ever been.  And as soon as this business with cutting you out is over and done with, and my body has once again had a chance to heel itself,  I intend to be stronger physically than I have ever been.  My body will never again be a place where you or any of your cronies will feel comfortable or confident.  As a matter of fact, it will be damn uncomfortable for you.  Becoming a cancer survivor has been one of the greatest challenges that I have ever faced in my life, and you can bet your last dollar that it has made me tough as nails.  I am a survivor.  I've got some battle scars, and a few remaining scrapes and bruises, but you're not going to be a part of my body anymore.  And while your scars will always be a part of my life and my body, they will never get me down.  They will never make me feel angry, or sad, or bitter, of that you have my promise.   You have already been given way too much attention in my world.  I will bear those scars with great amounts of pride knowing that they made a better person.

     I'm pretty sure by now you've had your fill of me.  You should be tired and weary and thinking it's time to move on, and you couldn't be more right.  I know your influence on my life isn't quite over yet.  I've got several weeks of recovery after they take you out of me, and radiation to make sure that there are no tiny parts of you lingering.  But, that's okay, because I know in my heart that you are almost gone from me, and all of these things are just steps to recovery.  I'm sorry to say that I won't miss you, nor will I be sorry to see you go.   I celebrate you leaving my life and my body, and I hope that I gave you the fight of your life because I certainly put up the fight of mine.



  .  

     


4 comments

  1. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are a survivor. Love you girl!

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    1. Love you too, Katy! Thanks for being such an awesome supporter... I'll return the love any ole time you need it! Hugs!

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  2. Love this! Love you!!! Always knew you were a fighter!!!

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    1. Love you too Kristin! Thank you so much for all of your confidence in me! You're an awesome friend!

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