A Letter to Cancer:

I wrote this a year ago, in the middle of chemo, in the middle of emotional turmoil.  It was a turning point for mThis releasing these emotions helped me to take an offensive stand against cancer. I was no longer the victim.

I though I would share…

To Cancer:

You entered my life without my permission. You tried to turn my body against me, leaving pain and uncertainty in your wake. You took away my security. You will stalk me for the rest of my life, and I will constantly look over my shoulder for fear that I see you coming. Because of you I wondered if I would see my children grow up, or if I would be taken from them when they needed me the most. You made me feel like less of a woman, with an emptiness inside, and I wonder if that will ever go away. You took my hair and scarred my body. You made me cringe at my own reflection in the mirror. Others see a warrior. I see someone wounded – broken by the battle.

You not only affected me, but you affected those that I love. And for that I hate you even more. You have caused worry and tears in the eyes of family and friends. You have made me a burden to those who have become caregivers. You made me sick and tired and unable to be the mother/wife/daughter/friend that I wanted to be. You touched my children and I was helpless to protect them from you. I may never know the extent of the effects that you have had on them, but I will spend my life trying to make up for it. You made me say to my son, “Mommy doesn’t feel like playing with you right now”, and for that I will never forgive you. I have missed fun times, nights out, Christmas plays, school functions… all because of you. My life has been turned upside down and while I long for all that is “normal”, you have taken that too.

But Cancer – know this… You may have given me your worst, but you have not gotten the best of me. I promise you that I am taking more from you than you have taken from me.

I am taking a second chance at life knowing that each day is a gift and I will use my life to make a difference in the world. I take from you the strength in knowing that I have overcome your trials and therefore I can overcome anything in my path. I take from you friendships that have sprouted from the soil of your torment, and those that have grown stronger because of it too. I take the closeness of my family and knowing that life’s challenges only make us stronger. I take from you the love that I have been blessed with, the compassion that others have shown to me and the kindness that even complete strangers have given.

Cancer – I know that your intent was to break me, but you have failed. You wanted to take my life, take me away from my beautiful family, but you did not realize who you were fighting with. You may have seen me waivering, weakened at times by your torture, but that was just me getting ready for another round of fighting. You did have one success out of your endeavor. You have changed me. But not the way you may have wanted. I am better now because of you. I have a new resilience, a new purpose, a new determination. I will survive. And I will thrive. In spite of you.