13 Aug A Letter To Cancer
I hate you. I hate everything you stand for. I hate that you have the power and control to hurt the people I love. I hate that you’ve caused me so much heartache. You linger like an unknown shadow in the back of every single thought now. I hate that at 42- 2 days before my 43rd birthday, you made me think about saying goodbye to those I love. I hate that you made me think about my own funeral. I hate that for the first time in my life, you made me contemplate the unimaginable of not being here to watch my kids grow up and that you have the power to rob me of the simplest joys.
I hate that you made my husband feel helpless. I hate the fights that were caused due to unnecessary tension because no one really knows how I feel or what I think. I hate how humiliated am. I hate my newfound insecurities. I hate that you’ve weakened me to the point I’m not strong enough for anything. I can’t pull my own weight. I don’t contribute towards this family financially or emotionally. I’ve shut down. I hate what you put my family and friends through. I hate that I rely on everyone else now. I hate that you took a major part of my independence and a part of who I am. I hate the self-doubt and the worthless feelings this has caused me. I hate that I feel I will never be good enough or well enough or strong enough. I hate that you have given me emotional scars that will never ever heal.
I hate that you have given me physical scars and left me disgusted with what I see in the reflection staring back at me. I hate what you have done to my body. You’ve left me looking like a hollowed-out shell of a human too weathered, weak and frail to live life to the fullest. I hate that in order to fight you, I’ve given up all things that make me womanly. My breasts, my ovaries, my hair and worst of all, my drive.. I hate that you made me feel ugly. I hate that when I look in the mirror all I see is you. I hate that I lie awake at night and think of nothing else but you. I hate when I wake my first thought is of you. In a brief moment just when I forget about you for just a split second, I look down and see what I’m missing and go “oh yeah…. I have cancer…” I hate that for the next 10 years I have to take medication in a bid to try to stop you from paying me another visit. I hate that I’m told to EXPECT to have a recurrence and to go thru all this again.
But Despite all the hate, you’ve given me a reality check. I am not invincible. I am not as strong as I thought. I am vulnerable, but not so much that I would just roll over and accept the fate you want to hand out. No, I’m still way too stubborn for that. You’ve made me realise what’s really important in my life. You’ve taught me that my health shouldn’t be taken for granted. You’ve taught me to accept help from others. You’ve taught me to love myself – well… I’m still working on this, but I’m getting there. You’ve taught me who my real friends are. You’ve shown me that everyone reacts differently in these situations and I accepted that unconditionally.
You’ve taught me to live for the moment, to not ‘wait until tomorrow’. You made my marriage stronger after you beat it down. You’ve made our family closer. You’ve created an unbreakable bond.
You’ve allowed me to share my story, raise awareness and help others travelling a similar “journey”. (And you’ve forever altered the meaning of journey now to the point of despising that word FYI)
You’ve created a ‘new Linda’, a better version, and you’ve made me want to be a better person. I gained patience to some degree, do or don’t. Your choice is my motto, because I have bigger things to worry about. So I can’t be too angry with you anymore because you’ve given me a second chance, but despite trying to break me, I will cross the finish line. I will beat you. I will win. I’ll get my happy ending. Because of you, I met some AMAZING people who I leaned on and they know to lean on me.
I’ve always believed you have two choices in life – be the victim, or be the victor.
I am not nor will I ever be your victim of circumstances. And you may come back, yes, I worry about that. I accept that, but I won’t do anything different. I’ll continue fighting and I will continue educating. And if my ordeal with you helps just ONE person get through the same shit, then it’s been all worthwhile.
So for now, I say good bye to you, though I think of you more often than words can describe. But, I hope it pains you, cancer, to know that I am officially coming up one year on NED (no evidence of disease).
Oh yeah, one last thing…. Cancer?
With the utmost of sincerity, FUCK YOU!!