Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 19

ANGRY

Dear Cancer...

Dear Cancer,
You came into my life when I was just finding
myself. I was in the prime of my life - nineteen years old - only to find out I was born
with a deadly and rare form of pediatric cancer
called Neuroblastoma and you only decided to
make your presence known at the peak of my
adolescence. Neuroblastoma is rarely ever seen
in patients over the age of five. I always knew
I was unique, but not to this extent. Thanks to
you, my life has become "Before Cancer" and
"After Cancer".
You stripped me of my identity. There are
days where I look in the mirror and do not even
recognize myself. I remember the clumps of
hair that fell to the tub as I stood in the hospital's shower room. My long, brown locks
were the one thing I was confident about and
you took that from me. Now I'm left with thin,
fine, fragile hair that barely covers my scalp.
You've left scars on my body from surgery upon
surgery. I've gained weight because of all the
prescription drugs and chemotherapy that
were used to combat you. It feels as if I'm in a
body that I never asked for, like I'm borrowing
someone else's body until mine is fixed or repaired, but that is not the case. This is the one
vessel I have to walk in for the rest of my days.
You stole my future family. I'll never forget
the day my oncologist told me I'd never be
able to have a family because of the treatments
I would undergo. I will never conceive that
daughter I have always wanted to have with
my potential future husband. That being said,
you may have even taken the chance for me to
have that so-called future husband. Who wants
to be with a woman that can't provide a man
with a family to call his own? My womanhood
has been stripped away and I was placed into
menopause at the young age of twenty.
You destroyed friendships. Friends that I had
all my life decided you were too much for them
to handle and walked away from me without
warning. The "C-word" wasn't something they
asked to be part of their lives and so they decided to toss me to the curb without a second
thought. It amazes me how many times I heard
"I can't handle the fact that you have cancer".
Really? As if I asked for this?
You took those I love. I suffered through
countless chemotherapy sessions, months
of radiation, transplants, and a whole list of
other things with two of my best friends. You
see, you decided to destroy their lives as well.
Three best friends with three different types

of cancer. Luckily, two of us made it out alive,
however, you had one of us in your grasp for
far too long. She could not fight anymore; you
slowed her heart and she took her last breath
in front of her parents. You left me with guilt
that no other person knows unless they have
been through hell and back with you - until
they are a survivor themselves and witness
other cancer patients pass away. I ask myself
daily why you had to take her and not me? I
would have given anything for her to still be
here. You stole my best friend.
You destroyed my faith. Day after day, night
after night, I searched for an answer as to why
this was happening to me. I prayed to a God
I thought existed - a God I thought would
never let this happen to someone who believed
in him. I questioned how this could happen to
not only me, but other good, innocent people,
babies, mothers with families, anyone. How
could someone who is supposed to love his
people destroy their lives or take them from
this planet when their life had barely even
begun? I learned that all those lies I believed
growing up were simply fairy tales to try to get
you to be a better person - truth is, no matter

how good of a person you are, you, Cancer, can
come into anyone's life.
I've been angry at you for many years, Cancer. I'm unsure if that will ever change. I've
searched for the 'good' in our relationship
all this time and I'm convinced there is none.
Nothing good comes from a disease meant
to destroy. It may make someone a stronger
person, but no one deserves to have to pick
up all the pieces you leave behind when you
decide to leave. Instead of becoming a better
person, I've become a bitter person. I'm angry
with how I have to cope with all the side effects
from treatment - how I'm left with substantial hearing loss, infertility, organs that barely
function and too many complications to name.
The 'new normal' is a saying that all cancer
survivors learn and I'm not sure many discover
what this 'new normal' is. I'm hoping, despite
all you've done, I'll learn to push you aside and
find a new normal. I've been given another shot
at life and I'll be damned if you're part of it.
You're not welcome in my life anymore,
Cancer. This relationship is over.
SA M A N T H A M A RT I N

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2019

19


http://www.elephantsandtea.com

Elephants And Tea - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2019

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 1
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 3
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 4
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 5
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 6
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Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover3
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