Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 6

Dear Cancer...

Dear Cancer,
I'm grateful you came to me. You made me realize who I am and have brought far more good
into my life than bad. I recognize what you are
doing to me is nasty, messed up and depressing but you will never depress me, and you will
never break me. Life said, "fuck you" and made
you part of my life. But, before I leave my room
every morning, I do 100 pushups and stick both
my middle fingers up at the sky.
All that I endure patiently only makes me
stronger mentally, physically and spiritually.
I made a promise not to pity myself and very
rarely do I complain despite my situation. Ever
since I was a kid I hated when people would
whine or complain. My family and friends
don't know the things I have to go through
every day. I am going to complain, a lot, but
only for the purpose of this letter, and I promise
to talk about the good you have brought me.
So now I am going to talk about "the shit." In
my head I call all the problems you gave me
"the shit" because it's problems specific to me

6

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2019

FIGHTERS

and pretty much only me-the shit that I'm the
only one dealing with, the man on the moon,
so I'm sorry to complain but.....
The Shit - I never thought I would be writing
a letter to you.
I never thought you would become part of
my life at 19 years old. I never thought working
out 8-10 times a week and eating clean that I
would get cancer. I never thought I would hear
nurses at an emergency room say to me, "I
don't know how you're alive. Your hemoglobin
level is at four and your spleen is the size of
a football" or "How did he even walk in here
today." Or the words "You have cancer Tim.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
"We're going to the Seidman cancer center" from my Father. I never thought at 19
I'd have to worry about my blood pressure. I
never thought I'd have to endure 3+ years of
chemotherapy. I never thought nurses would
come to my house to give me shots of chemo. I
never thought I'd spend 50 nights in a hospital.
I never thought I'd have to worry about death,
lose my hair, lose my immune system, lose

my physique, lose my strength, have constant
mouth sores and bloody gums, feel carsick
24/7, swallow pills daily, get poked weekly
by needles, have a spinal leak, watch my face
bloat to the point where I was unrecognizable
to even myself, leave college, have countless
procedures, tests and prescriptions.
I've had more problems and suffering in one
day than most people will face in their entire
life. Cancer, all of your victims do, and the list
of problems you give us could go on and on;
I only listed the first things that popped into
my head. You made me say goodbye to many
things I love and forced me to go through so
much change.
Before I met you, my schoolwork was great
at Kent State University. I was healthy, had a
ton of friends, was in a fraternity, and I did
two philanthropies. Also, I was in phenomenal shape from years of wrestling, running,
lifting and calisthenics. You took that strong,
confident 19-year-old, stuck a port in his chest
and after the first 29 days of chemotherapy,
in-patient, he was weaker than most nursing
home patients.
Walking upstairs was scary, I didn't know
if I could make it up one flight, and if I did, by
the time I got to the top, I was close to fainting.
The first day I came home I was afraid of two
stairs leading up to my front door. I almost fell
on the way up. All I could do was one push up
and yet 30 days earlier I could do 50+ without
stopping. It felt like I was in Harry Potter and
one of those ghost things was sucking the
soul out of me. I tried not to look in mirror
most days because I didn't recognize the man
looking back at me. Years of hard work to put
on strength went to shit in less than a month
and I was skinnier than a holocaust victim, yet
my face was fatter than a 285lb heavyweight
because of the pills I was on. I became a twig,
my face blew up, and hair fell out every time
I touched it. It was very strange watching all
of these changes occur - and believe me; I
didn't like it.
But I never let it bring me down. I just let it
happen and focused on the good. I recognized
what was happening to me and in the wise
words of The Beatles, I just "let it be," for all of
the "the shit" you gave me. I didn't let it conquer me. I never stopped working on myself. I
never let anyone see I was in pain or suffering.
I never let depression creep back into my head.
I never stopped having a good attitude because
when you can't control what's happening to
you, you can control how you respond to it.


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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
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 7
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 8
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 9
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Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 11
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 12
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 13
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Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover3
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