Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 4

Conversation

LETTERS

Dear Cancer,

Dear Younger Self,

Fuck you and Thank you...
Fuck you for making me hear
one of the most painful pieces
of news one can bear: " You have
incurable cancer. " Fuck you for
making me go through the whole
painstaking process of dealing
with this condition, from denial
to grieve to acceptance, and the
dreadful memories that come
along with it. Fuck you for robbing my precious time with my
two sons. While I could have
focused more on my first son's
Kindergarten year, teaching my toddler fun games, and developing my
professional career, you consumed my mind and time worrying about my
prognosis, treatments and recovery. You forced me to have to explain what
cancer is to a 5-year old, and even worse, to have to explain to him that his
mother has this incurable illness. Fuck you for stealing my peace of mind
every single day at every moment since it was you who was the first and last
thought in my mind each day. Fuck you for requiring me to face mortality
while I was only in my thirties. At this age, I should not be worried about how
long I have to live. I should be worried about what I am making for dinner
or if my children are doing well in school. Fuck you for the weeks spent at
the hospital, for the weight loss, the never-ending tests, scans, and doctors'
appointments, the countless needles injected in my body and the everlasting anxiety ingrained in me. Lastly, fuck you for silently, but deliberately,
wreaking havoc in my body for years without giving me the slightest warning.
You were so devious in your intent that you even allowed me to carry both
my children right next to you and not giving any sign of your existence. The
thought of them growing inside me alongside you repulses me.
Despite all of this, I do want to thank you...
Thank you for changing my life for the better. Because of you, I now know
the meaning and value of living in the present. Every day, I make time to
breathe and take in what lies ahead. I stop to look around me and notice,
to feel the softness of my children's little hands inside mine, to admire a
beautiful sunset, sunrise, or rising moon and to really appreciate and be
grateful for what I have today and the people who surround me. Because of
you, I take every day as a gift. Thank you for making my family stronger and
bringing me closer to those who really matter. Because of you, I received an
outpouring of love and support from family and friends near and far. You
have also allowed me to be part of an remarkably special community of fighters; people who fight and never give up because giving up is not an option.
Because of you, I am able to inspire and encourage others, and at the same
time, feel incredibly moved and touched by stories similar to mine. Thank
you for making me love life with a fierce passion and for finding strength in
me I never knew I had. Even though you have caused a lot of affliction and
tears, you have taught me to lead a meaningful and purposeful life. I know
you and I can live harmoniously together for many years to come. I have a
lot to live for and many feats still to accomplish and you will never take that
away from me.

Right now you probably think you know everything
you need to know to navigate through life. You probably
also think you're invisible, and nothing can happen to
you or your family. Well.. life will throw you some major
curve balls and teach you some major lessons.
I understand you're wishing time to hurry up, so you
can be an adult and be on your own. But I'm going to
tell you now that you're going to need more help than
you can imagine, even though you hate asking for help.
Life will look perfect and seem as though nothing can
go wrong. You are going to marry a wonderful man who
will make you smile everyday, you will become a mom
to 2 beautiful kids who fill your heart everyday, and you
will start off your career as a nurse. Remember feeling
invisible? I don't know what happened, but life decided
to test you for some reason and diagnose you with cancer. While you were trying to process the cancer news, 2
weeks later your daughter was diagnosed with Autism.
You're going to feel as though you lost control of everything.. your life.
I won't tell you what happens, but I want to tell you 10
things to help you get through those tough times.
1. Don't. Give. Up.
2. Follow your gut instinct. If you feel like something
is wrong, go with that feeling until someone listens.
3. It's ok to cry and scream. This doesn't make you
weak... it makes you human.
4. You're stronger than you think you are. There's
going to be times where you may not feel like it,
but you are.
5. You're going to fall more than once, but you ARE
going to get back on your feet.. even if someone
helps you to get back up, that's ok too.
6. It's ok to ask for help.
7. Your children are resilient.
8. Slow down.. don't rush through life.
9. Find the good in everyday.. even the bad days.
10. Breathe.
You will learn a lot about yourself and what's truly
important in life. Don't
give up when you feel
like theres no other
choice, you have the
most important people
believing in you. Even
though life may have
taken you on a different
path, it's the path you're
meant to be on.. a path
that makes you happy.

PAOL A PA L M I E R I

4

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2020

YOU R F U T U R E SE L F,
K A R E N C OS TA


http://www.elephantsandtea.com

Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover1
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Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1
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