Thursday, August 1, 2013


Dear Cancer,
As you know, I am not much of an activist.  I don't raise funds or go to health expos.  I only attend one 5k walk each year (although I walk with defiant pride!). 
I have other ways of expressing my feelings.
Today, I am really mad at you!
You are a sneaky, meaner-than-mean SOB.  You have no boundaries for your prey:  rich, poor, old, young, male, or female. So I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised when I received the unwelcome news of my longtime friend's breast cancer diagnosis this afternoon.  I am not usually at a loss for words, but this message left me speechless. 
But not for long.  No, sir.  I picked up my phone and I dialed across the miles.  The second I heard her voice, it came back to me:  how I felt six years ago.  How I was her when a doctor said to me, "I have bad news.  It's cancer."  How you changed my life.
And you know what?  I liked my life.  I didn't invite you.  I didn't want you.  I DO NOT LIKE YOU.
Yet, you refuse to leave me alone.  What's the deal?  What is it about me that you think is so great?  Is it my affinity for musicals and carbohydrates? My nifty sense of humor?  My ability to make up songs on the spot?
And my sweet friend.  I know why I love her, but what could you possibly want with her?  Is it her Job-like patience?  Her fun-loving spirit of adventure?  Her affection for snow cones?!?
With one phone call, she was pinned with the unwanted pink ribbon.  Blah.  Pink, teal, whatever the isn't a badge of honor.  It's not a privilege to fight this fight.  I, and now my dear friend, and millions just like us, fight because we have to.  Because you invade our bodies, but even more than that:  you attack our lives.  You interfere with every. single. aspect of everything until there are more questions than there are answers. 
Not only am I mad at you for invading, but I am FURIOUS at you for the questions.  Today my counselor (and I would like to insert that my need for a counselor is also your fault) gently and graciously guided me through nearly an hour of gut-wrenching talk of ...have I done enough? when is enough enough? how much is too much? how will they know how much I love them? will they remember? does he understand that he is our everything? should I be scared? can I be peaceful?...and so on and so on.
The tears flowed fast and furious.  The counselor knows that I am mad at you and she says that's OK.  So there.
You suck.  This world is broken, yes, and sin-filled, and I still don't think that is a good enough reason for you to be here.  Be gone!  Get out!  Maybe I'll become a cancer activist after all and take up the cause.  You've done enough damage, both inside and out.  I'm sick of you.
Fed up,
Confidential to M:
So, today was a bad day.  And there will be some more bad days.  But hear me loud and clear, sister: you are not alone!!!  There is no way that I am going to sit over here and let you walk down this road unassisted.  I KNEW all this cancer stuff would come in handy someday!  :)  It's okay to be scared, and it's okay to be mad (obviously!), as long as you remember the three things:  1) God loves us. 2) God is always in control. 3) God is good.
You are the daughter of a big, big God who is holding you in the palm of his big, big hand.  And you have a slightly crazy friend who will do just about anything for you.  Anytime, day or night.  Any reason.  You are loved.
Oh yeah---let's hit up Bahama Buck's, okay?  My treat.


Anonymous said...

Yesterday our Pastor talked about suffering for Christ. I thought of you. Your words touch my heart and I am praying that God will touch your body and remove Monster once and for all.

Anonymous said...

I am just at the start of my journey with OC- coming towards the end of frontline treatment - I found your blog via the MD Anderson website. I felt after reading your posts that I must leave something- we are similar in age although I live in the UK, I don't have any children so I can only imagine the extra heartache that your diagnosis must cause. I was a month from my wedding day when I was diagnosed and I am so very glad I got to go ahead with my big day. I remember standing at the front of the cathedral and asking God to give me the strength to cope with the dark days to come. I will keep you in my prayers an I truely hope you find a treatment that gives you many more years with your cowboys,