July 18, 2007

An open letter to cancer

(Note to readers: this is uncensored. And these are my honest feelings.)

DearLook, you…you…no words can describe what you are,

So, you targeted my dad this time. I won’t ask why because there is no reason good enough. Nor was there reason to attack Julie, John, Val, or Jamie. With each of them, I tried to find a reason. I came up empty every time.

First, there was Julie, a new mom to a cute baby boy, and you infected her while she was pregnant. Have you no shame at ALL? A mother/wife/friend/aunt/sister/daughter, creating a sweet new life inside her and you poison her. With an innocent baby RIGHT THERE. She tried to kill you with doses and doses of chemo, staying positive and not letting you turn her into a bitter, resentful person because of what you put her through. But you showed no sympathy whatsoever. Instead, you took her. More than 600 people came to say goodbye to her. Did you feel at all guilty? No, of course not. FUCK YOU.

And what about my ex-boyfriend John? Just when he was newly married and the happiest he’d ever been? How long had you festered in his bones? Were you there when he and I went skiing in the 90s and his hip was hurting? Was that you? Did you just lie there waiting to strike until the best time of his life? Well kiss my ass, because despite all the chemo he had to endure to try and kill you, and despite the fears of becoming sterile, he still was able to create a new life…a baby boy. John’s memory lives on in that little boy, and in our hearts. FUCK YOU.

And little Val. How the hell did you find her? Stage IV Lung cancer in a woman who never smoked a day in her life? She didn’t party, or drink, or even eat unhealthy foods. She was the most sincere person with a huge heart of gold. She’d never hurt anyone. Ever. But you struck her body with a force so fierce that no one could handle, let alone a woman just under 5 feet tall. She couldn’t fight you, and she lost. She was my friend. FUCK YOU.

Jamie was there for me when Julie, John, and Val died. In fact, we were dating during some of that time. He consoled me on the loss of my dear friends at the hands of YOU. And then. Then you worked your way into Jamie’s abdomen. At first, you acted like an ulcer, or just a bad stomach ache. But then the sign…the enlarged lymph node near his collarbone. I recognized you right away. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew it was you. He tried to fight you. Chemo, surgery, radiation, he did it all. But you are a relentless enemy and he finally grew too weary to fight. You won. Again. FUCK YOU.

Four times you won.

There are four people that I loved who I cannot talk to anymore because of YOU. I fucking hate you.

And yet, you persist.

This time, you’ve found my dad. Again.


My dad?

Do you not recall that you’ve been there before? In the prostate? Well, back then he cut you out and told you to fuck off and die, asshole.

Is that why you’re back? Revenge? Could you not have invaded someone evil? A terrorist maybe, or a mass murderer? The doctor got you out of his colon..most of you. But not before you spread your evil nastiness to other places, you sneaking, slithering snake. So now he needs chemo for six months. Followed by radiation for six weeks. And you couldn’t give a shit, could you? Do you enjoy this? Knowing that you are not welcome ANYWHERE. Knowing that everywhere you go, people want you gone. Dead. People will allow themselves to be cut open, just to rid themselves of your despicable presence. This time, you’d better look out, you fuck. Because my dad can kick your ass. And when there are times when he may not feel so much like kicking your ass, I will remind him of what you did to my friends. What you did to my grandmother, for whom I am named, when my mom was just 10 years old. You took my dad’s wife’s mother, and for even more reasons than just that one, my dad will not let you win this time. So just give up. Christ, can’t you just STOP?

If there was a way for you to become something human, someone that could walk on two legs, have a family you loved, and friends you adored…I would find you and I would torture your family. And I would abuse your friends. I would make you watch this, so you could see what you do to people. And I would physically hurt you more than anyone has ever been hurt before. And this, you would feel. You would suffer greatly. Because this is what you do. You ruin lives. But I don’t have to tell you this.

You are a sadistic piece of shit asshole motherfucker. Stay the hell away from people I love.

I hate you.

10 people have roominated about “An open letter to cancer”

  • i hate too.
    i don’t know you but want to give you a hug and kick “C” in the balls for you.
    i’m sorry, cathy.

  • Sarah says:

    Tears are rolling down my cheeks. I’m so sorry Cathy. I feel your anger too. I send hugs from across the pond.

  • Sandi says:

    I know nothing can make this better for you at this point, but we do love you and care about you. And, chemo can work miracles.

  • Heidi says:

    He is visiting and taking my best friend Carol. I hate him too. She is a sweet mother of two (7&5). Oh how it hurts. He is taking some of the joy out of going to Russia to visit my new daughter. I hope I can bring her home in time for Carol to meet her. Fuck you Mr C!
    Your dad is in my prayers.

  • Michele says:

    Oh Cathy,

    I once read that, “Anger is only a natural reaction; one of the mind’s ways of reacting to things that it perceives to be wrong. While anger can sometimes lead people to do shocking things, it can also be an instinct to show people that something isn’t right.”

    Your anger is indeed a natural reaction. I do not know one person who has not lost a loved one to cancer, and at some point had anger surface as their mechanism to cope. I understand this. I have lived this reality and this emotion.

    I also believe that your anger does indeed show that something is not right – of course that something is cancer. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It is devastating.

    My hope for you, at this moment, is that allowing your anger to be expressed as you have (with such clarity, determination, and love) has allowed you to release some of it. You need to do that, for your self, your father, and every other person you love and are loved by.

    What a strong woman you are. How lucky those people are who have felt, and still feel your love,


  • Mel says:


    I don’t know what to say….I only know how blessed your dad is to have a daughter like you beside him during this trying time. It hurts to see families go through this over and over I wish you love, and a fast recovery for your dad whom I sure is as special as you are!

  • Carmi says:

    It’s OK to be angry and it’s OK to kick the walls and make holes in the process. I look at my family tree and at my collection of friends, and what strikes me is the frequency of empty spaces where cancer has similarly done its dirty work. It takes people who otherwise don’t deserve to be taken, showing no discrimination and no remorse.

    My family has been particularly hard hit by leukemia. Part of me almost expects a diagnosis at some point…I’m statistically likely, according to my doc.

    I’ll argue right alongside you if that’ll help. Know that you, and all of these wonderful people are in my prayers. I know your dad has the strength and the will to kick cancer’s butt right back where it freakin’ belongs.

  • Dee says:

    i couldn’t have said it better myself..

  • Sister says:

    I completley agree. Its such fucked up shit…and if cancer ever morphs itself into a tangible being, I will join you in taking that bitch down!!!

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