Cancer - You are Not The Enemy

Dear Cancer,

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that ‘YOU are not the enemy.’

Cancer kills. That statement alone would lead anyone to believe that you are the devil in disguise or the terrorist that needs to be taken down. However we choose to view it, you are an invader and one thing is for certain – no one wants to be on the opposing side of you.

I am not one of those people that will say how grateful I am that you came into my life because I have a whole new positive perspective now that you have given me a brush with death. No, not me. I am not grateful, I am angry. I am grateful for my anger. The anger has given me the strength to fight you.

Since you walked into my life one year ago, I have driven to over 70 doctors appointments, have had 3 surgeries, have been poked dozens of times by numerous different medical professionals, have been physically and emotionally unwell, have been unable to attend my children’s social functions, have lost my breasts and my hair, and I have become an incredibly insecure person whom I do not recognize.

One year ago, a nurse told me that my positive attitude would get me through this. I cynically thought to myself – bullshit! It’s not my mind that has the problem, it’s my body. The surgery, the chemo, the radiation, and the drugs will get me through this! Well, they certainly helped but the truth is that she was right.

One year later, after graduating from all the treatments, I am still angry at you for this terrorist invasion, but I know my worst enemy is my own mind and that if I allow you to take my sanity, you will have won. I am here to say GAME OVER. You lost, I won.

With a sarcastic wink, I say ‘Good luck to you in the future’.

Shelly Straub, Breast Cancer Survivor

Shelly Straub
Cicero, NY