Dear Cancer
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Cancer sucks! Here's what cancer fighters, cancer survivors and supporters have to say to cancer.

You're an asshole.


Dear Cancer, Today was my last day of active treatment, and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to write you a letter. I would've written sooner but I was super busy kicking your ass. You've been apart of my life for far too long. You're the greatest enemy I've ever known and the biggest thief. I've seen you steal the hopes and dreams of so many. Too many. As a young child, I had to watch helplessly as you inflicted unimaginable suffering upon my mother. Not that she didn't give you one hell of a fight. She did! In the midst of all that suffering, I saw a woman, with all of the odds stacked against her, use the power of sheer will, faith in God and unconditional love for her children take you a few extra rounds. You see Cancer, she was the ultimate example of strength and fortitude. And that example was a powerful weapon in my arsenal. And what about my real life superhero, Laura Gannon?! I bet you never saw her coming. She kept me focused and strong every single day of this fight, loving me through the toughest rounds. And while my wife was reason enough to fight, there was my little girl, my sweet Madeleine. She has a few superpowers of her own. I love her with every cell in my body and I sure as hell wasn't about to let you take from her what you took from me. Cancer, while I am proud and grateful to have won this battle, I realize that until we find a cure for you, the war continues. I vow to keep fighting for all the soldiers we have lost and for all the warriors, present and future. Signed, Riese's Daughter


You don’t scare me or stop me from living. You don’t hold me back with fear. I am alive and full of life despite you! As a child I experienced you touch the lives of my aunts and uncles and the sadness that brought to my mother and the tears to her eyes when she lost her brothers and sisters to your demise. As I grew older and just when I got to the highest point of closeness with my mother, I experienced you touch her life too. I witnessed what chemotherapy can do when it sparks infection and the memory of the last days of my mother will remain etched in my mind forever. When I lost my mother to you I experienced the agony of the loss she suffered when she lost each of her siblings. I went into a deep dark tailspin and it took me many months to recover but I emerged stronger than ever. You pointed me in the direction of my passion cancer. I started fundraising to keep my mother’s memory alive, to cope with my loss and to honor all those touched by cancer. You touched my sister cancer and I immediately thought the worst. My memories reverted to my mother’s diagnosis and treatment and what she endured as a result of your touch, but it wasn’t the same. I’m happy to say that I was wrong cancer because my big sis kicked your ass to the curb. So then when you touched me cancer, I was ready! From the moment of diagnosis I saw the opportunity in your touch. I decided that I was going to cut you out of my body and rebuild myself in more ways than one! Now, dear cancer, I look and feel better than before inside and out. Cancer, despite you, I evolved with more confidence than I have ever had before. Cancer, I tricked you. Instead of fighting you I decided to invite you into my life, accept you and live a more beautiful and fulfilling life despite your visit to my body. Cancer, because of you and my lack of fear of you, women are drawn to me and I help them cope with their diagnosis and treatment and the emotional and physical effects that go with you so that they can regain confidence and control of their lives once again. Cancer, you will never stop me from living because my spirit and passion is stronger than you!


Dear cancer, My life used to be perfect before I met you. I realized I didn't appreciate my life as I should have to, but I was aware that hard work was helping me to accomplish my goals. You came into my life last year, and it took 10 seconds talk to my doctor to see my dreams vanishing from my hands. I was diagnosed with "the good cancer", but truth is I don't know what's good about having a 5h surgery and being opened from earlobe to 2cm at the right of the center of my neck. They said treatment was a piece of cake, like drinking water... Well, since I drank that radioactive "water" I'm nauseated all the time. They said it was the good cancer and after surgery And treatment I could go back to my life... But I don't know what's the good thing about living with no thyroid and being hormone manipulated all the time... Life is not the same, a pill will never replace my thyroid... I feel tired most of the time, I feel like everything I do is a fight against my body that has too little energy to make it through the day. I'm just 28, I used to be super active, I used to feel I could conquer the world and I was conquering my dreams. I don't know dear cancer what you did to me, but all this fight has let me with many insecurities, with so many doubts, with so many fears... I don't understand why you had to come into my life so uninvited... It feels like you have taken my life from me, and I just don't know how to get it back. Everybody talks about how hard is the fight, but truth is life after you is as hard as the fight.


Canzer Stalked Me Into the Laundromat: My lucky socks were dirty. I was at the local laundromat near my apartment, minding my own business when, well, how should I explain this? I didn’t even see it at first, as it limped across the room. The smell of rotten-garbage-after-a-union-strike spoiled the fresh scent of lavender dryer sheets. The air got sucked out of the room, and I realized I was alone. All of the sudden, it was right next to me, slumped over, staring me squarely in the face. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. It had damp, gooey, pudding-like flesh. It was definitely not human, more like something that got bounced from the Star Wars Cantina. I couldn’t look at it, and yet I also couldn’t look away. In a long, soulless, putrid breath, it explained how big a load it would be on my life. And how many cycles we’d do together. Spin, spin, add more money to the machine, spin. Repeat. It told me we would meet up every few weeks for the foreseeable future, whether I liked it or not. It laughed at the mental anguish and frustration it would cause and cheered at the death of my sperm. I picked a bad day to do the laundry. I wasn’t going anywhere, so I asked it’s name. “Canzer,” it mumbled. Then we talked for too long. Here’s how the conversation transpired: Canzer: Hi I’m cancer. And you’re Ethan. I already know that because I’m following you on Twitter. Ethan Zohn: I hate you. C: That’s not very polite. EZ: I’m going to call you “canzer” from now on, as a sign of disrespect. C: We’re kinda getting off to a bad start. EZ: You can say that again. Why are you all up in my grill? C: I’m gonna be honest. I tend to be a stalker. I do this to a lot of people. So you might as well talk to me. EZ: Hellz no. I’m not into the “frenemy” stuff you see on The Real Housewives. You’re my main enemy. You’re Ethan Enemy #1. [Laundry cycle spinning…] EZ: Ugh, fine. I can’t believe I’m talking to canzer. I’ll ask you a question people ask me this question all the time but I never know how to answer — “How you are feeling?” C: Well, to be honest, I feel horrible. I have this project I’m working on but I can’t seem to figure out how to get it done. It keeps slipping away from me. EZ: I really couldn’t care less about your project. Actually, I’m ecstatic that you are failing at your life’s work. C: I try to dig in, but the “project” I’m working with is being really difficult. First of all, he is extremely good looking and I can’t compete with that. EZ: Go on… C: Second, he is the strongest human I have ever met in my life. I think he may be Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Hulk’s love child. Or maybe he is Patrick Dempsey and Katniss Evergreen’s kid, I don’t know, but he is unstoppable. EZ: He seems like a wicked cool dude. C: Plus, he has millions of people from all over the world supporting him, reading his blog, cheering him on and praying for him. They are incredibly powerful and hard to deal with. EZ: Again, sounds like a really great guy with some unbelievable friends. What’s the problem? C: Well…where do I start? It’s, like, totally impossible get his attention. He totally disrespects me. He bad-mouths me publicly all the time. He even de-friended me on Facebook. And he told me this robe would look better on a rhino. EZ: Yeah, well, it would. Stick to blacks and blues. In fact, it looks like your butt ate your robe and then threw up all over itself to make a newer, but much more ugly robe. Anyway, yeah it sounds like he really doesn’t like you. C: I’ll probably just give up and look for a new job with someone else. [Laundry tumbles audibly] EZ: Listen up, the ruse is over. I know who you’re talking about, and I know it’s me. So listen carefully, ‘cause I’m only gonna say this once: Get up and run. Run as fast as you can. This guy will destroy you with precision and ease. And if he doesn’t, his incredible doctor friends will make you disappear faster than you can say machine wash cold. He will make sure you have no influence on anything he does and he will rise again as a more powerful and transformed super human that will live life more vigorously than ever before. C: But…but… EZ: No buts! The only butt is the one I’m kicking out of this laundromat — and out of my life. You Suck. I hate you. [Laundry stops spinning]