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

Dear Cancer, Although you disgust me, always and forever will, on most day I am able to be thankful to you. I am thankful for what I have learned about myself while being face to face with you. I have been able to see exactly what I am capable of enduring, what I am capable of accomplishing....which is kicking your damn butt! But for today, just this one day, please allow me to rant....and by rant I mean please allow me to express my utmost hatred and anger toward you. Today, above most days, I HATE YOU. I hate you for what you did to me. I hate that you took away my fertility. I hate that you took away my prime years before menopause. I hate that I am now at 39 in menopause and have to suffer some side effects of hormone replacement therapy. I hate that you have scarred me inside as well as out. I hate that my children (6 and 8) look at me and ask what happened to my belly to leave such a big mark. I hate that I have to tell them there is something out there so evil that it will permanently hurt their mommy. I hate that they know that this is something that we can't control and could attack anyone, anytime. But more than hating what you did to me, I hate you for what you did to my mother and to my family 7 years ago, when you first appeared your ugly head. I hate you for the suffering you caused her. The pain she went through, only to lose her beautiful life one year later. I hate that you took away what she wanted most of all, which was to be a grand-maman to my kids. I hate that she never got to meet my beautiful Sophie that was growing inside my belly. I hate you for taking my mom away. I hate that instead of feeling the magic of Christmas this time of year and looking forward to creating beautiful memories with my mom side-by-side, and celebrate with what my family used to be, I am now feeling the emptiness of her not being here. She is so close to my heart and always will be (and that you cannot take away from me) but yet she is so far and I struggle to find happiness this time of year. It becomes harder and harder to just close my eyes and think back on all those beautiful Christmases we did get to have together. HOW DARE YOU. How dare you come into our lives and take that away. She was a good person unlike any other. Her outlook on life was always positive and full of smiles, laughter and love. She lived for her family, her kids, her husband. She loved all those in her life. She also lived to make all those around her happy and comfortable and feel accepted. There was no better person and I truly believe the world is one shade darker without her light shining in it. I could try and try each day yet could never reach the level of goodness that woman had. You should be ashamed of yourself. Dear Cancer, you truly disgust me today above all other days. -Adele Croteau- @lutintoutnu


Dear Cancer, As December 15th approaches, my heart is filled with many emotions. That day marks a year since Mallorie was diagnosed with leukemia. This past year has been a whirlwind of change, sacrifice and growth. I can remember the feeling of losing my breath when we heard the words "your daughter has leukemia." The room was full of family, but I felt alone. I had no idea what laid before me in this unplanned season of life. The hospital became our home on and off for many weeks. Just when I thought she was getting stronger, she would be sick. I wanted to be home with my husband and other two children, but I couldn't. I didn't know how to express myself. I was running on anxiety and fear. Cancer changed me. Some of the changes are good, but some are not. There are days I worry she will relapse or catch something she can not recover from. It always lingers in the back of my mind. Every~single~day. On the other hand, I am more compassionate to others with illness. I have made many new friends. And I try not to take anything for granted. There are still days, even though she is in remission and doing so well, I get angry and frustrated at this monster. I often wonder if I will ever be able to relax. It seems hard to believe we have come so far. I can remember the first few nights in the hospital at diagnoses thinking, "Will this ever get better?" Many doctors and nurses would tell me it would, it just takes time. They were right. It does get a bit easier. Treatments are less harsh. Appointments become fewer. Hospital stays less frequent. However, the thought of cancer and all it has destroyed never vanish from my thoughts. Not only do I worry for my child, I worry for all the other families and children dealing with cancer. So many children have been taken away. Families are broken. Dreams are lost. It makes me want to scream. Even with all the doubts, fears and frustrations, I know deep down we are blessed. And I know there is always a purpose for the things that happen. I have amazing support and prayer warriors all over the country. It is hard to be a care giver of a sick child, plus be a focused wife, mom, daughter, friend and employee. There are times I feel like a failure, but then moments I even surprise myself. I have learned it's all about perspective. I have days when I am alone, I break down. And in those moments, I think I become a bit stronger. There are days I am happy. There are days I am mean and selfish. There are days I want to quit. There are days I want to dance. There are days I want to run. But at the end of those days, no matter what emotion I am feeling, I know my purpose in this moment in time is to "be". Be flexible. Be willing to love. Be open. Be okay with what I am feeling. Be honest. Be understanding. Be silly. Be ready for anything. Be available. And most importantly, be still. One of my favorite verses is "Be still and know that I am God." I love that verse so much I have it tattooed on my wrist. It reminds me I don't have to have the answers. And when I am a complete mess, I can rely on God to carry me. He has been the only reason I have made it through my daughter's cancer and all the other junk associated with it. I truly do hate cancer. It is a thief. It is a destroyer. It is a selfish beast. But I believe good conquers all evil. And when I get to tuck my daughter in at night or I see her smiling and hear her laughter, she is winning this battle. Life is to short to play games and carry baggage. I try to let go of all the crap that comes at me. I am learning to become comfortable with expressing myself. I guess if I had to thank cancer for one thing, I would have to say thank you for showing me I am not prefect. I will stumble and fall. I will continue to make mistakes. I will cry and be angry. Cancer has reminded me to reach out to God. I don't need to be a super hero. And I am discovering it is okay to just be, well, me.