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I Had Cancer Guidelines

We're all here for similar reasons - we've been touched by cancer in some way. It’s up to all of us to show each other that no one is alone. Your IHadCancer profile is your own place to call home during this crazy thing called cancer, we just ask that you keep these simple guidelines in mind when participating.

1. Always Be Nice. This is a place for connections and conversations – we encourage you all to talk openly but please remain considerate in all of your engagement. Don’t post obscene, hateful or objectionable content. Abuse and disrespect will not be tolerated in the IHC community and is subject to deletion and user removal at our discretion.

2. Be a Good Friend. The IHC community is a family. Please remember to be a good friend to the connections you make on IHC. Ask questions that you wish someone would ask you; if you can’t find the right words to say, send a hug, it can speak louder than words. A simple gesture goes a long way.

3. Don't Spam. This includes sending unsolicited messages of any nature, posting links to unrelated content, promoting a survey, fundraiser or product where it shouldn’t be promoted. If you aren’t sure if something is appropriate to post, e-mail us and we’ll let you know.

4. Think Before You Post. Everything you post on IHadCancer is secure, but it is up to you to monitor how much or how little information you are sharing about yourself and your experience. Please don’t share personal or identifiable information like your mailing address or your full name and don’t share other member’s information.

5. If You See Something, Say Something. We work hard to make sure these guidelines are followed closely but if you see something that doesn’t’ feel right to you, please let us know. We review every report we receive and will take anything you say to heart. We promise.

6. Be Open. Welcome newcomers and help guide them through this journey based on your own experience. Whether you are a survivor, fighter, caregiver or supporter, you have valuable information that can very well help someone else who is just beginning the cancer journey. Be open to sharing experiences and give someone else the gift of your time.

Thanks for being a part of our community. It’s up to all of us to ensure that IHadCancer remains a place for us all to call home when dealing with the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis.

digitalasagna's picture
digitalasagna Connect

Survivor: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Dear Cancer, I have so many emotions that I feel all at once. All the time. I feel like an overfilled water balloon that is ready to burst at any moment. I am angry. I’m so fucking angry. And I’m scared. And I’m exhausted. And I’m frustrated. And I’m misunderstood. And I’m isolated. And I’m mentally drained. But despite all these emotions – most of all I feel empty. You left me feeling like a shell of who I used to be. I don’t know what I want out of life anymore. I don’t really know much of anything about myself anymore, to be honest. You took the light from my eyes. And I’m reminded of that every time I look into a mirror. There are some days that I barely recognize myself. I have scars all over my body from the havoc you caused. My hair is different. My skin feels different. My body doesn’t even feel like my own. You killed a part of me. A part of me that I will never be able to get back, no matter how hard I try. You killed a part of me that was confident. A part of me that sure of myself. A part of me that hadn’t experienced real horror. And for that, I fucking hate you. But you also gave life to a new part of me. A part of me that I am still discovering and getting to know. A part of me that is stronger than I ever imagined I could be. A part of me that is and always will be a survivor. And for that, I will be forever grateful. I never would’ve imagined that at 26 years old I would be laying in my bed, crying my eyes out, and writing a letter to cancer. Even as I sit here typing it out, it doesn’t feel real to me. I look back at pictures of me over the last year and I reflect on what it was like going through treatment – and it feels like I’m watching someone else’s life. A life that just simply isn’t mine. It’s hard to believe that I was in a coma for 6 days. It’s hard to believe that I was in a wheelchair for months. It’s hard to believe that I spent over 650 hours getting chemo. It’s hard to believe that I legitimately almost died. But I did. All over the course of a year. And now I’m forced to accept that you are a part of my identity, no matter how much I try to fight it. Or how much I don’t want it to be true. I had cancer. I can’t deny that. And because of this, people see me differently. People seem confused on how to interact with me. And, in reality, I am confused on how to interact back. I hate this pull that you have over me. I hate this constant, looming fear of you returning to my life. Every cough, every ache – I worry that it’s you knocking on my door trying to take over my life and ruin everything again. I have fought so hard to beat you. To destroy you. And I’m still fighting with all the pieces you left behind. But no matter how scared I get or how much you wear me down, I will never give up. I can promise you that. This is my best attempt at trying to forgive you for doing this to me. To purge the negativity that you brought into my life. I fought for a long time to not be angry. But now I am so pissed. And in order to move on, I have to let that go. I found this quote that perfectly sums up how I feel: “Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I’d rather not belong to.”

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