An Open Letter to Everyone Who Walked Away During Cancer

Dear X- Friend,

Why do you avoid me? What is it that makes you fear? Is it my mask? My baldness? My paleness? Is it my cancer? Just say it. You are afraid of catching my cancer, my germs, my death sentence. Am I correct? Is this why you left? Is this why you broke off our friendship, our relationship? Is this why you went running? You never looked back. You never cared enough to look over your shoulder. You never thought twice about leaving, abandoning me. You never cared enough to stay. Live in your denial. You never cared to ask. You never cared to hear my story. You never cared to learn the truth of my facts. You don't care if I win this fight? No, as long as it's not your own, right? Leave me and it will all be forgotten, yes? I will be forgotten. My cancer will be forgotten. Right? No. Wrong. I will not be.

I am here. Still. I am fighting. I am not fighting for your return. I am fighting for my life. This is my lifelong battle and it's mine. It's all mine alone. You can't have it. It is not to be shared. It is not to be taken. It is not contagious. It is not transferable. It is all mine and mine alone. So go on and turn your head. Go ahead and walk away. The very existence of me may fade, but remember, cancer has no limit. You may one day be in my shoes. I hope not. If you are, it's not by me. I didn't give you my cancer cooties, my germs, my cells. No, it won't be me. Remember, you walked away. You left me. You showed your true face. You showed who you truly are. I thank you for that, because now I know.

I am still here. I am a warrior. I am a fighter. I am a survivor. I have a story to tell. My story. This is my story. I lived it. I fought it. I am here. You tried to make me obsolete. But I am here, alive. This is my journey. My journey alone. You are not part of it. You went your direction. You made your choice. It was your doing. Some things cannot be reversed. Some things cannot be undone. You cut the ties. You are a faded memory but not forgotten. I remember what you did. You left when I needed you most. But that's alright. I won my battle. I didn't need you after all. I had someone higher. I am a fighter. I am alive. I am here.

Please don't even bother. Don't come back. I don't need you. Don't come around on my account. Don't try to sulk in my indulgence. Don't try to make an attempt. Don't try to pretend that you care, that you're sorry. You are not concerned. Don't try to fill your curiosity. I will not fall to be on your sudden open interest; your interest doesn't belong. Don't try to pick up as if nothing happened. Something did happen. You missed it and I am presently over it. Do not continue. Can't you hear me? I said do not proceed.

I have a new beginning. A new life, second chance. I have been regenerated. Reinvigorated. I have been restored. I have a new light. A new path. You are not part of this. My mask is gone. My baldness is gone. My paleness is gone. My germs and cooties are gone. My cancer is gone. I am still me. Just say it. You are gone. You need to be gone. Just leave.

I wish you the best. I wish you to find your best. I wish you to find your truth. I wish you to find your own journey. Your own path. Your own reinvigorations. I can't be a part of it. I won't be. I can't be. You have to do it alone. Just as I did. Many roads split and never re-cross. Some may in due time. Should ours in the future, unconsciously, I anticipate you have found your ultimate peak in life.

I send this to you in love, peace and serenity.

ME, the Cancer Fighter, Warrior, Survivor

What questions do you have for the people who left you because of cancer? Share them in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of Timothy Paul Smith