A Letter To My Cancer

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Dear Cancer,

It’s been nearly a year since I found out that you had crept into my life, ripped through my body and changed my life permanently in ways that I wouldn’t have even thought possible.

You chose my bowel, you chose to make this both physically and mentally excruciatingly embarrassing from the beginning, as who likes to talk about ‘that’ kind of thing. I almost didn’t find out about you as you came to me in an odd way. I had misread your signals for months, the agonising back pain and all that time stuffing laxatives down my face thinking that my medication had stopped you from working. You got fed up of being ignored and mistook for other illnesses and decided to break free of my bowel and spread to the most private of spaces, making me bleed uncontrollably. I had to beg for you to be found.

You were found and they said they could get rid of you. It wasn’t going to be easy though. I had to go through intolerable pain, be burnt to a crisp,  have toxic drugs pumped into me and my body would physically change forever leaving me with permanent reminders that you had been.

You left me with a colostomy bag and with my uncontrollable bowel now sewed to my stomach. You caused me to go through seven hours of major surgery having half my digestive system and my BUTT removed for f*@ks sake, plus major plastic surgery to plaster over the hole you left. You left me in intensive care even though you know I hate hospitals. I spent months recovering from you, feeling frail and barely able to walk.

Most of all you made me feel completely alone and isolated even when I was surrounded and supported by all my friends and family. How could anybody even begin to know how I felt with all that you had done. How could they even comprehend what it was like to go from being ‘normal’ to shitting into a bag, how a control freak was not able to control what was happening to her body. How scared I am of you coming back and taking more of my body.

You may think that I’m sat here feeling sorry for myself by all that you have done. The fact is though that I WON. You are now gone and those toxic drugs that I’m having are stopping you from coming back. You gave me a bag but I decided to show it off and tell the world about it. I refused to be embarrassed by it. I chose to do that. I CONTROLLED that. My scars no longer upset me and I get stronger day by day. Now that you are gone I have decided to go back to my normal life and not let my physical differences beat me. I decided to write about you and out you in the hope that you won’t cause others to suffer as much as I did.

You have opened up my eyes, made me realise where my priorities lie and have given me strength that I never knew I had. I have learnt so much.

I may never be able to forget you, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive you but I do know that I’m better than you.

Tough shit cancer… you lose.

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