I’ve been debating writing this letter for a while. For one, it’s a rather cheesy way to communicate, no? But mostly because I prefer ignoring your presence. You are in no way a part of my body, but something I feel I must co-exist with.
I am writing you because I am angry with you. Not for what you have done to my body, but rather what you have taken from my life. I am angry that you have robbed me of my 25th year on this earth. A year I will never get back. A year that should have been spent exploring and having fun. Because of you, it was instead spent in a hospital getting procedures and at home feeling ill.
Cancer, I have no idea why you chose my body. I mean, I’d done my fair share of smoking and drinking, but I cleaned up my act. I tried really hard to be good to my body in recent years, but it was still not strong enough to fight you off.
When I am old and look back on my life, there will now be a big hole where the year 25 sits. My time as a person in their mid-twenties will always be overshadowed by your presence. I will never know what this period of life is like had you not come along.
Cancer, I am also angry because even when you’re gone, I’ll still have to clean up the mess you left behind. My life won’t immediately go back to being great, and it will be a long time before it has any semblance of normal. Because of you, I will live in fear of getting sick again. Really sick. Because of you, I have now thought way more about my own mortality than any 25-year-old ever should.
Please do not take this letter as any sort of truce. I still refuse to accept that you are in any way a part of my body. On the contrary, I am instead asking you to vacate the premises immediately. I expect you to be gone by January 23, 2012 – my 26th birthday.