The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

Dear Cancer

Each year we ask the AYA cancer community to submit letters to cancer to express their feelings about how cancer has changed their lives. People explore an array of emotions in these letters, including anger, sadness, gratitude, and hope.

Want to submit an article or write your own letter to cancer? Click Here.

Cold & In the Wide-Open Air

by Mallory Casperson June 28, 2022

Dear Cancer,
I am so far from
the me who sat in that chair
cold and so afraid.


Dear Cancer, We are Now Forever Intertwined

by Rori Zura

Dear Cancer,

I knew you were set to come after me. I mean you went after almost every other female in my family, so why wouldn’t you come after me?


Dear Cancer, It’s Me

by Shannon Carty June 27, 2022

Dear Cancer,

It’s me. The one your cells decided to affect with your invasive takeover. It’s me. The one you decided would fight your battle. It’s me. The one that is now advocating for those who cannot anymore. It’s me. The one who cannot fathom why you chose her to survive.


Dear Cancer, We Acknowledge You

by Nicholas Beidas and Bethany Buchanan June 23, 2022

Dear Cancer,

I wish I could paint you as a villain, as so many others have. I wish I could wear the F*$& CANCER shirts and personify myself as a WARRIOR and pretend that cancer is an adversary that can be conquered if you just try hard enough, truly believe, and stay positive. But Cancer, you are not that villain.


Dear Cancer, I Learned to Live Again

by Myka Robin

Dear Cancer,

When I found out you were in my body I was scared, mad, and I lost all hope. I hated you for so long for taking my hair, my health, and my hope. I hated you for giving me anxiety, PTSD, and for trying to kill me.


Dear Cancer, We Have Been on an Adventure

by Michelle Lawrence June 21, 2022

Dear Second Half,

We have been on an adventure for 13 years this April, ironically both of us are celebrating our “birth” on my birthday. I hate you, and at times I am grateful.

You have stolen moments from me that I will never get back. You have limited me in so many ways by constantly throwing a wrench into my plans. After 13 years, you have broken down my body; years of treatment, procedures, tests, hospitalizations, and because you are rare, often a lot of guesswork.


Dear Cancer, What Should I Say to You?

by April Kemen June 20, 2022

Dear Cancer,

What should I say to you?

Maybe I will start by complaining to you about all the tests, scans, appointments, needle pokes, surgeries, and medications I have endured because of you.


Dear Cancer, You Need to Behave

by Cody Morrison June 16, 2022


Let’s sit down and have a talk.

I am just going to come out and say it: you need to behave. I know you and I are going to be stuck with each other for the rest of my life, but can you at least make things a bit easier?


Dear Cancer, You are the Great Paradox

by Emma Vivian June 15, 2022

Dear Cancer,

You have changed me in more ways than I can count.

First, there was the big change, the news of your existence falling from the sky, scorching the earth of my body, and breaking apart my safe little world. When you arrived, you changed so much.


Dear Cancer, I am Still the Author of my Own Story

by Rachel Mihalko

I am learning that while I may not be in control, I am still the author of my own story

You, cancer, are lurking in the shadows,
Waiting for a moment to appear again
in the tender skin on my clavicle.