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

Dear Cancer, You Came Into My Life…

by Jessica CainSurvivor, Breast CancerJune 26, 2024View more posts from Jessica Cain

You came into my life as a nagging change—a slight pull to the left and a dimple on my breast. “It’s nothing. I am too young for it to be something.” I took you with me to visit my doctor.

Stage 3 breast cancer at 34. I screamed at you in anger and fear, desperate for you to leave my body so I can live. I cursed you for threatening my future with my children, trying to leave them without their mother. I begged you to disappear, to shrink to nothing, and to never come back. I cried knowing you would forever change my life.

Over six grueling chemotherapy treatments, a mastectomy, 25 rounds of radiation, and a year of immunotherapy, you took and took and took. I don’t care that you took my hair or my nails. I care that you made my family watch me struggle. You made them feel scared and worried, and you made them miss mommy at too many events.

I rejoiced at your demise, thankful for those who evicted you from my body and saved my life. “No evidence of disease” ran triumphantly in my head, and I tried to buy into the idea of you never coming back.

But you linger. You don’t come in, but your mere existence in the world keeps me awake. I panic every time I feel pain that didn’t exist before, my breast feels a little tender and my headache lasts longer than expected. Every scan comes with dread that you may have snuck back in the window while I snuggle with my babies and rejoice in survival with those I love.

Your mere existence continues to torture me. Please, let me be.

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