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Forever Grateful

by Jesse Anne MooreSurvivor, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Papillary CarcinomaDecember 26, 2019View more posts from Jesse Anne Moore

Dear Cancer,

I would assume you have been hanging around in my life for a lot longer than most would anticipate. At least six… maybe seven years. You thought you were a being a sneaky little bastard, didn’t you? Disguising yourself behind every major milestone in my life just so you could keep growing without being caught. From marriage to switching jobs then moving nine hundred miles away to a new state. You knew I would find the excuses needed to cover up how I crappy I was feeling. To keep on pushing through no matter what. Just like the strong, hard-working woman I was raised to be. All the while you kept devising your evil plan to take me down.

You thought you would win, didn’t you? That I would crumble under the weight of fear when I was told the news that they had found a second type of cancer that was completely unrelated to the cancer I had already been diagnosed with and just had surgery for. You thought I would be so consumed by all the appointments, painful blown out veins, scans and the drill bits penetrating excruciatingly deep into my hip bone that I would miss out on making new memories with my family. Well guess what? You were WRONG!

And for that I must say thank you.

Thank you for making me so emotionally and physically drained that I couldn’t possibly endure another moment of the daily enormous amount of stress at my job of three years. That led me to up and quit (a first for me) and take a leap of faith. That leap of faith ultimately led me to my current job that offered excellent health insurance coverage and the ability to work from home as needed (another first). If that wasn’t enough already, it supplied me with the amazing support system and love that I needed to get through my surgery, isolation after the radioactive treatment, breaking my foot and then every six-hour chemo infusion. With all my family and friends back in Kentucky you would think I would feel alone and isolated but that was not the case at all.

Thank you for waiting to show up until after I had moved to Florida. Having one of the nation’s very best endocrine surgeons and lymphoma oncologists only two hours away has made this terrifying experience more bearable. Trust in my health care team has made this fight possible. Oh, and thank you for teaching me how to drive in a big city and overcome my fear of the dreaded parking garage.

Thank you for teaching me about patience. Thank you for teaching me that Google really isn’t my friend and constantly refreshing my online patient portal isn’t productive nor helpful. Thank you for teaching me how to let go of control and live in the moment. I have learned that cleaning the dust off the ceiling fan isn’t as important as slowing down and enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee with an old friend. Thank you for teaching me what really matters in this life. It has nothing to do with money, the number of followers on Instagram, size of jeans or perfectly arched eyebrows. Instead, it’s about moments we spend praying, crying, trying to process all these friggin’ emotions and being surrounded by the ones who care enough to stick around through all this shit.

Because of you, I am a recovering perfectionist. I am learning to embrace my brokenness and face my fears head on. I am learning to find peace again in all this chaos. Because of you, I will let others know that you can and WILL be defeated! You may have had my body for a while, but you can never have my soul. Thank you for underestimating me, ass. Because of you, I am now restored.

Forever grateful,

Jesse Anne Moore
Three-month survivor


All of the posts written for Elephants and Tea are contributed by patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones dealing with cancer.  If you have a story or experience you would like to share with the cancer community we would love to hear from you!  Please submit your idea at

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