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


by University Hospitals AYA Cancer Group - Cleveland, OHDecember 16, 2019View more posts from University Hospitals AYA Cancer Group - Cleveland, OH

Dear Cancer,

It’s been a year. Fuck you. (x a billion).

You took over my life. I’m trapped.

I can’t do anything I used to do.

I hate feeling so tired.

You make me walk like a 70-year-old woman. Everyone walks miles ahead of me.

It was hard to lose my hair twice – but you make me do it. The body image is hard. My weight, my appetite. You’ve scarred me, literally. I was so active before but then I had to learn how to walk all over again.

Fuck you chemo brain.

You set my clock back – fuck that. You control the clock. I’m always waiting for you to make your next move. How many seizures will there be? How much time until the next treatment? How long will my recovery be? It’s all a part of your game. Sorry I can’t be a part of your decision-making process.

I can’t drive. My wings are clipped. You stole my sense of freedom and independence. I’m in jail. I want to drive away and not come back. I want to go on road trips.

Living in the fear of the unknown – I want to run but I can’t. I’m scared to.

You change family dynamics. Why do you come to good people?

You make everything a potential emergency.

You make me afraid to open up to new people. You are a part of me, but I don’t know how to share you with others. What if they leave? What if they run and hide? It’s time to summon the bravery card.

In spite of who you are, I’m a stronger person. I was scared to death when you came. When I started fighting back, I didn’t think I could do it. I want you to go away, but you made me appreciate the little things. You taught me who’s really on my side – you made people leave but also brought people to me. You gave me rocks – those who will never leave me.

You brought out what I am in the dark. I have hope. You made me believe in a lot of things. I know there’s a greater purpose in life. You show me people who have fought you, showing me that I can too.

You showed me the gift of time.

You make me a better person. How in a “holier than thou” kind of way – in a relative way. I realize I can take chances to enjoy life while it lasts. You taught me to ask for help when needed, and also how to recognize when to help others. You showed me the value in this.

Most of all – I’m sorry I’m not weak enough for you. #sorrynotsorry


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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