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The Devastation Is Unforgivable

by Chantale ThurstonPatient, Appendix CancerDecember 26, 2019View more posts from Chantale Thurston

Dear Cancer,

Finding out about you was one of the two worst days of my life. My mind went into panic as I had lost my dad to you just seven months before and my father in law was told about you invading him just a mere six days before I heard the words. I had a sweet little boy at home and a husband I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving, as everyone I knew who met you had not lasted more than five years of a long and grueling treatments. When I found out about you, I cried and cried and cried. I cried for my husband, who might lose his wife and father, I cried for my son who would lose his mother, and I cried for me – why me, why now? Then I found out there was hope. I was so happy to be able to get rid of you after four rounds of chemotherapy and an intense eight hour surgery called HIPEC, where I now live with come constant pains as a reminder of you in case I start to get too comfortable.

The surgery scars have mostly healed but my body can no longer have another baby. Everyone around me is completing their families, yet I can’t complete mine. My second baby is gone after a mere 11 ½ weeks and I will never have a rainbow baby. I see the hurt in my husband’s eyes when I come home and tell him that another friend of ours is having a baby. I am thankful every time I see my son, I know he’s a miracle. He’s absolutely amazing. But not being able to make your own family choices hurts every time someone asks if he’s an only child. At least, if I had died, my son would have a new mom and my husband would have had the family he wanted.

Chantale after surgeryChantale after surgery in bed

I have been worried about you coming back every day since. I don’t feel at ease when the doctors tell me I should relax or just continue my life. This isn’t like a bad breakup where eventually you do move on. Two years later I still think of you every day. When I see my scarred body, manage my menopausal side effects or my not-so-little boy asks for a sibling that I can no longer give to him, I feel the hurt and all the pain like it was yesterday. You ruined my shiny life when I only knew older people who had met you.

Now I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of young adults dealing with you as well. I can’t turn my back on them. I have to find a way to help our healthcare system and these other young people to better be able to deal with you, so their lives don’t also get ruined. I no longer cry about me but about so many lives that you mess up and tear apart. So many women that will remain motherless and so many children that are missing parents. The devastation you cause is unforgivable but together I hope we can one day block you out of our lives forever. I’m one of the ‘lucky ones’. But the only reason I feel lucky is because of these other amazing resilient young adults I’ve met and the thought of getting to you before you get to us.

Not a fan


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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