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

Dear Cancer, You Are Light and Dark

by Hannah McCormackSurvivor, Endometrial Cancer; Patient, Breast CancerJune 13, 2023View more posts from Hannah McCormack

Dear Cancer,


Twice you’ve come knocking at my door.

The first time I was only 36 and you snuck up on me,

slow growing, but caught early

in my endometrial lining

but the price to pay was total hysterectomy and the inability to have any more children.


Now you’ve come to my breast at 41,

fast-growing with an aggressive grade and triple positive.

I had a clear mammogram in February and then there you were over 2cm big by September?

Apparently demanding to be seen and addressed. Localized but driven by hormones and Her2+ protein. I’m told just over 20 years ago this could’ve been a death sentence before the invention of Herceptin.

But Doctors say you’re treatable, even curable, so I’m holding hold fast to this as I have 9-year-old twin boys who need their Mama

and a husband who needs his wife.


You make me feel like I am on the outside of life looking in—like an imposter in my own skin. Maybe I didn’t learn enough from you the first time around?

They say my second cancer isn’t related to the first but it doesn’t matter because you’re in my body for a second time.

Why are you here?

I want you to be gone this time for good this time, and I’ll do anything to live as long as I can

But the price to pay is high:

6 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, and hormone blockers.


You have terrified me,

brought me face-to-face with my mortality, and threatened to overpower my sense of self.


At the same time you have made me pause, made me question and deeply reflect on my life,

and sent me the message of making my health a priority moving forward.


You are light and dark it seems—an enigma.

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