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Dear Cancer, You Need to Behave

by Cody MorrisonPatient, Chronic NK-Cell & Chronic T-Cell LGL LeukemiaJune 16, 2022View more posts from Cody Morrison


Let’s sit down and have a talk.

I am just going to come out and say it: you need to behave. I know you and I are going to be stuck with each other for the rest of my life, but can you at least make things a bit easier? As I write this, I am feeling tired, and I don’t know if it’s the fact that daylight saving time just kicked in or if I need a blood transfusion.

I am going to take a break.

Hi there, it’s tomorrow and I am back. Let’s finish this letter. After writing the first bit yesterday, I ate lunch, watched TV (why are game shows so entertaining?), played some computer games, and did my usual routine around the house.

To start, let’s stop calling you cancer—let’s call you by your full name (remember when your parents would call you by your full name and you *knew* you were in trouble? Maybe it will work like that)—chronic natural killer (NK) and chronic T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia. (Yes, I know, I am lucky enough to have two types of you at the same time. Because of that, doctors are especially interested in you, so I have had three bone marrow biopsies and more than 150 blood draws in the last seven years). I think you dislike the “little pinch” as much as I do, so if you stop misbehaving, we won’t get stabbed as often!

I wish you would stop needing treatment, but I know that isn’t going to happen any time soon, so please keep responding to the current treatment. I don’t want that uncertainty that comes with starting a new treatment again: “Will it work?” “What kind of side effects am I going to get?” “How often am I going to have to see the doctor?” “How long will I have to be on this new med?”

Let’s make things as pleasant as possible for both our sakes. Hopefully, I don’t have to write you another letter for a while.


The body that the bad blood circulates through

(a.k.a. Cody)

This article was featured in the 2022 Dear Cancer issue of Elephants and Tea Magazine! Click here to read our magazine issues.

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