An Open Letter To Cancer

Dear Cancer,

I was out and about today, excited for many reasons. So many great things are happening right now and I couldn’t help but walk around with a smirk on my face. Then all of a sudden, I saw you. I walked in the salon and there you were, making your presence known, shaking my world as a familiar force pounded in my heart. I sat next to you and watched you work as you take over another person’s body; a site I am too familiar with. I could tell that you were settling in your new territory while the physical body you have intruded on is trying to fight for room. The woman today, the one I saw you with, she looks great you know. Without knowing her, it seems as though she is trying to find comfort in normalcy by doing what seems like a day to day task. Or maybe she just heard the news that you came back and this makes her feel better. Either way, I could tell that you haven’t quite tarnished her spirit, even if  you plan on sticking around for the long haul.

Making sure that she has to wear a hat to cover up the hair that has been taken away, you come and grasp what’s hers. Even her skin is different. Something else I remember too. You see, when you made your place known in my range, I could see the difference in the loved one that I would one day lose to you. Her skin was more delicate, often swollen, just like the woman I saw today. The hats were always fun because you never knew which one you were going to get. And the eyes, they were fierce. They were the eyes of someone who has to look at you every day when they look in the mirror.

Those are the eyes that looked at me today saying “I’m going to win the fight”. 

Over the course of several years I’ve seen you take people too soon. I’ve seen babies being born, never getting the chance to know how amazing their grandparents were. I’ve seen brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers lose grip of the future because living in the now is all that counts. But I’ve also seen you leave. I’ve seen you walk out of someone’s life just like that, never to return again. And in that moment, I start to think that maybe you aren’t as scary as you seem.

At the end of the day, I’m tired of you being around and I know there is nothing that I can do about it. Over the years I have tried to forgive you for the pain that you have caused for so many people. I’ve tried to accept that you’re just a part of life. And maybe you are; but your presence lingers in the bodies and lives of everyone around. Isn’t that exhausting for you too? You take hold of a person hoping to tear them down but you won’t. You’re doing the opposite. You’re bringing them together. You’re building an army that’s fighting against you, an army that will continue to fight against you even after you lose.

These days, I’m looking forward to the sight of YOU becoming weaker and the people that you grasp on to becoming stronger.  I’ve seen too many of my family and friends and their family and their friends have to put up with your nonsense. I’m just here to let you know that no matter what, you will never win. No person will ever stop fighting against you. You can try as hard as you want but just know that we only get better. With time, you’ll just be a faint memory. And when you’re gone, we will celebrate years of remission. And if you dare try to come back, just know that we will be ready to take you on.

Signed with exhaustion,

Your Adversary



  1. Wow Ashley, that blog was so amazing. Those are my exact thoughts every time I see someone battling cancer and then I stop and say a prayer. Your words will encourage someone to fight just one more day which will lead to another day and another day and soon Cancer will no longer feel like a war but a simple argument. Thank you, that made my day.

    Toni Yvette Horne

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