You took my mother-in-law when I was in my twenties. Then you took my grandfather less than a year later. Then, as a doctor, I watched you take countless children, teenagers, young people, and old people. I’ve witnessed firsthand how ruthless you can be, how you love to prey upon the people who are most gentle and kind, the ones who aren’t fighters, the ones who resign to you and let you sweep them away like a rogue wave on a surfer’s beach. But you don’t stop there. No. You go after the fighters too, only you make them suffer more. You take them too -- only you take them kicking and screaming.
You don’t look back. Your only goal is to win. And way too often, you do.
You took my father when he was barely 60. You swept through him from diagnosis to death in three short months. And you never apologized for taking him from me only two weeks after my daughter was born, when my dog had just died and my brother was in the ICU in liver failure.
You took Dad’s best friend when she was way too young. You took Mom’s best friend when she was even younger. Because of you, I had a year I called my “Four Funerals and a Wedding” year.
My friend Kris Carr is fighting against you (and winning! Cancer, you sly beast- you'll never get her. Keep your filthy hands off my friend.) But now you’re back at it, you evil troll. Last month, you struck my friend, a man my age with young children and a wife who’s not ready to lose him. Then on Mother’s Day, you lashed out at another friend, who has four young children. And today, I just found out you’re attacking another dear friend. Three strikes against friends in their forties in one month is pushing it, cancer. I’ve had it. I’m about to blow.
Three times, including right before I was supposed to go on stage to give a talk. The echo of your voice whispered in my ear and said, “I’m gonna take her and there’s nothing you can do about it” -- and I want to scream. I want to grab you by the neck and thrash you around until you’re as lifeless as the victims you attack. I want to silence you. I want you to suffer the way you make them suffer. I want you to plead for mercy.
I don’t get angry very often, cancer. In fact, I should probably get angry more often. But this time, you’ve crossed the line, so I’m warning you.
I’m giving you two choices. I’ll ask you kindly to leave my people alone. Just turn around now and walk the other way, and no one else will get hurt.
But if you insist upon sticking around and blowing off bombs, you’ve been forewarned. I’m declaring war on you. And this time, I’m taking you down.
I suggest you go crawl into your little cave and leave the people I love alone. Cause I’ve had it with you. And your days are numbered.
Unless you get to me first. But I’m here to tell you that I’m a tough cookie, and I’ve got a tribe that will help me fight you like an army, so you’d best be going now, cancer. Take your filthy self away and leave my friends and family alone. You’ve done enough damage already. Tuck your tail between your legs and get the hell outta dodge before I really get pissed.
And here -- I’m throwing my tears like bullets at you, cancer.
Damn you. Go to hell.
And please, if there’s any mercy in you at all, let my friends live. You’ve gotten in deep with all three of them. You’ve slipped into their blood streams and lymph systems. You’re taking over. But I beg you -- spare them. These are precious, special people. I love them. I can’t lose them now. Please. Please. Please go.
Praying you will leave and never come back,
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
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