Dear Cancer...

The moment of my diagnosis saw my future totally black out in my mind. I was in this state for a number of mins until I consciously made a decision that I would fight with all I have to win this fight and that I would do so by remaining positive, hopeful and strong. The next four months were challenging but I made a conscious effort to always look for the silver lining and remain open to what I was to learn from this experience. Soon after my treatment ended I found myself writing a letter to Cancer; here is how it reads:

Dear Cancer,


I write to you in disbelief and a level of denial that my life has crossed paths with you. Like most people who have met you, your presence was never welcome nor enjoyed but the life-changing lessons you left behind were amazing. It is for this reason I want to say thank you for teaching me....


The true meaning of life;


That my children are my life's most rewarding blessing;


That my husband and I are true soulmates and how blessed we are to be together


That no matter what family is the biggest gift we are all given


That our achievements are own but the impact they have on others are our true legacy


How to immerse myself in each moment, giving it my full attention and care;


To be resilient in the toughest of times no matter how weak I feel


That I possess an inner strength ready to fight any challenge


Fear is a waste of precious energy and time and giving me new perspective and ability to not sweat the small stuff;<


To celebrate the smallest of wins and graciously take ownership for them because I deserve to;


To find pleasure in the simplest of beauties in life and to bask in the most glorious of them all


To re-connect with me and live my own truth


I am enough just as I am;


I have survived your ferocity and pray that others who meet you are as fortunate I In the meantime passing forward my lessons, I hope will show, that you have nothing on the human spirit and matter how hard you try that spirit will overcome you!  Sirin


 


Putting my learnings in words directed to that very challenge was a very empowering experience. Prior to writing this letter, I had trouble using the words 'I' and 'Cancer in the same sentence, now 10 months into remission I call my safe a Cancer Survivor and do so with great pride and gratefully. I invite your comments or even better your own letter to Cancer so that we can pay forward our learnings with others in similar circumstances.

Comments

  • Hi Sirin,


    Wow! This is just wonderful! Thanks for sharing your letter. I wrote a poem about my chemo and found it very cathartic……


    Blessed Chemo


    With trepidation and a pounding heart, I step through the lift doors. Not knowing what to expect, how to feel, I stop. I pause.


    I’m met with a smiling face, it masks the ward clerks pity. But I can see beyond that smile, as she gets down to the nitty gritty.


    She welcomes me with comforting words and a promise that’ll I’ll be fine. Then I’m presented with a wrist band of details, all of which are mine.


    Through another door, I am led, to a room that’s filled with seats. There’s also lots of machines that pulse, with annoying audible beeps.


    I’m introduced to some nurses that one day I will call friend. But at that moment they are strangers to me and I wish this nightmare would end.


    They explain the process thoroughly, though I don’t take in a word they’ve said. All I want is to run away, home to the safety of my bed.


    They try to place the cannula into a vein so that I can receive, the poison that will kill this cancer that has bought me to my knees.


    My veins are resisting that sharp needle, moving as it advances. I feel so sorry for the oncology nurses, who exchange nervous glances.


    “One more try” one exclaims, as they seek my elusive vein. Finally they succeed and I no longer feel sharp, pin prick pain.


    Before treatment can start, blood is drawn, it’s sent to the lab to test. They must make sure my levels are good, that they are at their very best.


    Treatment starts with an antihistamine and a steroid, administered to ensure, that my body doesn’t react to the chemo and that I can endure.


    Once some time has passed and the phenergan has made me slump, the black bag containing the chemo is opened and is hooked up to my pump.


    The pump is started, it beeps it whirs and starts to deliver, The medicine that will kill the cancer that has me all aquiver.


    The hours tick by, I’m given lunch, muffins and cups of tea. I even doze off and wake myself, because I’m snoring heavily.


    Once treatment has finished, I’m sent on my way, with an appointment to come back again, a week from that day.


    For six long months this was the routine, from one week to the next. An experience I am now grateful for, as I am truly blessed.


    Blessed with good fortune that my cancer is at bay. Blessed that I will live to see at least another day.


    Blessed to have received, the very best of care. Blessed that I can now call friend, those nurses all so dear.


    Karen xx

  • Hi Karen and Sirin,  Thanks for sharing your poem and letter.  They were just great and so very true!  Your wording was spot on and is exactly what a lot of us have felt over our journeys.  Your words will give inspiration to those about to begin the ovarian cancer journey.  Take care  Helen

  • Hi Karen and Helen,


    Karen, thank you so much for sharing your poem. Reading it made me feel like I was back in day oncology. It was such an accurate reflection of what it's like. I hope you are feeling well now.


    Helen, thank you for your kind words. I hope we get more of our fellow fighters/survivors to share their letters/poems/words so that we can all pay our learnings forward. I hope you are doing well, it would be great to hear what you would like to tell cancer.


    Sirin

  • Hi Sirin,


    Thank you!  I find it very cathartic to write and I am blessed that poetry comes fairly easily to me, though usually only in the wee hours of the morning!


    I am doing well now.  Even though it is over 2 years since I finished chemo, the lethargy persists.


    I hope that all is well with you!


    Kindest Regards,


    Karen

  • Hi Sirin,


    Thanks for asking for my thoughts about cancer.   I am more of a numbers type of person, writing can be a challenge for me.  In a nutshell I have had an interesting journey over the last 5 years, I think it has made me stronger, certainly my friends and family say so.  As I have the BRCA gene fault, I am really pleased that my family has embraced that concept and have all been tested and chosen to have preventive surgery where necessary and I feel that what I have been through has kind of helped them as well.  Like you said in your poem, I really appreciate the beauty in our world and I certainly don't stress as much about the little thinks in life.  I am on intravenous chemo at the moment for a recurrence and will be pleased when that is finished.  Take care. Helen

  • It is nice to hear from you again Helen,


    I sure hope the chemo is not too challenging for you. I don't believe any of our journey's or experiences are in vain. Yours has had a positive impact on your family by way of possibly preventing some members of them go down this road. I hope I have had the same impact on people I have shared my story with. Wishing you a successful journey through chemo xx


    Sirin

  • Hello Helen, Karen and Sirin  - it's me Healthy Now Sandra in Taiwan - being positive and writing about this dread disease is a good use of our time - the disease is so overwhelming  I am amazed we can joyfully continue to have full lives.  I want to find an online Skype community to have meetings where we can share - there are times I really want to cry with someone who has this - now I am dealing with wondering if my symptoms are from 10 months of chemo, cancer, or surgery recovery.  Door number one, door number two, or door number three and not berating anyone in the medical or pharmaceutical communities because the chemo did not work and my CA125 is rising - it's a long term deal so I may as well get used to it.  Seems I read somewhere "first you cry."  True true.  Off to the library for a basket making project.  Hey I still want to know how to post my photo - lol.  HNS.

  • Hi Sandra,


    Thanks so much for your responses :) Responding to your question about profile pictures, I've created a post here to explain how to upload or change your profile picture.


    http://forum.ovariancancer.net.au/discussion/10867/uploading-or-changing-your-profile-picture/p1


    I hope this is helpful!


    Hayley, Support Coordinator, Ovarian Cancer Australia

  • My name is John Darlington, i battled with prostate cancer for 2 years. Until my consultant

    Dr Ahmed Mustafa from Dubai told me about a cure of another patient who got treated by one of his

    colleagues in Dubai using cannabis oil. According to Dr Ahmed's story, the treatment lasted for 3 and halve months. So,

    he said i too can be treated by this same method. So, he contacted his colleague and he came down to discuss how this can be done.

    I was placed on four months treatment. This happened early 2017 and now i can confidently say i am free from any cancerous cells.

    Although i still go for routine check up, but no trace of cancer cells.

    if you want to contact Dr Ahmed Mustafa on this, send him a mail on cureforcancerinitiative@gmail.com

  • I think 'Dear Cancer'  is hilarious - because its not really a dear thing to me. I have lost both parents to cancer, 3 aunts and uncles and was ecstatic to pass my mothers passing age of 42 and have no signs.   At 48.9 I was diagnosed at stage 3c -ovarian/ fallopian tube cancer (primary site was uncertain).  I guess my short poem would be


    WHY


    Why me


    Why can't it be cured


    Why is it so invasive


    Why is it so clever


    Ever since my whirlwind April 2019 the people that have come into my life have been totally amazing, every doctor, nurse, receptionist, specialist... such caring peole to someone they have never met- and I thank them all. I have had my complete debaulking, instant menposause, intence and invasive chemo, hair loss (and thankfully now regrowth) and now have the option to start Olaparib.  Helen seems to have been on the tial program for that and I would love to hear more... I am not tech savvy but I  will try to contact you.  Also, any help on treating the symptoms of that hot instant menopause would be very helpful!!


    My love goes out to you all whom I sadly share a common bond. Also, and great advice (not just talk to your health care provider/ nurse) on how to manage teenage girls in my family- long looks, mood swings, general immenent loss-of-their-mother feelings would be so gratefully appreciated!


     


     


     


     

  • Hi Churchmouse,


    Thank you for sharing your poem, it rings true for so many of us. The purpose of sharing these letters/poems to cancer was to demonstrate the rollercoaster that a diagnosis is and also to demonstrate the varying and unique experience it has on us as a community. By sharing the impact our hope is to share this with others enough to move them towards answering the questions posed in your post.


    Thank you.

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