Update March 2022: Updated contact information
Original post from November 2018:
I’m a nine year kidney cancer survivor. My cancerversary is in May. Over the past month I’ve watched a leader in public safety and a teenage family member of family friends die from cancer. It made me angry. Today I thought what I might say in a letter to cancer. For those in the fight, keep fighting, for those supporting them, God bless you. For those of us that survived, earn the gift you’ve been given.
“I’ve always hated you. I’ve seen your effects on people since I was in middle school. You take people’s minds, bodies and relationships from their loved ones. You create pain where there should not be any. You make adults have to explain death to children. You make children try and make death more comfortable for adults. You are the catalyst for the child yelling out, “Why does Daddy have to die?” as we turn off the life support systems for the child’s parent. You are the boogeyman that exists in every little lump, random pain and the seed that exists in a survivor’s mind wondering, “Is it back?” You are the fear that drops us to our knees with a cry that makes no noise, but is more powerful than a hurricane.
You are a sneak thief that cannot win a stand up fight. You move in when the innocent are not looking and make your way into areas you don’t belong. I have no explanation through science or faith why you are allowed to exist. I’ve asked God, but I got no answer. I wonder why we humans chose to make our phones into super computers, but have not been able to discover a way to wipe you out. I am always in awe of the massive college and professional sports arenas and the billions of dollars we spend to watch other people play sports, and disappointed that we cannot re-purpose a fraction of that expense to developing weapons to wipe you from existence.
I wish you were a physical being so I could choke you out. I know that’s not possible, so instead I’ll live even though you tried to kill me. All of us that survived will live, prosper, fight and remember those that didn’t. That’s what you can’t do. You can’t take our memories or the memories of those that were part of our lives. We will use you as our fuel to get after life with an aggressiveness we may not have had had you not tried to squirm your way into our lives.
I still hate you cancer. I always will.“
- Consider giving to these cancer charities:
- VCU Massey Cancer Center at https://www.masseycancercenter.org/how-you-can-help/ways-to-give
- – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html
- Mayo Clinic at https://www.mayoclinic.org/giving-to-mayo-clinic/our-priorities/cancer
Stay safe, wash your hands and Godspeed,
Kevin Pannell, PMP, Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ podcast
– Build the foundation at https://peopleprocessprogress.com/build-the-foundation
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