Dear Cancer

Each year we ask the AYA cancer community to submit letters to cancer to express their feelings about how cancer has changed their lives. People explore an array of emotions in these letters, including anger, sadness, gratitude, and hope.

Want to submit an article or write your own letter to cancer? Click Here.

Dear Cancer, I’ll Hold On

by Abi Andoy June 25, 2021

There must be something the universe has in store for me, something I can still do, something I can still contribute, something I can still feel.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, You Defined What I Was Made Of

by Lyndi Abote

For weeks I did not want to accept you, acknowledge you or in all reality believe you had taken space in my life. But that wasn’t working. The more I pushed you away, cancer, the worse I got.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, I Am Looking to the Future

by Danielle Nicosia

Leave all of us alone. I beg you to leave all my amazing Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer friends alone. Go away forever and never come back.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, You Couldn’t Break Me

by Sha’Leicia Simpson June 18, 2021

Never in a million years did I think I would be writing to you at only 23 years old. You are some people’s worst fear but you weren’t mine. I never even thought to put you on my list.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, You Left Shattered Pieces of Glass

by Amit Subar Solway

When you finally left, I was lost. Of course, I never wanted you to come back, but I also didn’t know how to live without you anymore. How to pick up the shattered pieces of glass you left behind.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, Boys Do Need to Cry

by Jay Middleton

Now that I have given myself permission to cry it is easier than not crying. Giving myself permission became extremely important after my surgery and during my radiation treatment.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, I Want to Feel Whole Again

by Chelsie Baker

When I had to get biopsies on my chest to determine if you were there, it was the hardest thing so far, and it broke my self-esteem and my ability to look at my body with confidence anymore. I have the scars on both of my breasts now, and every time I look at them I’m reminded of how you can hurt me.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, You’ve Come Back

by Mallory Casperson June 11, 2021

I cried to the universe. I yelled at the sky.  I cursed the heavens. How could this be? Why was this happening? How would we make it through?

Read More...

Dear Cancer, Your Fingerprints Are Everywhere

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN

What an unforgiving companion you are.
So nonchalant,
          so willing 
          to hollow out dreams.

Read More...

Dear Cancer, I Failed at Cancer School

by Missy Burgess

I went through 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 2 surgeries, and 28 rounds of radiation, and I failed at cancer school. The thought of having to repeat these courses, though, is now my greatest fear.

Read More...