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 am My Own Story

by Mia Tardive June 11, 2021

You see, I am finally giving myself the permission to be me in the most authentic way possible. Sure, you might have forced my hand at discovering these things about myself all at once rather than bit by bit as I age, but I’m sick and tired of you taking the credit for how my life has changed.


Dear Cancer, I Won’t Sit in Fear

by Grace Mosby

Ever since you left, I can’t quite seem to find a rhythm. When I take two steps forward, you push me three steps back. I escaped our toxic affair, yet the ghost of who we were follows me everywhere.


Dear Cancer: A Son’s Point of View

by Lisa Orr June 7, 2021

I remember when Mama’s phone started ringing. She went to the kitchen and started crying. Dada ran down the stairs and was holding Mama’s hand. I’ve never seen her cry like this before. I felt so scared. I didn’t know what was happening, so I just kept playing with my toys.


Dear Cancer, I Choose to Heal

by Steph Kennelly June 4, 2021

I know that you are going to create a whole lot of trouble. Anxiety, limited mobility, night sweats, allergic reactions, infections, dry mouth, hair loss… to name a few. So, I get it. People want to fight you. I’ve seen the “Kick Cancer’s A$$” t-shirts, mugs, and novelty socks. But, I am hesitant to put on my boxing gloves. For me, I am not sure I want my journey to be a violent confrontation.


Dear Cancer, There is Life After You

by Vikki Ramdass

Why cancer, why did you come into my life, why did you break my heart, why did you take my family away from me? What did I do to deserve this? Do you hate me that much? Cancer became my number one enemy. I wish researchers can come up with a one cure for all, but a girl can dream, right. How do you heal a broken heart? Can you really stop all my tears shed every night? Is it your life’s vision to wipe out the world’s population?


Dear Cancer, Stop Taking Things from Me

by Chris Taylor

Dear Cancer, All you have done is take things from me. You’ve taken my mother and brother. I knew you would come after me eventually. The symptoms had already started when you got one of my favorite aunts. Did you have to take my grown niece too? After I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma you tried to beat me down some more by making me watch several friends die of cancer. None of your tricks worked. You are an idiot. You are nothing but a piece of low-life, scumbag, son of a you know what.


Dear Cancer, Your Pain Made Me Stronger

by Carolyn Breinich

Now I’ve written a book about my battle with you, so others will have the courage to fight you too. You might have thought you were powerful, but my faith was more powerful than you. I trusted my doctors, and I trusted God; together, you were defeated. You tried to destroy me, but in the end, you only made me stronger.


Dear Cancer, It’s Been Complicated

by Marissa Thomas June 1, 2021

Dear Cancer, It’s been complicated. I’m sure a lot of people would like to know how we met. Were we introduced by family (genetics), online dating (Google searching my symptoms), restaurant, or bar (bad eating/too much drinking)?


Dear Cancer, I Will Not Thank You, Ever

by Angie Giallourakis

A Poem to cancer from the Steven G. Cancer Foundation and Elephants and Tea President.


Dear Cancer, I Can Handle Anything Because of You

by Devyani Mahajan

Well, in 2017, I thought life was good. There was so much to look forward to. But Cancer, you chose to show your ugly and repulsive face, at a time when everything in my life was how it should be.