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, F You and Thank You

by Paola Palmieri December 16, 2020

Fuck you for making me hear one of the most painful news one can bear: “You have incurable cancer”. Fuck you for making me go through the whole painstaking process of dealing with this condition, from denial to grieve to acceptance, and the dreadful memories that come along with it.


We Beat Cancer

by Karen Costa January 2, 2020

I beat you. You tried kicking me down multiple times, but I beat you… my husband beat you, my kids beat you, my family beat you, my friends beat you.


Broken But Not Defeated

by Sarah Bartosz

Dear Cancer, Why did you break my ankle? Yeah, I see you pointing your finger at other possible sources for my injury. Perhaps you think the UNO cards I slipped on as I was rushing into my son’s bedroom are the logical culprit. I hear your snarky remarks, “maybe if you made your son clean […]


The Devastation Is Unforgivable

by Chantale Thurston December 26, 2019

Finding out about you was one of the two worst days of my life. My mind went into panic as I had lost my dad to you just seven months before and my father in law was told about you invading him just a mere six days before I heard the words.


Forever Grateful

by Jesse Anne Moore

I would assume you have been hanging around in my life for a lot longer than most would anticipate. At least six… maybe seven years. You thought you were a being a sneaky little bastard, didn’t you?


Perspective Is Everything

by Lisa Orr

You taught me the true meaning of perspective. Perspective is everything. You never know what someone else is going through. Before judging a situation or a person, stop and take a second to appreciate what you have and to do your best to understand where the person is coming from, what may be going on in their lives.


Friends And The Archenemy

by Anika Singh

I met you for the first me when I was seventeen, second semester senior in high school and months away from graduating. I had heard whispers about you before; you had met a few of my family members.


Getting Through the Darkest Days

by Anne Courso December 19, 2019

Dear Cancer, It was right between chemo number five and six. Against everything that you read on the Internet I was going home to visit my dad. This meant one week of airplanes and hospitals, the two places filled with the most germs. As I prepared myself to go home, I packed my steroid pills, […]


Because Of You, I Know The Best Way To Live

by Nancy Ferro

Well, 2007 was going to be a positive, exciting year, at least until you got involved. My oldest son Michael was in his last semester at Regis University. I was so proud of him, and I was looking forward to watching him walk into the next chapter of his world.


Never Give Up

by Joyce Lofstrom

So much to say about ‘being touched by cancer…’ My letter covers my own cancer journey and that of my son. We were both young adults with cancer…I survived. He didn’t. Here is our story.