Dear Cancer, I Won’t Sit in Fear

by Grace MosbyJune 11, 2021View more posts from Grace Mosby

Dear Cancer,

It’s been a while since our last interaction. You moved on to someone new, but I’m stuck on you. I think of you more often than I should, and I’m ashamed to admit that the thought of you occasionally keeps me up at night. The familiarity of our relationship taunts me, but deep down I know I deserve better than you.

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.

I’ve been checking your profile more than I’d like to admit – it’s an obsession, really. I’m not surprised that you went and slept with all of my friends as soon as we were done – I expected it but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. I want to shake my friends free before you swallow them whole and strip them of any innocence they have left. I would even suffer through your abuse again if it meant freeing my friends from your hold. You hurt me, but watching you hurt my friends is a whole new kind of pain.

In your absence, I’ve learned what true joy and pain looks like. I learned that he is just a boy, grades are just a number, and work is not the holy grail. These truths have opened my heart, but in the process exposed me to a greater chance of infection. Every loss feels heavier and the pain cuts deeper. To be honest, I don’t know how to balance the joy that comes with my freedom and the sorrow you filled me with when you left. I feel stuck between the pain of my past and the hope of my future.

I know I deserve so much better than you. But I can’t stop myself from replaying the highs and lows of our relationship in my head like an old film. I sit in remembrance of who we were and struggle to define our current status. You’re gone, but how gone are you really? I still consider the very real possibility that you could come back to me any minute now. I think of the different ways you would come back to me and uproot all of the progress I’ve made in your absence. Maybe if I plan for your appearance then I won’t feel so broken when the abuse cycles back to me. Just maybe.

There are too many emotions in my heart to pour out in this letter. The pain, anger, sadness, and fear, all at odds with the joy I should be focused on with this newfound freedom. I’m thankful to be free from your chains but it breaks my heart that you have moved on. I wish I knew what the next step was in my healing process. I’m still fearful and processing everything you put me through. But my hope is that writing this letter gives me some closure. I have a strong feeling that you will read this and take none of it to heart, but telling you where I’m at is enough for me at this moment. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but although you shattered me, I am starting anew and rebuilding with my newfound strength. It is not an easy road ahead, but I have decided not to let your toxic behavior stifle my progress.

I hope you’re gone for good. But even if you’re not, I won’t sit in fear any longer. You picked a fight with the wrong girl.

Goodbye C,

Love, G

To read this letter and the other letters to cancer, click here to read and download the June 2021 Magazine

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