AYA Cancer

Dear Cancer, We Acknowledge You

by Nicholas Beidas and Bethany Buchanan June 23, 2022

Dear Cancer,

I wish I could paint you as a villain, as so many others have. I wish I could wear the F*$& CANCER shirts and personify myself as a WARRIOR and pretend that cancer is an adversary that can be conquered if you just try hard enough, truly believe, and stay positive. But Cancer, you are not that villain.


Dear Cancer, I Learned to Live Again

by Myka Robin

Dear Cancer,

When I found out you were in my body I was scared, mad, and I lost all hope. I hated you for so long for taking my hair, my health, and my hope. I hated you for giving me anxiety, PTSD, and for trying to kill me.


Dear Cancer, We Have Been on an Adventure

by Michelle Lawrence June 21, 2022

Dear Second Half,

We have been on an adventure for 13 years this April, ironically both of us are celebrating our “birth” on my birthday. I hate you, and at times I am grateful.

You have stolen moments from me that I will never get back. You have limited me in so many ways by constantly throwing a wrench into my plans. After 13 years, you have broken down my body; years of treatment, procedures, tests, hospitalizations, and because you are rare, often a lot of guesswork.


Dear Cancer, What Should I Say to You?

by April Kemen June 20, 2022

Dear Cancer,

What should I say to you?

Maybe I will start by complaining to you about all the tests, scans, appointments, needle pokes, surgeries, and medications I have endured because of you.


Dear Cancer, You Need to Behave

by Cody Morrison June 16, 2022


Let’s sit down and have a talk.

I am just going to come out and say it: you need to behave. I know you and I are going to be stuck with each other for the rest of my life, but can you at least make things a bit easier?


Dear Cancer, You are the Great Paradox

by Emma Vivian June 15, 2022

Dear Cancer,

You have changed me in more ways than I can count.

First, there was the big change, the news of your existence falling from the sky, scorching the earth of my body, and breaking apart my safe little world. When you arrived, you changed so much.


Dear Cancer, I am Still the Author of my Own Story

by Rachel Mihalko

I am learning that while I may not be in control, I am still the author of my own story

You, cancer, are lurking in the shadows,
Waiting for a moment to appear again
in the tender skin on my clavicle.


Dear Cancer, I Would Not Wish You on Anyone

by Liz Hiles

Dear Bladder Cancer,

I have so many mixed feelings about you. I didn’t even know bladder cancer was a thing until the moment I was diagnosed with it. I am angry that you are so common, but no one is talking about you.


Dear Cancer, I Never Agreed to be With You

by Norma Marquez June 8, 2022

Dear Cancer,

May 1, 2022, will be our four-year anniversary. From day one, this “relationship” has only been one sided. I never agreed to be with you and for this to be a “‘till death do us part” commitment. I don’t even know how we became an “item.”


Dear Cancer, You Were Never Fully in Charge

by Iram Leon

Dear Cancer,

You are already a power hog, a bully, so I try to ignore you believing that negative behavior is just desperate for attention. Perhaps if I don’t give it to you, you will go away.