Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Open Letter to Cancer

Dear Cancer,

I hate you, and you've chosen to mess with the wrong family. 

You have invaded my father's body in the form of melanoma. Invasive Malignant Melanoma if we want to get fancy. This isn't our family's first battle with you, but that doesn't mean it makes it any easier to hear the news that my daddy, my superhero, and the man that will be there for me no matter what (other than my dear, dear husband) is sick.

I'm downright tired of you. You've invaded my dad's body once before with stage IV testicular disease, and you shook our family to the core. You took everything from my father's hair to his spunk, but you never took my father's spirit. Through his last treatments, my father--the sick one-- was so strong and told me as I sat on his hospital bed with the needles and tubes and monitors all over him that things would be okay.

My dad fought like the devil against you. He fought through the vomiting and the pain. He fought through the hours upon hours of chemo. And he drove your sorry ass into remission and then drove it even further to cure the first time... and he will do it again.

We aren't afraid of you, cancer.

Cancer, I'm not writing this letter to you for sympathy, because everyone knows that you don't dish out sympathy. I'm not writing this to you to discuss how wretched you are, because the most eloquent writer in the world could do a far better job than I ever could. Instead, I'm writing this to celebrate my father's first victory over you, and to celebrate the strength that he brings to this most recent fight.

Last Friday my dad had surgery to remove your malignant tissue. When I saw him that afternoon, and he told me that the nurses were asking all day:

"What is your name?"

"What is your date of birth?"

And, "What procedure are you having done today?"

Then the nurses would check everything against his wrist bracelet and charts. He eventually grew tired of answering the same questions over and over, so he started telling the nurses that he was having breast augmentation! HA! Only my dad! The nurses joked back with him that if he wasn't nice, they would paint his toenails while he was asleep. 

Cancer, I hate to break it to you, but these small victories, where my dad can bring humor to a crappy situation, are where we are building our case against you. And each building block gets us one step closer to bringing your tower of filth crashing down. We will do this. We will win.

This isn't over, cancer. I'm staring you right in the face and I DARE you to look away, because guess what? I'm not looking away first.


PS. As I sat in my childhood home on Friday talking with my dad about the day, he asked me to pull his sock off because he wanted to show me something. Those dear nurses had in fact painted his toenails bright purple. Every, single one of them.

Here is a picture of my dad and I on my wedding day.
He was glowing almost as much as I was all day.


  1. Was was told last Aug. that I have was hard to hear but I am fighting and fighting like mad. I have had 7 mini surgerys since then and tho they keep finding more I am hopefull that one day this will all be behind us.

    Hoping nothing but the best for your father!

  2. A post about cancer made me smile. Thanks for that. I love that the nurses actually painted his toenails.

    Keep thinking positively and he will beat it again; he's already done it once so you know it can be done!