This week will mark the one year mark of my breast cancer. I have heard it refered to as your cancerversary (like anniversary but with cancer added to the beginning). One year ago I had a biopsy done and awaited the results. One year ago John sat online and found pictures that looked like my ultrasound as we waited for the results. One year ago he showed me images that were cancer that looked just like what I saw during my ultrasound. One year ago that I learned I had breast cancer. And one year ago I began fighting for my life. I have to say that this year has seemed like the longest year of my life.

So on this day I wanted to post a letter I wrote to cancer.

Dear Cancer,

I am officially breaking up with you! I don’t want you in my life. You are a horrible person and you don’t deserve to beat up on me. You thought you took everything away from me but instead you have made me a stronger person. I have only known you a year but yet you have turned my whole life upside down.

 – While you might have taken away my hair, the jokes on you because it has started to grow back. You just gave me an opportunity to see how my hair would look short. I am going to enjoy growing it out and trying different lengths on me.

– You threatened to take my fingernails. Instead I found that frozen peas would keep my fingernails looking nice. I never did have a problem with them.

– You took my right breast. That’s okay because I can wear a fake one and no one can tell the difference. I was done breastfeeding anyway so I really didn’t have a use for it. I also don’t have to worry about inappropriate mommy cleavage. I think it makes me look thinner anyway. (It’s also a great way to lose those last pesky 3-4 pounds!)

-You took my career. That’s okay because now instead of teaching other’s children I get to spend my days with MY children, building precious memories.

-You tried to take my self-esteem. That’s okay, because of you I started working out everyday, pushing myself to do things I never could before. I now have a swimsuit ready body. I am in the best shape of my life!

-You made shopping for clothes very hard. That’s okay because I always hated shopping anyway. Now I just have an excuse for looking frumpy. God also gave me a little girl who, during my first shopping trip after my surgery said, “Mommy you look beautiful.” It took a very little girl to make me realize that there are some people who see me as someone who is pretty no matter how I look and they love me unconditionally .

– You took my ovaries -That’s okay because I was really done using them anyhow. And we all know what you don’t have anymore if you don’t have ovaries! I really have to thank you for that!

-You made me take a bone building shot every month that makes me sore. That’s okay because I am building a tolerance to needles. I will no longer be a needle diva!

-You made me take Tamoxifen which gives me bad headaches and hot flashes- That’s okay because I was always so cold. We keep our house really cold at night so now I am comfortable! I also started taking Melatonin which helps me get a good night’s sleep and I sleep right through the headaches and wake up feeling refreshed.

-You tried to come between me and my children. Shame on you!- Now my bond with my children is even closer! We talk openly and I am teaching them the most important things in life. You forced me to write journals to each of my children. Now when I do pass away my children will be left with my special words to them to hold in their hearts forever. This has taught my children to lean on God and turn to him for comfort. Thanks for that because that is a hard lesson to teach children.

-You tried to come between me and God. Instead I had to lean on him even more than I had in the past.

So if you do try to return I will stick my oncologist on you so fast you won’t know what hit you. You are not welcome in my body, home, or anywhere near me. In fact I will get a restraining order so you can’t return.



10 thoughts on “Cancerversary

  1. What a wonderful letter! You are taking a horrible thing and looking at the bright side of life! That is what a survivor does! You are always going to be stronger for your past. Now you are strong and ready to face life as a strong wife, mother and woman! Praise the Lord!

  2. Way to go!!! I love this letter and will share it with all my cancer surviving friends. You are victorious, Praise God!!!
    It has been a blessing to be connected to you through this blog.
    Aunt Kim

  3. Shelly, what an inspiring letter! When you get a little time, you really should write a book. You’re so talented and eloquent and such an inspiration to everyone who knows and loves you. Keep going strong and keep growing in the Lord.


  4. You made me cry! What an awesome letter! I know that putting that all down had to be a tremendous catharsis for you!! I agree with Bonnie, don’t stop with the letter, write a book!

  5. Michelle,
    As I sit here my eyes are full of tears, I am celebrating with you the good news of your one year mark. And next year and for all the MANY MANY YEARS TO COME, I will celebrate your year marks with you. Your letter to cancer showed me the reality of all you, your husband and children and your family had been through. Your strength could only be from God. Remember: Someone in Pewee Valley is praying for you each day.
    Love, Ronnie and Debbie

  6. I agree, you have a special talent for writing. Your letter is awesome! Congratulations on your one-year “cancer-free” anniversary. I know there will be many, many more to come!

  7. You go girl! Cancer sounds like the devil, doesn’t it? Thank God for all He does for all of us! I love your letter. Prayers will always continue!

  8. Michelle, I am catching up on emails now that Breanna is staying the week with her mom. Your letter is so touching but so true … continue to keep your faith as God is there right along side of you.

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