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An Open Letter To Cancer

March 9, 2019

For some reason, I feel compelled to write to you Cancer. An open letter to Cancer. I want to get a few things off my chest. Share my fears but also my positivity with you. I hope you forgive me not addressing you as “Dear Cancer”. You are many things, and I can think of many a number of things that you are, but “dear” is not one of them…..

To Cancer,

We should probably start at the beginning. Walk you through the details that you may not remember Cancer. You infiltrate so many lives, how could you remember the details of mine? When my husband was in hospital for 3 weeks, 18 months ago, your name was never mentioned. You never entered our thoughts. His collapsed bowel and stomach was thought to be due to a burst appendix. We were never told that it could be you causing him to be balancing on the very thin edge of life at the time. You were not in our vision at all. When he came out of hospital, began recovering from the surgery and complications he had suffered, you can perhaps imagine our shock when we were called in to be told that it was you that had taken up residency in my husbands body. All grade 4 aggressiveness of you. I will give it to you, you totally took us by surprise and caught us out!

open letter to cancer
having fun in London

He had one hell of a fight on his hands against you. It took all he had to fight you. He was already weak from the surgery, complications and subsequent long recovery, but fight you he did. For six long months. You tore at his body, you messed with his mind, you made him at times, doubt his desire to carry on fighting you, but trust me when I say that those doubts were momentary. They only occurred in the rare weak moments when he hurt too much. When he felt too exhausted. But you underestimated him. He fought you hard and it is at this point Cancer, that I should tell you that you can never win against us. Never. You have so many victories, have beat so many people, but I need you to know that this is a battle you can not win, and I am going to tell you why.

open letter to cancer
so young, us getting married

But first… You changed my husband that year. You changed the man I have known for almost 30 years, into a man I wasnt sure of. For the first time ever there were sides of my husband that I did not recognise. Cancer, and your ole buddy Chemo, can do that to a person. You made him fight demons that only he could see. Twisted his mind, tested his soul. You made him hurt from the top of his head right down to his toes. You weakened him physically, something he has never before experienced. You made him question his own strength, his desire to fight. You made him terrified, but not for himself, never for himself, you made him terrified of causing us, his family, so much pain, so much hurt in our hearts. You made him feel guilty for the tears and heartache that he saw in us, his families eyes. You made his own eyes look so, so sad when he looked at our boys. I could see in them the rawness of his fear and desperate longing to stay with them. You broke all our hearts. You stole our happy for a year, and rocked the very foundation of our home.

open letter to cancer
We are to happy to ever lose

You was able to do this Cancer, because my husband is our happy. He is the foundation of our home. The strength. The pillar that holds up and supports me, my sons. The beacon that lights up our home and path when darker times have hit in the past. He is our home. You made us have to pause life for a while, something that we have never done. You made us live with real, crippling fear. You made my sons have to shoulder what they took on as their responsibility when they found their Mum crying, saw their Dad hurting. They were just boys, trying to juggle all this as well as get through GCSE’s and College exams. I hate you so much for doing that. They were just boys.

Suddenly the impulsive side of our lives had to be pushed aside to accommodate the daily chemo, the days of sickness, the dark days, the weakness. We have always lived our life looking for adventure, exploring, living. We have always had a positive outlook on life, always knowing that we were lucky. Perhaps you thought us a little smug in our happiness? You took all of that from us that year.

open letter to cancer
celebrating the end of chemo at my brothers wedding

But, I am a fair person, so I need to tell you what you also gave us. Balance things up a little. This will also help you understand why you can never win this particular battle! Cancer, when you gave us time to breathe after the first battle, the battle we thought we had won, you gave us a renewed lust and love of life. You made us appreciate what we have, made us truly understand and remember how bloody lucky we are. We have always chosen to live fully, with no regrets, but you made us run full pelt at life again. Made us grab every opportunity, accept every invitation, laugh with abandon every single day. You reminded us to love deeply, appreciate fully and to never, ever take anything for granted. We even climbed a mountain! Right after the battle with you, while my husband was still nursing the injuries from his war with you, we climbed the tallest mountain in the uk. How is that for a show of strength Cancer? You cemented in our minds what is important, and what really isn’t! That is what you gave us and I will afford you a small nod of credit for that.

open letter to cancer
making plans for more memories

Now, let me tell you why you cant be victorious in this battle with us Cancer. You cannot win because all of what I have mentioned, is ours to keep and nothing you do can take that from us. Some people don’t get a single day of what we have! Nik and I were incredibly lucky to find each other at a young age, just teenagers, so we have grown up together, built a wonderful life together, made and raised two beautiful sons together. We have travelled the world, sought and found adventure, experienced things we always dreamt of, made ourselves financially secure, and lived. Fully and fiercely we have lived. There is no coulda woulda shoulda with us, no regrets. We did it all!

So Cancer, you invading our lives 18 months ago, just made us make more memories. We visited Countries that we had longed to visit. We tried things we had wanted to try. We upped the anti and lived harder than ever! Yes, you stayed on the periphery of our vision, that tends to be your way. You like to keep all of those touched by you, fearful of your return. Its your calling card isn’t it, your modus operandi. You like us to never forget your visit. But every single day we got up and lived.

open letter to cancer
On our way back from the reef

Well, we have now been visited by you a second time, and yep, you seem to want to make my husband battle again, harder than before. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that we are scared. That we don’t have to control our minds to prevent them from taking us to dark places. It would also be a lie to say that we don’t fear you. That I don’t wake up some nights feeling like someone is sitting on my chest, such is the panic. We do fear you. But fear can be channeled and moulded into a positive energy. An incredible strong and potent positive energy. Did you not know that Cancer? I learnt that ability a long time ago, so we have got that skill in the bag.

What you perhaps didn’t anticipate though is that this time round we are battle ready. We are not blindsided this time, we are ready, with more weapons in our arsenal, more strength in our heads and hearts and an army behind us! We are ready to battle you. Trust me when I say, my husband will fight you with every ounce of his being, he will push back as hard as you push, harder in fact. I promise you that. Oh and guess what Cancer, we have the added advantage of knowing, that whatever happens, You Cannot Win, because, we have already won! We have truly and fully lived and you can never, ever take that away from us. Our memories, our love we found so young, our shared adventures, our full to bursting hearts. They can never be lost. We have won.

See you on the battlefield,

Forever the victorious,

Kerry, Nik, Cally and Fin

I think it was Ernest Hemmingway that said “There is nothing to writing. You just sit at a typewrite and bleed

Well, I have just bled

xxx

By nature, I am a pretty private person, but for some reason I wanted to write this. It just came out as I sat at my laptop. Not to depress anyone, I would never want to do that, but to hopefully give you an idea of where our head is at. We are very much still dancing in the rain, not hiding away inside. We have adjusted our sails for these latest choppy seas and plotted our new course. We are strong. We are planning our next adventures for after our navigation through this particular storm. Positivity runs through our heads and hearts.

We’ve got this xxx

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52 responses to “An Open Letter To Cancer”

  1. Lauretta says:

    Oh Kerry. What a beautiful post and all the way through it I’ve been in tears. You are both so strong and if I can take anything from this it’s to appreciate all the little things we take for granted, to take life by the hairy ones and just live – like you are doing. And it’s so admirable. It really is. You have been my inspiration. You always will be. X

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Yes, a million times yes Lauretta. Its the little things, living our lives and loving that are the important stuff. Thank you so much for your kind words, your pretty inspirational yourself xxxx

  2. Katherine says:

    Kerry, i feel there are no words that can do this post justice. I am in awe of your strength and also your family’s strength too. You guys are just something else and the positivity that oozes from you is incredibly infectious. I’m petrified of cancer Im not going to lie, it invaded our lives 5 years ago and changed it forever but reading this makes anyone feel strong, like they can conquer anything. You are truly amazing and I don’t doubt for one tiny second that you will continue to create your amazing memories with your amazing family and I for one can’t wait to see you sharing them with us. Lots of love and I thank you so very much for sharing this xxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ohhh you have just made me cry. The fact that you have got something positive from this post makes my heart sing. Thats all I could ask for and all I have ever wanted from my blog. Encouraging people to live their lives. Im sorry that cancer has invaded your lives too, it certainly leaves its mark on us. Keep looking for the sunshine lovely lady. xx Thank you so much for reading and thank you for your lovely words xxxx

  3. Natasha says:

    Wow, just perfect !

  4. Lynsey Corrie says:

    Beautiful words Kerry from a beautiful writer. Writer surrounded by her amazing loving family. Sending you all true heartfelt love and support xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ohhh thank you so much Lynsey, I truly appreciate that. I am so lucky to have my family, we are a strong unit. Thank you for your support xxxxx

  5. Oh Kerry my love… this has me in tears and it’s hit close to home. I admire you for writing about something so private and raw, and it just shows how much love you have for your family. One of my favourite posts ever xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ohhh lovely Janelle, Im sorry that it has given you tears, but I hope its been cathartic too, especially if you have had to deal with similar. Im not great at revealing vulnerability on here, but I felt such a strong need to write this morning. It genuinely did feel like bleeding! Thank you for reading, thank you for your kind comments and I am so pleased you liked my post xxxx

  6. Karen Wade says:

    No words Kerry, just love 💕💕

  7. Jean says:

    You’ve said it all so beautifully, I have no comment only the heartfelt love I have for you all💕

  8. Alex Grace says:

    Nothing I could say now would even come close to the power of what you have just written – thank you for sharing, all the love to you all xx

  9. Steff says:

    This is very beautiful, your attitudes are inspiring. Also thank you for admitting the dark times were hard and gave you strength to keep fighting. It is not something we hear often when we read about cancer. Positivity is vital but it can be fed by the tough stuff too, when I had cancer the rainbows and sunshine brigade just made me feel furious and alone. It is the life altering stripped down to the guts-ness of it that truly makes us bounce back and appreciate what we’ve got. Your husband is so lucky to have you and your boys by his side in warrior mode, to lift each other up when you need it. Sending love and strength to you all, you have got this.

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Oh Steff, this had made me cry. Im so sorry that you have had to deal with cancer too. I think that cancer does give us that, the ability to strip back and listen to our truth. Its an individual story for everyone for sure, and yes, “staying positive” is the thing everyone tells you to do, but by god sometimes its hard to listen to that. The journey is deep and unforgiving, its spiteful and relentless, but it also can bring clarity and a real truth. Thank you for reading, thank you for taking the time to comment, and thank you for your kindness. I wish you continued good health with every fibre of my body xxx

      • Steff R says:

        Thank you Kerry that is so generous and kind of you and I am sorry I made you cry! I know how up and down your family’s battle has been but if it is any consolation at all I believe statistics are not worth your worry, it was the advice my oncologist gave to me as my odds were not great either. Numbers and stages do not measure human strength.You are doing amazing and I am sure sharing your journey is helping so many others who are dealing with this now. Sending lots of love and strength. xx

  10. Angela says:

    What a truly wonderful read… a lot of similarities to my life….. I hope all works out for you & your wonderful family xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Thank you so much Angela, and Im sorry that you have experienced similar. I wish you all the very best too xxxx

  11. Janis says:

    Oh Kerry what a moving heartfelt post, you certainly fired a powerful broadside to the big C! Love to you all.

  12. Susanne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this – what a beautiful post in a way. You express so much here, your strength shines through, as do other things you’ve learned about life during this journey. Cancer is such a terrible monster that messes with people’s lives. I’m originally a nurse and I’ve worked mostly with palliative care, especially in the last few years before leaving nursing, and I’ve seen way too much of what cancer can do. I hope and pray you will beat the beast this time again and I wish you all the best.

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Susanne, firstly, i applaud and thank you for nursing. I can only imagine what a difficult job it is to do. You are often dealing with peoples raw emotion, that must be tough. Im glad you found it beautiful as although the topic is a tough one, I wanted to share our hopes and positivity too. Thank you for your good wishes, and you support you always show me. One day, we may get to enjoy that Whiskey together xxxx

  13. Bejal says:

    Kerry, this letter to cancer is emotional, beautiful and yet so honest. It is not just a release for you but I think it will help others with their own experiences. You know what, the stats show that cancer is still in the minority and your attitude is just right! You HAVE won already! I wish you l, Nik and your lovely boys all the very best xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Thank you so much Bejal for your lovely words, I really hope it does offer a degree of help to anyone going through the same. Its hard to share this sort of personal post, but the compulsion to write it was so great. Your so right, it was a release. Thank you so much for reading, and your encouraging comment. I appreciate it xxx

  14. wow this is just so powerful! I could feel the positivity in this post and the fight.
    Love your blog, love following you on twitter and Instagram. you’re such an inspiration. I’m trying to get into blogging but can’t seem to make that leap and get stuck into it. I guess you just have to do it and not think to much. right?
    Sending lots of love and strength from Australia.
    With this fight, you’ve both got this!! xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Thank you so much Jules, I am so glad that our positivity comes across. There is always sunshine somewhere, some days you just have to look harder xx. The only advise I can give you is just do it. Just sit and write. You dont have to publish what you write, but it gets you started. Please feel free to message me if I can be a sounding board or help, I am more than happy to help. Dont put it off, tomorrow isnt promised to anyone, xxx

  15. Your words bought tears to my eyes Kerry. But also filled me with so much admiration and inspiration from you and your beautiful family. You guys have got this. Sending you the biggest hugs wonder woman xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Sorry to make you emotional Sima, but im so glad that you saw our positivity too. Thank you so much for your kind words, I feel humbled by them, thank you xxxx

  16. Lisa says:

    An incredibly heartfelt post so beautifully written! Your strength and positivity and love for your family shines bright Kerry! ⭐️❤️ No words to say how incredible I think you are for staying so strong – though I know you have dark days – you have support in all of us and your gorgeous family. Big hugs and love, Lisa xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Thank you so much Lisa, I appreciate that so much xx We are strong, we are positive and we are incredibly honest with each other. I think that is how we have managed to find our way round it all. Thank you for reading xx

  17. lisaprowse70 says:

    Kerry, your strength just amazes me and I am grateful you are brave enough to share your deepest thoughts as it makes me realise how precious life is. I do hope and pray that the big C has read your letter and knows that you are beating it so maybe it should give up now and leave your family now so you can carry on making beautiful memories to share with your followers. Big love and hugs to you and the family. Xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Lisa, you could have not said anything more to make me happy. Im so happy that it perhaps gave you a tiny thought that life is precious. If this post has done that, then I am beyond happy that I shared my thoughts. Thank you so much for your supportive words, I have been overwhelmed by everyones kindness. Thank you for reading xxxxx

  18. I’m so sorry this has happened again Kerry. But your words are so powerful. Maybe more so because I know this isn’t the kind of post you usually write. I’m not sure what to say really, but I wish all of you strength for the time ahead – to support each other, keep each other going, and remind each other of the things you wrote in this post. Sending hugs, XXX

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Kirsty you and I both know how hard it is to reveal such private things, and show vulnerability. It is not something that comes easy to us is it. However, I wrote this post in about 20 minutes, with such a compulsion, that it just seemed right to share it. I have been overwhelmed with people saying it has helped them, so that has been worth all the tears. Thank you so much for your hugs and support xxxx

  19. Deb Borrie says:

    My dear Kerry I am so sorry it’s putting you all to the test again. You and your beautiful letter are amazing! Your strength,love and courage is remarkable and so positive after all you have had to deal with. I wish you all love and positive energy to get through this again. It touched my life 18mths ago I don’t let it rule me either.
    Love to you all. Deb xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Oh Deb, Im so sorry that you have been visited by this blooming unwelcome visitor, but massive love to you for not letting it define you. I have nothing but admiration xxx Thank you so much for your love and positivity, we are battle ready! xxxx

  20. Melis Living says:

    Kerry this has to be the most honest and raw thing I’ve ever read, had me in tears from the first line! Seeing you pop up on Instagram each day with your strength, positivity and bright outlook on life is a huge inspiration and I know you will continue to create the amazing memories for years and years to come with your beautiful family. You are in my thoughts and cancer had better read this letter and know that this strong family will not be beaten! Melis x

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ahhh Melis, Im so sorry if it upset you, but I am so glad that you saw our determination and positivity. We have won the war already! I do think that it is not the end of mine, Niks and, our boys story together yet, we have more time I just know it. Thank you so much for reading, and your wonderful supportive comment. Thank you xxxx

  21. Angharad says:

    You are so brave and inspiring. Keep going! Angharad xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ohh that is very kind of you to say. My husband is the brave one and I think he inspires all of us xx Thank you xxxx

  22. A beautiful bitter sweet post Kerry. I so want to give you a hug right now! The strength and courage that pours out of you and Nik is amazing. I’m sure you will both give a good battle to Cancer and I pray that you both win xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Thank you Laurie, we are strong most of the time, we have our moments, but we are on the whole pretty strong. Thank you for reading, I know its sadly been in your life recently too, so I appreciate you popping across xxxx

  23. Kara says:

    I don’t think my words can say anything in comparison to what you have written so beautifully and eloquently.
    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for writing something most people feel in their minds I am sure.
    I will be here helping to champion on your fight.
    Much love and gentle hugs xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Oh Kara thank you so much for this beautiful message, I really appreciate it. Cancer is a tough, unforgiving journey, but there are cracks where the light gets in. Those are the moments we cling to. I will gladly take that love and those hugs, we are using them to build our shield xxxx

  24. multipotentialitethoughts says:

    This had me in tears. As I was reading this, I was reminded of everything I had to watch my mom go through in her battle with cancer. But you know what? This letter is not depressing in the least. It’s inspiring. I take my hat off to you. Yes, I can sense the hurt, fear and anger towards cancer. But what I sense more is the fact that you and your husband have both found true love – something that ALOT of people never find. You have build a life together and whatever happens in the future, cancer will never ever be able to take away from what you had and the life you have built. I’m so sorry that you guys are going through this, but I will keep you in my thoughts. Miracles do happen!! Xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ahh I am so sorry that it made you cry, and I am sorry your Mum had to go through it. It really is prolific in its attack isn’t it. I am so glad that you could see our fight, our determination. I am happy that it came across. Miracles happen every single day, you are so right. Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it xxx

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