Dear Cancer

Dear Cancer,

I was going to start this off by cursing at you…by using my more colorful vocabulary to tell you how much I hate you.  But instead, allow me to plead and beg for you to spare my beautiful Elena.  You are cruel.  You are complex and difficult to destroy.  You infect every aspect of life and you force your victims into using dangerous poisons to annihilate you.  I absolutely loathe thee.

You’re cruelty is the harshest I have ever witnessed in my 28 years.  You prey on the most vibrant of souls, carefully choosing your victims so to ensure the most damage.  You instill a fear so great that it never truly goes away.  I have watched my courageous and brave spitfire become weak and sallow because of you.  I have held her and comforted her in the middle of the night, after getting sick or having a night terror, and each time I wonder if she is plagued by you and the life she now lives because of you, even while she sleeps.  The tears she sheds cut like knives into my heart…and she has shed an infinite amount of tears.  You stole her beautiful hair…her beauty remains, because you cannot take that from a beautiful soul.  No matter how pale you make her, how sick and cranky and tired…that, you cannot touch.  But you are destroying her spirit.  She has fought with all of her might, and still it is not enough.  A month ago, I watched as she would walk away from a chemo treatment relatively unscathed.  Those days are gone now, thanks to you and your persistence.  Satan himself would be proud of the havoc you wreak.  Congratulations on being the cruelest of them all.

You’re complexity leaves even the most brilliant doctors and scientists with limited understanding, making it impossible to cure without subjecting your host to a plethora of treatments that will ultimately cause pain and suffering, effecting said patient for the rest of their lives, long after you are gone.  There are more than 100 different types of cancer, each of you needing a separate course of drugs and different doctors to understand the proper way to eliminate you.  Even after you have been destroyed the possibility of your return lingers like a violent storm cloud on the horizon.  I know that it is because of your complexity that you will always haunt me, and for that, among so many other reasons, I will never forgive you.

You are truly infectious, and not just medically speaking.  I have had little to no choice as I’ve watched you seep into every facet of my life…my finances: thank you, are non existent because of you.  You’ve hurt my business(es) and emptied my bank accounts.  I’ll recover, one day.  But for now, am scraping by thanks to you.  You’re putting unnecessary pressure on my marriage.  It’s hard to focus on the complexities of a marriage whilst you set up house in my child.  I am praying that when this nightmare is over and the dust has settled my husband and I will have the opportunity to get to know each other again.  Though we are there for  each other during this journey, side by side, we’ve almost become strangers in the process.  My friendships are not holding up well.  I’ve neglected many of them, I had thought understandably so, but perhaps not.  You have drained my energy and taken over everything…

Though the worst of your offenses comes from the form in which you must be eradicated: Chemotherapy.  It is, by far, the hardest part of all of this.  Money, relationships, whatever…none of which compare to the importance of Elena’s overall health, which you are destroying.  I never realized the complexity of chemo, had no idea that it is not one drug, but that there is a laundry list of which, all equally as toxic.  The damage this is doing to my child is what truly breaks me.  How long can I sit and watch her deteriorate?  I’ve known all along that this day was coming, that the cumulative effect would be way worse than the daily ones.  I’ve spent the last 48 hours trying to get Elena to eat something, anything.  I’ve cleaned up her puke and soothed her for hours, trying to get her to sleep.  Her decline is your fault and I’ve had enough…SHE has had enough.

Please…from the bottom of my heart, with every fiber of my being…enough.  Her tiny little body can only take so much.  My little maniac is losing her spunk, and it is breaking me to see it.  I have no doubt you will not win this battle, that you chose the wrong toddler to mess with…but I am begging you…don’t spare her life only to leave an unhealthy shell of who she was.  We have 15 weeks of chemo left, and after that I never want to see you again.  I cannot ask for you to not haunt our dreams, for I know that you will, and probably frequently, but I will ask that you never show your fucking face ever again.  Because as tired as she is, I know she will never give up.  Which means I won’t either.  And we are both badass bitches, so beware! (Yes, my two-year old is a badass, and I’m PROUD of that!)

Hoping you Choke on Your Own Saliva and Die a Slow and Painful Death,

Dawn Aversa



3 thoughts on “Dear Cancer

  1. There are no words that I can say that will comfort you. My heart breaks whenever I hear that Elena is suffering. Your family means the world to me. I am here for you whenever you need to cry, drink or whatever else. Please know that. Please know that I will never go away as your friend. I love you and your family and pray for you everyday. ❤


  2. I know we had lost touch over the years. But I’m glad we spoke that day over the duck, and which song may be the most annoying. Please know that you are sincerely in my heart and prayers. If you need anything at all, just let me know. I’m here . Lots of love xox.


  3. As beautifully written this post is, my heart is breaking thinking of what your little beautiful baby girl is going through. What you are going through. What your family is going through. It’s not fair at such a young age that she is going through this. I’m hopeful and praying for better days and nights for her and you as you go through this together. Your strength is untouchable and she needs that. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I hope the experts find a cure so that no one at any age has to continue to go through this vicious process. I’m proud of the woman and mother you’ve become. Even though we haven’t seen each other in years, I hope we catch up March 20th at our St. Baldricks event. Stay strong!


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