Monday, May 21, 2012

fuck you, cancer

I don't know how many of you follow the links to the other blogs I read, but one of them is Written Off, the blog of a young woman who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at age 28. The cancer kept metastasizing, and her prognosis got worse and worse, but she was never anything but brave, humorous, and determined. She was planning her wedding to an amazing man; it was scheduled for late May.

The blog hadn't been updated since April 17, and I was worried. Today, I read the news that I had been expecting, even if I desperately wanted it not to be true. Ellie passed away on May 18. Her fiancĂ© wrote the last post.

I didn't know Ellie personally. I'm not sure I ever even commented on her blog. But this makes me so angry and heartbroken. I lost a relative to cancer far too young some years ago, and even when I knew her doctors had told her there was nothing more to be done, even when her parents had moved in with her and her husband to prepare for the end, I didn't believe she could actually die. She was so young, she had two small children, and she was so funny. Since she was older than I, her existence had always been a part of my life, even if I sometimes didn't see her more than once a year. How could that just be taken away? I imagine that Ellie's family and friends felt the same way, even as the inevitable became obvious.

Fuck you, cancer. Fuck you for taking that away. Fuck you for not letting this brave, intelligent woman see her wedding or her 30th birthday. Fuck you for everything you've taken from my family and my friends, and for the fact that even if I don't see you again for the rest of my life you'll always be the monster under the bed at two in the morning. Fuck you for those five minutes I always lingered in my car in the Mt. Auburn parking garage, not wanting to go inside for radiation, because once I walked through those doors I was a cancer patient, and the weight and terror of that was almost more than I could bear.

It's not fair. It simply isn't fair. I hate this disease more than I can say.

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