A man walks confidently over her written letter into the sunrise. Adult female, hope, overcoming challenges, bravery, positivity

A Letter to Cancer

Dear Cancer,

You entered my family’s life many years ago, and you were a very unwelcome visitor. You wreaked havoc but you didn’t bend or break us. We stared you in the face and told you, "Not today, you’re not taking us today." We didn’t try to fight you because it was a fight that some of us were never going to win. We tolerated you and lived as full a life as we could.

We stared you in the face and we laughed. Not because it was funny, but because we were not going to be cowered by you. I’ll always be glad that my sister killed you when she left this world far too young and far too early.

Finding strength and determination

You came into my personal life in May 2017 when I thought you were a groin strain but it turned out it was you. You turned my life and that of my family upside-down, and you shook us around. At first I rebelled against you and felt sorry for myself, but then I realized that you were running my life and I wasn’t prepared to let that happen.

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I looked deep into my own soul and found the strength and determination to let you share my body, to cohabitate with me but not to rule me. I found the determination to say, "Not today." You may ultimately take my life, but you certainly are not going to run it or ruin it. Not today. Not tomorrow.

Taking on new challenges

So here we are you and me, living alongside each other. You keep trying your best to make life hell, and I keep finding the strength to ignore you and live with you. We’re never going to be friends. I’ll tolerate you and put up with you, but I’m not going to let you suck the joy from my life.

You’ll never be a blessing, but you’ve led me down a route that has helped me to do things I would never imagine possible. Despite you, I’ve had the strength to take on challenges that other people would think were totally insane. You gave me that strength. I’m never going to thank you for it, but the people that I’ve helped along the way have thanked me.

A voice to raise awareness

I didn’t want you to, but you gave me a voice, a voice that I could use to help others. A voice that has enabled me to shout from the rooftops to ensure that you don’t invade other families' lives to the extent that you have mine. A voice to raise awareness so that as few men as possible ever have to live with you, stage 4 prostate cancer.

You gave me a platform to use for greater good. To raise funds so that men in the future will never ever have to face what I have.

You gave me an opportunity to meet incredible people doing incredible things and for me to be part of it along the way. I’m incredibly thankful for the friends I met along that way. Special friends that I would never have known, had it not been for you. I’m grateful for them but not to you.

Living life to the fullest

I’m not going to thank you for it, but you made me a better version of me.

Most importantly, you made me determined to grab every minute of every day and to live life to the absolute maximum, filled with joy and gladness, and avoiding sorrow and sadness.

You're not the chapter to define me!

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