I hate cancer. I hate the way it sneaks up out of nowhere and preys on fear and uncertainty. Age isn’t a factor, neither is sex, race, creed or marital status. It strolls into seemingly healthy individuals and leaves its mark like a tornado in a trailer park.
I hate cancer. It feasts on fears and taints the future. The flood of what-ifs washes over like an unexpected tsunami. It steals hope and shoots daggers at the soul. Unspoken worries twist around every future plan and decision leaving frozen statues with no forward movement.
I hate cancer. Robust bodies are reduced to frail figments of a former life. Pain and fatigue hang on shoulders like a cloak. Tired victims, weary from a journey they never would have chosen, trudge forward through one more treatment for one more day.
I hate cancer. I hate it more than any other disease. It takes people home too early and leaves families with gaping holes and broken hearts. It wrecks children’s lives as they say goodbye to a mother and it leaves empty spots beside spouses and lovers.
I hate cancer. It’s the diagnosis everyone fears but it fears no one. It’s the one word that can break the biggest man to his knees and drive the farthest sinner to the cross. It can save a marriage or destroy it. It can restore brokenness or it can create it.
I hate cancer. I hate that it even exists. I hate its power and precision. I hate its persistence and very presence. I hate that we have no cure and that it will attack more and more people. I absolutely hate cancer.
But in the midst of this hatred, there is still hope. When cancer sneaks in with its fears and doubts, we can stand strong. When our bodies get tired and weak from the fight, we can stand strong. When death comes knocking, we can ready our souls, be present with loved ones and stand strong. When hurts rise up or brokenness comes, we can stand strong. And when the fight is too much and the battle too heavy, we can rally the troops and stand strong.
For those of you who have cancer, you are so much more than that terrible word. You are still the you that you were before that name tag was attached to your life and you can be an even better version of yourself when you victoriously come out on the other side.
I hate cancer. And so do you. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t dig your grave. Suit up. And let’s fight this awful disease together. Stand strong.