BY SYNDI POWELL
I've thought about what I wanted to say to you for five years now. I first met you when my dad was diagnosed when I was twelve, and I didn't much like you then. He beat you, but the months of treatment weren't easy on the family. Two years later, you reared your ugly head in my mom. She beat you too, but you created so much chaos in our family life. We thought you were gone for good.
Then you came back with a vengeance eleven years ago and took my dad away from us. I was angry with you then. So angry. How dare you take him away just when he'd started retirement and looked forward to having more time to enjoy his life! You robbed him of that, and I refused to forgive you for that. He didn't get to see his grandkids grow up. Didn't get to walk me down the aisle when I got married. There's a hole in our lives because of you.
And then you came for me. I remember when the doctor told me the diagnosis, I sat numbly as words I didn't understand zipped by my head. Words like lumpectomy and mastectomy. I could only nod and agree that the surgeon and I were going to fight you together. I was willing to do what I had to do to make sure that you didn't win.
The pain and the nausea caused by the side effects of fighting you have been a part of my everyday life. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I wanted to give up. To stop working so hard to defeat you. But I wasn't going to give in to you. You took too much away from me already, and I wasn't going to let you take anymore.
Well, guess what? I won. You lost. You have no hold over me anymore. I am done with you and have the rest of my life to celebrate my victory.
So goodbye, cancer. We're through.