Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Dear Big C...Again

Dear Big C...Again,

I’ve written to you before but I want to write to you again. You seem not to have heard me the first time so now I’m getting angry. I told you to back down. I told you to give up and give in. We have an army and ours is growing. Doctors, Nurses, Scientists, People in Fancy Dress, People in Pink Bras running down the streets…we have support. What do you have? Nothing. Nothing except numbers. Numbers far bigger than you should have and numbers that are growing every day. Within the last 5 or 6 weeks, I lost my Grandpa and the world lost at least two incredibly well-loved and talented men, with many more swallowed whole by your jaws of selfishness and destruction .

Do you not understand how much these people are loved? Do you not realise how many you hurt every time you decide to act. I read somewhere once that funerals for the elderly are normally the quietist, the emptiest and the ones with the fewest to grieve. Not because they’re not loved but because they’ve lived so much and so long that people become lost along the way. That wasn’t the case with my Grandpa’s. That day that I got to say goodbye to him for one last time was in a church filled with people. Besides his ginormous family, 17 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and with plenty more room to grow, he had friends from his village, he had friends from his past and from his present. Even greater though, he had the friends of his children. The friends, now hitting their 50’s and 60’s who once dropped in during their University breaks with my mum and her siblings or came by for the weekend. So many memories that they had with a man who, despite his age, was still taken far too soon. Why? Because you could. You still can.  

In the space of four days in the first month of a brand new, shiny clean year, you went on to take more. My Grandpa wasn’t enough. You had to keep going. So you started to take the artists. The musicians and actors that I have been privileged enough to have witnessed during my own liftetime. When I woke up to hear that David Bowie had gone, I was sad. I knew how much his music was worshipped across the world and how much his character meant to those who loved him. But when I heard how he had died and who had taken his life from ours, I was devastated. When Alan Rickman left us, it was the same. It’s one thing to die naturally. For an aged old body that has lived a fulfilled and happy life, to say it’s time to go and to slowly drift away. A sad time for those remaining but for a reason that they can, hopefully, at least partly, understand. You on the other hand. Knowing that people are being ripped from this life because of you. Now that’s not ok.

In the last year, I’ve seen more and more people’s lives being torn apart by your devilish hands and it’s made me really think. So many people are being hurt by, not only you, but those who exist in your world. Other diseases and illnesses that live so selfishly and only ever take, take, take. The other day, as I entered Notting Hill Gate tube station, two ladies were holding buckets. They were asking for money to be donated to Cancer Research, anything they could get. I took my purse and I emptied it of all the change I had. Even if it’s not much in the grand scheme of things, you add my coins to those of all those other many people who are angry and hurt because of you and it will make a difference. It will help someone, somewhere. It will start to spread a message.

As a thank you and a further way of reminding people, I received a bracelet.  A bracelet made of two ropes you knot together yourself to show that we are united against you. To show you that no matter what you throw our way, we’re ready to throw it back and more. I have worn it every day since and I’ll keep going. I want people to see this band around my wrist and the wrists of many others and to watch those adverts on television asking you to donate or to put on something pink and run like the wind…or walk…if you’re me. We’ll keep going until eventually cancer won’t be able to. Someone said the other day, and it’s starting to feel like it’s true, that you’re becoming the final straw that takes us all. You’re the grim reaper in your black cloak moving faster and faster round the world and taking over all of us. It’s a game of catch me if you can. One day you’re going to hit a wall though and when you do, we’ll be there in our thousands to take. you. down.

I hope that this letter gets to you and that you take in what I say. This isn’t one of those letters to be thrown on the junk pile or to be used for your shopping list of symptoms and struggles you need to add to your collection of pain. It’s a letter I want you to read and to absorb so that one day you give up, give in and go home.

Goodbye and Good Riddance,

P.S. to remind yourself of my previous letter sent to you a while back, click here


  1. Stay strong! <3


    1. Thank you <3 Just makes me so angry that so many people are hurt by such a horrible illness x