Dear Lung Cancer,

I should say I hate you. I hate how you’ve come into our lives uninvited. I hate that you’ve fought against her, despite the fact that she’s stronger than you. I hate that, in spite of our requests, you still occupy her body. I hate you more than I’ve hated anything but it does no good.

I should yell and scream at you. I yell and scream about the damage you are causing in our lives. I yell and scream about the fatigue I see in my mother-in-law’s face after rounds of treatments. I yell and scream that there are people who don’t understand that you are persistent and aren’t supporting her in the way she needs to stay a step ahead of you. I yell and scream praying that you’ll hear me and let go of her. I yell and scream until I’m hoarse but it does no good.

I should be angry at you. I am angry that you are tearing us apart. I am angry that our uncertain lives turned into certainty – certain there will be bad days, certain there will be doctors appointments, certain there will be tests and results, certain there will be a fight. I am angry that you don’t care who you hurt or how you hurt them. I am angry that I have to watch her worry and see my husband’s fear. I am angry with you but it does no good.

I should cry at you. I cry as I watch her fight against you. I cry as I think about telling our son that his gramma is sick. I cry in despair of helplessness. I cry like I am losing my own mother. I cry in fear of her suffering because she’s too strong to tell me things aren’t going well. I cry when I see the pain in my husband’s eyes. I cry everyday but it does no good.

What I shouldn’t do is thank you but I do. I thank you for reminding me that life is too short to waste. I thank you for making me cherish each moment. I thank you for forcing me to live today without postponing for tomorrow. I thank you for allowing me to feel so deeply and love so fully. I thank you for proving that God gives me the strength to endure all things. I thank you for giving her more time; time to meet her second grandson, time to take her grandkids on a special trip, time to share her stories, time to spend with her family. I thank you and it’s the only thing that helps.

Sincerely,

Your Enemy’s Daughter-in-Law

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