Dear Cancer, I HATE you and I THANK YOU.

Sep 24

Dear Cancer, I HATE you and I THANK YOU.

If cancer has affected your life, read this blog post.

If cancer hasn’t affected your life, read this blog post.

 Because it matters.  Epic shit matters.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Loving, sharing, helping, hugging, caring  for someone with cancer is epic shit.

And it matters.

*

Disclaimer : This is the longest post in the history of the world.

If you need a short cut… here is a wee video xoxox

Go grab yourself a pot of coffee or a humongous bottle of wine.  You will need it.

Dear cancer, I hate you & I thank you https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

No coffee? No wine? Tequila shooters will work in a pinch.

 Same Same but different.

Do you want to know what cancer feels like for a patient or anyone who loves someone with cancer?  It’s a caffeine high of heart thumping madness mixed with the sting of a tequila hangover.  Minus the good times of the tequila.

CANCER is a roller coaster ride of emotion, love and laughter mixed with …

a whole lotta throw up.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

This blog post is about ….

A journey of cancer.

It is politically incorrect.

Slightly offensive.

Somewhat of a Debbie Downer depressing.

And it has a happy ending.

Kind of like a hooker.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

 

 

Cancer is a tricky little dude to write about.  Finding the words to write is like writing a hot sexy love letter while sitting beside your Grandma…..But worse…..It’s impossible.

 I know.  I tried.  Epic fail.

What’s the big deal about writing about cancer?

 Surely, if I can hurl an acorn at a squirrel from my treehouse porch …

NOTE : the squirrel hurled the acorn at me first !!!!!!

{ I just screamed those words }

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

My great escape

Surely I can write about cancer.

NOT.

 Not easy at all.

I wrote this blog post a bazillion times.

Wrote it.  Scratched it.  Burned it.  Started again.

I’m an expert. I practiced during my childhood with love notes to all the kindergarten boys.

Wrote it. Scratched it. Burned it.  Started again.

It never worked.  Thanks for the tomboy hair cut mom.  THAT worked.

 I remained dateless until 17.

Yup.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

 Then…while contemplating this blog post… a brilliant thought hit me.

 The light bulb went off.

{ P.s. I need to grasp these smart light bulb moments, they don’t come that often }

I should write about cancer because

Cancer affects each and every one of us.

 

Dear Cancer, I HATE you. 

Put your arm up if you know someone who has cancer.  See… look how many of you have your arm up!  Put your other arm up if you know of someone who has lost their life to cancer.  I just know that so many of you have both arms in the air.

Now look around the room you are sitting in.  Everyone around you is wondering why in the hell you look so stupid with your arms up in the air.  They probably think you are getting robbed.  Put those arms down.  Or hand me your money.

Now is the time to put those arms to good use.  Go HUG someone.  I will wait for you.

Did you get up from your chair?  Do it.   I know you are still sitting there.

Get up.

HUG. HUG. HUG.

Dear Cancer, I THANK you.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

HUG

I believe in HOPE . I BELIEVE in believing : Believing that there is light through all this darkness.  I don’t need to remind anyone that there is darkness in cancer.

It is so very sad

It is so very scary

It makes you cry

It makes you cry the kind of tears that come out of your nose.  Not the pretty super model cry. A REAL cry.  Hyperventilate into a bag.  CRY.  Can’t catch your breath.  CRY.

 

Cry like you have never cried before.  CRY.

* It tugs at the deepest parts of you that you didn’t even know existed * It shatters your belief system * It makes you doubt * It uproots you in ways that you didn’t even know could happen * It confuses everything *  It is scary as hell * Yes * I said that already *

* It is scary as hell *

Dear Cancer, I HATE you.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

SHINE LIGHT

 The secret in the cancer fighting sauce is to outshine it with light.

 

But that secret sauce alone, just isn’t enough.  If one more person tells me that having a positive outlook on life is what can save someone from dying of cancer – I will drop kick them AND bitch slap them all at once.

OK,  I would at least trip them.

I have learned, over my lifetime, that a positive attitude is not enough.  It is essential.  It it beautiful.  It is full of awesomeness, but that alone is just not enough.

 

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Read. Listen. Learn. Love. Laugh

A positive outlook, some magic juice mixed with some vitamins, aromatherapy oils and good old fashioned great attitude will not save you from dying from cancer.  When I hear that theory I want to tell people :

 

They can just shove that theory right up their whahzoooooo.

You can quote me on that.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

When all else fails….Call your girlfriend.

Before you jump through the computer and tell me that I am wrong.wrong.wrong….I am going to tell you that I am the boss of this blog.  LOL.  I can write whatever I want.  I tell that to my kids all the time.

You are the boss of you.

Except if they attempt to text at the dinner table.

Then, I am the boss of them.

 Just sayin’.

 

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Mouth-piece of laughs

*  I do believe in filling our bodies with health, nutrition, vitamins, minerals and a lot of water  *  Copious quantities of water  *  I do believe in aromatherapy  *  Mostly because it smells so damn good *  I believe in trying alternative medicine * I believe in praying * I believe in loving life * I believe in doing everything humanely possible to live live live *  I believe in learning how to laugh, cry and sip your wine without it coming out of your nose

* (P.S.  That is a cancer survival skill  )

It is still not enough.

*

We need each other.  We need a small village of support.  We need to stick together like glue.  Without it, we become…well…unglued.  We fall apart at the seams.

 We need a support system beyond belief.  We need modern medicine. We need our friends.  Our family. Our children.  Doctors.  Nurses.  Complete strangers.  Health care workers.  Wine.  Tequila.  Whatever floats your boat.

*

Dear Cancer, I THANK you.

*

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

I THANK you for the beautiful moments

We need to hug each other more often.

We need to recognize that sometimes the smallest, kindest move is MONUMENTAL to another soul.

Even if we HUG with our words.

But is it enough?

*

Is it really enough????!!!

*

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

I have known and loved so many beautiful souls with cancer.  Each one did all the right things and yet….they died.  I have also met others who have smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish and lived to be 102 years old.  Cancer can be like Russian roulette.  You never know when the gun is loaded and who it’s going to shoot.  There can be no rhyme or reason.

So why not try a paradigm shift ? Through the sadness, find some fun.  Honour the sad moments and cry.  Then leave them behind you and find some great ways to make the best of the journey.   Why not just suck it up and have a great time?  Hoot and holler and embarrass yourself.  Who cares?

*

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?

 You should go do them.

*

LIVE LIFE or DIE TRYING.

Life is about the journey not just the destination.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Why do I feel this way? Because I have lived my entire life in the sidelines of cancer.

The observant.

 

  • When I was a little girl, my Nana died from cancer at the age of 52.  She stood tall.  She was beautiful.  She loved my Pop and she loved living her life.  She had already lost her Mom and her sister to cancer.

 

Dear Cancer, I HATE you 

for taking the helm of our family ship.

  •  Shortly after, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was a young 26 year old Mom at the time.  My Mom is now a senior. She will KILL ME for writing that.  She is a three time cancer survivor.   I have watched and listened and felt the impact of what it is like to fight cancer with all you’ve got.  My mom is not a survivor of some wee little cancer dot on her toe. My Mom had serious ass cancer. The kind of cancer that kills women every.single.day. That’s my Mom.  She made it.

 

Dear Cancer, I THANK you 

for the blessing and privilege of letting me keep my Mom.

  • I lost my wild-crazy butt-nutty-Harley man of an Uncle to cancer.  My Uncle Mark loved his family, his friends and his Harley.  He was the coolest thaaaang my family ever had the privilege of being a part of.  He was a biker, but not a gangsta.  He loved the ride of the open road.  Leukemia ravished his body until he couldn’t fight anymore.  He gave it his ALL.

 


Dear Cancer, I HATE you.

  • I lost my Uncle Keith to cancer.  He loved his Aussie life, my Auntie, his family and friends.  A cancerous brain tumour took his life.  It stepped in fast, and overtook him before he could even begin to wonder what cancer was all about.  He loved helping other people.  Loved it with all his heart.

 

Dear Cancer, I HATE you.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

  •  My Uncle Marty was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  He has already lost his two only brothers to cancer.  Seriously?  Does this ever stop?!

 

Blog post update : Sadly, we lost my Uncle Marty on Nov 25th, 2012 after 8 short months of having Multiple Myeloma. You may read about that here : When cancer takes the life of someone you love.

 

Are you starting to wonder what kool-aid my family has been drinking?  Think again.  This happens every single day.  We are not alone.  There are millions out there. Biz-millions. Trillion gajillion billion-hood of millions.  So cancer, you can suck it.

 

  • Last but not least, my husband Michael.  He was diagnosed with a one in a million cancer.  He was 46 at the time.  The chance of diagnosis at his age was .1 in a million. Wtf?!!  Seriously.  That is nut house madness.

 

Dear Cancer, I HATE you.

 Enough is enough. 

***

My Dad.  My beautiful Dad.

  • I still can’t write the words to express the loss of my Dad.  You may not know it, but I was a blogger BEFORE I started this blog.  My previous blog was my chance to make an ass of myself when only my dog and 3 friends followed it.  The day I shared his funeral announcement on my past blog was the day that my blogging voice died.  The loss of my Dad was the biggest blow of my lifetime. He was the roadmap of my life. My Dad lived healthy, loved life, had hope, did every natural and medical option known to man…..and cancer unmercifully took his life.

 

Dear Cancer, I HATE you and yet, I THANK you. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to say goodbye to my Dad.  I’m thankful to have learned so much from him.

 I’m just thankful that I had a Dad that quite simply, just loved me so very much.

 I’m eternally grateful.

I didn’t write my lifetime of cancer history to make you feel sorry for me.

 On the contrary.  I shared the story to share with you that you are not alone.  We are all in this together.  We can choose to close our eyes to it, or we can choose to find ways to make a difference in the lives of others.

A positive difference.  An epic difference.  Epic shit matters.

Dear Cancer, I thank you. 

I thank you for all the beautiful moments, epic moments and good times.  I am still saddened that good people die.  Friends and family who do everything in their power to live….die.  It happens.  Every. Single. Day.  So now I honour that.  I honour that when someone tells me that they have cancer…. I listen.  I don’t tell them that they will be fine.  That they will beat it.  I think that it makes them feel small to say those words.  As if what they are doing is not enough.

 

 

 Because if they don’t beat it,  they failed??!! 

Well, bull shit.

They WON because they are living a life that they love.

So screw you, CANCER.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Talk. Listen. Care. Share.

Five years ago, we thought Michael could possibly live for 5 years.  That was the median life expectancy for his cancer.

 5 years goes by fast.

 I promise.

Well cancer, take that life expectancy and shove it up your woohoo.

 

Today… he’s looking mighty fine.  Damn fine.  Hotter than a hot tamale.  Note : To our children, don’t get grossed out.   Grandma even said that about Daddy. Pinky swear it.  I think she even wrote it down on a card when she sipped all that brandy at the last Christmas party.

 

Shhh.  Don’t tell her that I told you.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

 

Fast forward 5 years.  Yes, we had some scary moments.  I’m not going to go there, because it actually makes me cry. Big FAT tears…CRY.  I have had many moments where I wonder if the man of my dreams will be in my life for long.  Yes, I worry that he will die.  I don’t ever write the words for fear that I will jinx myself.  So high school of me.  Who says that shit?  OMG, if I say it out loud, he may die.

 

WAIT !!!!…

I just wrote it.

Now I’m screwed.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Then something great happened.

 Michael qualified for a stem cell harvest.

Dear Cancer, I thank you. 

I thank you with all my heart and soul.

What does a stem cell harvest mean?

I will try to put it into real words because when the Doctor explained it to us for the first time, my eyes glazed over from confusion and my brain caught a train to oh-my-Gawd-what-did-she-just-say-land?  

Stem cell collection means : Michael had to have high dose chemotherapy last week.  Big ass doses of chemo that knocked his socks off.  If that dose was blue, he would have pee’d like a smurf.  It was intense.  The chemo is designed to ‘trick’ his body into creating massive amounts of stem cells.  Massive stem cell production takes massive medical intervention.  Massive doses of chemo.  Massive doses of medication to get the stem cells out of the bone marrow and into the blood stream.  Wow, massive words everywhere.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

I almost pee’d my pants in this moment. Crack me up.

The magic concoction also had negative side effects.  It made him very sick. His blood counts dropped.  He had fevers.  He vomited for 8 hours straight.  He slept for 2 days.  He  needed medication to prevent damage to his kidneys.  He had to drink some funky liquid to protect his organs.  It tasted like a combination of sheep urine and goat spit.  Ok, I didn’t sip it, but it smelled gnarly.  I almost hurled just pouring it in the glass.  Gross.

 He definitely took one for the team.  I would have chucked it in the garbage pail when no one was looking.

 {I am my fathers daughter}

 His immune system went through a world war.  He needed antibiotics to avoid infection, and had to avoid crowds to protect his immune system.

No crowds ?!!  Too bad.  So sad.  That just meant that I needed retail therapy to shop ALONE.

Me… shop alone?!!

 Dang.

Dear Cancer, I thank you.

I joke.  Not Really.

He then started a 7 day regime of injections to boost his stem cell production.  We needed a home care nurse for the injections.  I get hot flashes when I have to give Michael needles.  I’m having a HOT FLASH just thinking about having to give him a needle.  I’m a turd.

The injections helped his body to create new stem cells and push them into his blood stream.  Massive levels of stem cells.  8 million of them, to be exact !!!!  I am officially calling him the 8 million dollar man.  Shove over, 6 million dollar man.  A new hottie is on the scene.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

The STEM CELL COLLECTION machine. How funky is that ?!!

The good news is that they were able to collect stem cells for a future stem cell transplant for Michael.  It took three attempts, three days, and one final 5 hour sitting to collect the stem cells.  A pretty epic day.  Awesome on all levels of awesomeness.  The whole process of stem cell collection is mind-blowingly impressive and bewildering.

The bad news is that his body has been pretty beat up.  He is tired.  He has lost weight.  His hair will start to significantly fall out.   He will likely lose his hair on his head, his body, but not his eyebrows or eyelashes.  So he will look like a naked snuffleupagus. Do you remember Snuffy’s eyelashes? Epic.  Well at least Michael will have Snuffy eyelashes.

So what did his buddies do?

They got naked.  Sort of.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

Head Shave. True friendship. EPIC.

You know what they say ;

If you ignore my muffin top, I’ll ignore your bald spot.

 

Why did we make this choice for stem cell harvesting and high dose chemotherapy?  Believe me, it was a tough choice based on what he would have to go through, and continue to go through.

As time goes by, the chemotherapy will someday stop working.  

At some point Michael will need to rely on the stored stem cells.  Those stored stem cells are like money in the bank for a rainy day.

Dear cancer, I hate you and I thank you -->> https://lynneknowlton.com/dear-cancer-i-hate-you-and-i-thank-you-2/

 The day will come when all chemotherapy and treatment options will simply just run out.

That day will come.  That is just real life.

 When all the love, the positive attitude and healthy living…. just isn’t enough.

The day may come where love and support and the absolute zest for life may not outweigh the weight of cancer.  A day where every option has been exhausted. When that day comes, he will have the last resort treatment of a stem cell transplant using his own stem cells.

 It is the rabbit that they can pull out of a hat.

Minus the rabbit.  And the hat.

It is stem cells.  And a great guy.  Love that combo.

That is good enough for me.

 

So before you say…have hope, think positive, all will be well, he can beat it…… think again.  We do have hope. We do think positive.  We do every single thing possible to LIVE LIFE.  

We don’t make cancer our story.  It isn’t our story.  It is just there.  

Cancer is like having a monkey on your back.

Sometimes he messes with your hair.

Sometimes he jumps on your shoulder.

Sometimes he plays games.

Sometimes he just shits on your shirt when you least expect it.

Sometimes he just makes you LAUGH.

Breathe it all in

Love it all out.

 

And do epic shit.  Because it matters.

Lynne

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bill Newton

    September 24th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Wow !!!! It’s no wonder your Dad was so very very proud of you! What a girl. Love you kid! Best regards to Mike and Marty

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Hiya Bill
    To everyone who is reading this blog…Bill Newton was my Dad’s best friend. Thank You for always being there for us.
    Love you
    xx

  3. mom

    September 24th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    My dear Lynne……I love you so much. I wish I could take all your hurt and pain from your heart. Know that I love you beyond words. Mom

  4. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks Momma,
    So happy you didn’t write…WHAT ??!!! YOU CALLED ME A SENIOR CITIZEN ???!!!
    Love you.

  5. Shelby Bell Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I loved it.
    I just balled in class but it was amazing
    I love you.
    The pics were awesome too
    Breathe it all in, love it all out

  6. Janet @ House Four

    September 24th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Exactly 2 years ago, i spent 51 straight days riding that roller coaster in three different hospitals wth my dad so i feel everything you wrote here deeply Lynne. For me, but mostly for you, Michael and your family. Until you take a ride on that roller coaster, it really is unimaginable. But that’s exactly how i always describe it too.
    i love the honesty of this post….LOVE it! you are so right about It ALL.
    it’s about cancer, yes, but mostly about love, hope and family. And a beautiful one, at that.
    xoxo

  7. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Ahhh , my beautiful friend Janet,
    THANK YOU cancer for bringing you into my life. It was our mutual loss of our Dad’s that brought us together. I am grateful for that.
    I am sitting here looking at the beautiful flowers you sent for us. I am breathing the gorgeous fragrance in, and loving it out.
    Thank you for always being there for me.
    IOU one.
    Lovessss ya, my friend.
    xx

  8. Pamela Hodgdon

    September 24th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Cancer is a dark place without an exit out. Even after remission, it is always there waiting to strike. When my daughter was stricken, I just couldn’t believe it. We did find things to laugh about and tried to keep an upbeat attitude. She’s in reemission and has moved on with her life, but I know that it will always be hiding in the shadows. One thing we didn’t do was wear pink. Pink sucks just because we thought so. Ok, if walking around in pink makes you think it’s going to be alright, then who am I to say it won’t. And, honestly, I keep an old pink shawl that I wear at nights reading. But, everything else that was pink went out in the trash. Wish getting rid of cancer was that easy!

  9. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Hey Pamela
    I love how you think ! You reminded me of a story of a Mother/Daughter team struggling to express themselves and their cancer experience.
    The daughter was so tired of the usual pink ribbon and corny style of things, and really wanted to help her Mom just scream out to the world….so she had a T-shirt printed for her Mom.
    It said ‘ FUCK YOU CANCER ‘. Her Mom wore it. Everyone who saw it LOVED it and she printed more. And more. And more.
    Her story made it all the way to the White House. Epic.
    I hope some day to do something epic like that. Even if I have to say FUCK YOU CANCER, to get there.
    Big love to you !!
    Lynne
    P.s. Pardon my french. 🙂

  10. Kevin R

    September 24th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Lynne… I have no words… except… thank you.

  11. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    You are most welcome, Kevin. You are most welcome. xx

  12. Auntiepatch

    September 24th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Live, love, laugh, and be as one. Blessings on both of you!

  13. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks Doll !
    Thanks for coming back time and time again on the blog and sending me beautiful cheer ! You d’best !
    Lynne xx

  14. Lynn

    September 24th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Wow. Just freaking wow. I lost my brother to HIv and I remember thinking
    that nothing ‘bad’ was happening to me – he was doing all of the heavy lifting.
    But I felt so bad. Empty and void. I could have used a model/mentor/friend
    like you and your family. I admire all of the goodness you wrote about and
    fear all of the worse of it for someone I love. Blessings on you and yours!
    I appreciate your humor, candor and of course, your good taste!

    Thrive on Michael!

  15. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Lynn
    My Gawd, I love your name. 🙂 I completely understand how you must have felt with your brother. When you watch someone else with an illness you feel helpless. You want to grab a hold of that disease and just smack it to oblivion.
    Thank you for your beautiful blessings. Much love and epic hugs right back atcha.
    Lynne xx

  16. Lin N

    September 24th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Woooooowow! Amazing and beautiful blog. Thank you! May the universe continue to shed benevolence (don’t know how to spell it, but ah knows what it means. lol) and love and courage and laughter and hope and more love on you and your family. May all the light continue to keep ‘C’ away….it is such a bitch of a sickness. Yes, it has, like so many others, touched my life….Namaste

  17. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you Lin,
    So true about the big C. I usually reserve that C word for potty mouth moments. I am sorry that it has touched your life too.
    Thanks for the beautiful NAMASTE.
    Much love,
    Lynne xx

  18. Lynne Knowlton

    September 24th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    THANKS for the awesome epic hugs Laura Crossett and the blog compliments *blush*. P.s. You are in Southampton? LOVE it there. One of my best buds in the world lives there. 🙂

1 2 3 4 5 23

FREE DOWNLOADABLE 

 Sign up! We'll send occasional, inspiringly witty emails with exclusive deals, blog faves, design tips & free downloadable prints.  Like this one!

CLOSE

Unsubscribe at any time. No spam. Not even in a can.