Apologies to those I might offend. 

I’ve never been one for public profanity. 

Today is going to be different. 

Cancer can go fuck itself.

God do I mean that. I really-really do.

Fuck you cancer. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

You took my mother. You’re trying to take my mother-in-law. And last night my wife received the message that you took Heather just two years after you took her older brother.

She was still just a kid, really. Not yet forty. Someone who had finally started to figure it out. Get her shit together. Her life had been a mess. She had survived so much.

Heather couldn’t survive cancer, though. It first arrived when she was likely the strongest and most hopeful she had ever been, laid her low, and then took her.

I say “took” because that’s exactly what I mean. Words are important. They provide distinction and in this case, it’s important that we know Heather didn’t merely die – the mother-fucking cancer took her.

There will be time for reflection. Time to lessen the sting and speak with more dignity.

This isn’t that time. At least not for me.

I wish I could meet cancer on the street because I would fuck it up. I would go old-school curb stomp beatdown on its ass. Kick its goddamn teeth in until it choked on them. Slit its throat from one ear to the other and watch it bleed out.

I know some of this anger goes far beyond Heather’s death. I’m haunted by my mother’s passing. She wasn’t ready. I didn’t fully understand that then. Or, perhaps I wasn’t prepared to. The wound was too raw. The void left too deep to contemplate.  She should have had more time to get to know her grandkids. To realize herself in them. To ride the horses she loved so much.

Cancer takes it all away: potential, opportunity, LIFE.

Heather fought so hard. There were so many surgeries, so many rounds of chemo. Last year some of you sent her your prayers when I shared some of Heather’s story. Perhaps that helped. Heather did have a few good months after that and when one is working with a cancer calendar, where a life is suddenly metered out in weeks, a few good months can almost seem like another lifetime.

She leaves a young son, a new husband, a sister, a mother, and many friends and family.

How many more must die before we fix this? Before we eradicate the evil that is cancer? I know there is tragedy aplenty on the news each and every day, but taken collectively is there any greater tragedy than cancer?

I think not.

Fuck you cancer.

D.W. Ulsterman is a bestselling, award-winning author and socio-political commentator.

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