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An open letter to cancer: I'm going to live

My name is Ana Kitson Ferguson. I am a mother of 4, 45 years old with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. Guess what cancer, I am going to live with you.

Dear Cancer
You win!! You have managed to change my life, disrupt my perfect little world, and throw all my dreams of the life that was ‘supposed to be’ into the cauldron of ‘what if’s’.
You have forced me to change, not only how I live my life but also my interpretations of the meaning of life!
You can wave your victorious flag, in the form of that big ugly pink ribbon that has enabled society to pop a label on me and you can add me to your list of the millions of others bodies that you have managed to infiltrate like a deep black cloud.
Oh Cancer, just your name envelops us all in fear and misery and turns the strongest of souls into a fragile little bird.
Like a narcissistic partner, you hover, and just when I feel that I may start having this thing under control, you come in and sweep the rug from underneath me.
Wow, you must really feel quite proud of yourself, for the power you have had over me.
So Cancer, I want a divorce! I told you before, that you have changed how I live my life, and in your infinite arrogance you thought it was for the worst, you thought your Grim Reaper arms would embrace me, but you were wrong!
You have made me stronger and more determined than ever before. You have empowered me to take control, over whatever life I do have left and you have given me the opportunity to throw it all to the wind and truly live in the moment.
Now, just like any divorce it doesn’t mean you don’t exist, it just means you no longer have a space in my heart and my head! However your presence will always be felt as we collectively co-parent my body.
Yet I wish to do this with you from a position of harmony and love rather than the fear and terror that you have tried to install in me.
So Dear Cancer, I thank you for the gift of having been a part of my journey of life. I thank you for the lessons you have taught me and for all the good qualities in myself that you have bought out in me, I thank you for the love of friendships and the kindness of humanity that has been bestowed on me from my fellow man.
Now, like any relationship that has come to an end - could you please pack your bags and bugger off!
Ana has four teenage daughters and has lived with cancer for 12 years. She is a Nutritionist, Author of ‘Jibberings of a Cancer Cracker’, and public speaker. Photos supplied.

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