Dear Cancer,

I first became acquainted with you when I was only 10 yrs old. You

came into our lives so suddenly when my father was diagnosed with

leukemia at the age of 38. During this time my father was a widower,

taking care of my sister and I. My mother had passed only 5 years

earlier, she suffered from a severe asthma attack and a mild heart

attack. Our lives were already turned upside down and we were just

getting back to “normal” when you chose to attack my father’s bone

marrow and lymphatic system so aggressively. It was 1989 and

unfortunately at that time leukemia was so rare, that even the best

oncology doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland couldn’t find

a way to help my father fight to stay alive. My heart shattered to

pieces as we left the hospital that day knowing that you took the only

parent, provider, protector my sister and I had.

As years pass you continue to invade the bodies of my family and

friends, from liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and breast

cancer. I really despise you. You have no consideration to how you

affect so many lives. I’m grateful that medical scientist, doctors and

among others are finding a way to fight you off so that you will no

longer be able to make people sick or take people’s lives.

“When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them

has cancer too”


Janise Salonga-Warner