An Open Letter to my Father’s Brain Tumor

They say you go through 5 emotional states when dealing with grief:






I’m at anger.

So I leave you with an open letter to my dad’s brain tumor:

Dear tumor,

It is with a heavy heart that I write these lines to you here in the florescent light of the oncology waiting room, but I felt I just had do this—for both of us. I want you to know that I had high hopes for this relationship when we first met at the MRI. The romance, the drama—the prospect of certain death—all added a certain je ne sais quoi to what had been until then just a casual fling with another benign growth. And even though all my friends warned me that this relationship could go nowhere, I really thought with you it would be different this time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I tried to make this work. I really did.

Look, I know I’ve changed, but you’ve changed too. You’re no longer the dull headache, the memory loss, and the vague feeling of unease you used to be. Lately all you seem to want to do is make my dad yell at me and make him go to sleep. I confess: it’s been increasingly painful to be in this relationship as time has gone by. I guess in the end I’m just sick of the numerous trips to the ER, the word-finding, the medicines, the radiation, the chemo. I’m just SICK of it!

Where did the magic go?

I want you to know, though, that it’s not really about you: it’s me. I’ve just got to move on, do other things with the few months left in with my dad. Hmm, maybe you should just move on too? I recommend Muammar Gaddafi. .

I know this is hard for you. But I’m sure after all the radiation sessions, you’ll have a suntan that the whole Jersey Shore cast would be jealous of. And I must say, you’re messing with the wrong person. Your about to get your ass kicked. If not by my dad, then for sure by my mom. Your buddy, breast cancer, messed with my mom. So now she’s REALLY pissed and I’m sure wherever she is she’ll send over a good ass-whopping too.

But seriously, go bother some dictator or child molester.

With all my hate,


Who/what would you want to write an open letter to? Do you find yourself in the “anger” stage of grief sometimes?


18 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my Father’s Brain Tumor

  1. Stupid brain tumor:

    You missed a hoard of crazy religious radicals who killed innocent U.N. workers. Go pay them a visit. The world needs you THERE.

    With almost as much hate as Eden,

  2. This is pretty polite anger in my book Eden. Cummon, fucking let it out!

    Me, I think I’m going through some kind of anger state of grief with my PhD at the moment. Not with the document itself, but the whole writing up process has thrown me into turmoil about what the last 10 years of my life were for, etc etc, blah blah. I am pretty angry at my former self for choosing this path, which at times just feels like a totally useless investment of time and money! Hopefully I can skip the denial stage though, as I really need to get this thing finished so that I can move on. PhD students — we lose all sense of perspective…

  3. My father-in-law has myeloma, a cancer that eats your bones. It’s pretty aggressive itself, and was found at stage four. It’s a tough road, that much I know. Right now, after a bunch of treatment, and ongoing treatment he’s doing pretty well, but there’s always ups and downs, and the unknown of how long everything’s going to stay “pretty well”. Anyways, I can’t imagine what you’re going through since this awful disease has affected your mom, and now your dad. I’ll be praying for your dad and your family during this rough road ahead!!

  4. I’m angry at your dad’s tumer too, but I’m sure not to the degree you’re feeling it.

    Oddly, I’ve been through the five stages of grief with my chronic pain. Each stage posed its challenges, but anger was so hard because I felt to most out of control. I’m sure you have far more rage than your beautifully written letter is letting on, and that’s okay. I want to assure you that the yucky feeling does pass, even when the outside circumstances stay the same.

    In my thoughts as always,

  5. Yes I had (still do) anger at my Mom’s myeloma (and like Lesly’s FIL it was found in stage 4). She went to the best place in the world for myeloma -UAMS, and by the grace of God, lived 8 years, which was a miracle. But I’m angry she ever got it. Like you said. Why don’t these child molesters, dictators, and the like develop these? My brother in law was only 39 when he hot an aggressive tumor and died at 41. Makes no sense. So yes, I still get mad sometimes if I dwelll on it.
    Stupid cancer. I hate it – and the worst part is that it is my job to find cancer.
    Sending hugs your way.

  6. I think we all go through anger periods when we are going through something tough at least I know I have before. it is not fun but a emotion that has to be felt and dealt with! I guess it is apart of the healing process. HUGS

  7. eff your dad’s tumor. i’d like to write an angry letter to you for being so damn strong during this whole thing. i just don’t know how you hold it together but god bless your heart mama. i think someone needs to write you a letter of inspiration. and then take you to get 10 cocktailed shit wasted. love you to pieces ❤

  8. I loved this letter- hilarious through all of the tragedy of it all. I don’t blame you for being mad- you have every right. And more.

    Funny, I never really had the real anger stage with my mom or my dad. Perhaps it’s because both of their diseases were long-in-coming and progressive. I’m sure it would have been different if it came out of the blue and I was 23 yrs old!

    There were times where I was pissed about this or that for sure though. That happened alot. And he got pissed too- it’s exhausting being sick and being a patient all the time. And a caregiver/ supporter.

    Hugs and more hugs ❤

  9. what a good release! That letter needed to be written, and then some. It allows us into your emotions so that we can be there for you. WE WANT TO BE THERE FOR YOU! AT EVERY STEP!

  10. I actually find myself still in flux between all the stages of grief. I wish it was linear.
    I just float seamlessly between them all.
    (I lost my brother).
    The anger manifests itself in numerous ways too…at myself, at others…never at a stupid heart.
    I need to write a letter.
    Prayers, thoughts, agape love.

  11. Let it all out sister! Punch something, write something, cry, scream. Do what you gotta do and then go outside and let the sun shine on your face and try to feel happy about something if you can. Sorry your going through such a hard time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s