Julia's Letter

Dear Julia,

Upon hearing you have cancer, you’ll rush through a stream of thoughts: I should have seen the Great Wall of China, adopted a rescue dog, hugged more, laughed more, lived with more passion! I’m not ready to stop living!

You and your friends decide to drive to a place you all love—a nearby botanical garden. The majesty of nature feels soothing; a sort of buffer against the horror. The plants and trees emanate life. Go ahead and let their energy embrace you.

That afternoon in the garden will be your first step in separating yourself from cancer. One of your friends is right when she sums it up: “Honey, cancer is something your body is experiencing. Cancer isn’t you.”

Make huge commitments to yourself. Like when your childhood friend, who calls herself the “Jedi of Calm,” offers to give you daily breathing sessions, take her up on it.

You love to read so get carried away in well-written novels. It will feel like a vacation for your emotions.

Just do your best—whatever that means at the moment. In the long run, that’s how you will experience peace and wholeness.

With Love,

Me

Julia is a head & neck cancer survivor

Share:

More Letters

Create A Game Plan

Get helpful tips tailored for your specific cancer needs.

Let's Begin bullseye

What kind of support are you looking for?

Find health, emotional well-being, and communication resources specific to one of following cancers:

Merck’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this unprecedented time, Merck is continuing to focus on the well-being of our patients and communities. Visit our COVID-19 information page for more details.

You are about toleave this site

The link you have selected will take you to a site outside of Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck does not review or control the content of any non-Merck site. Merck does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy, content, practices, or standards of any non-Merck site.

OK