subject line: It's back again. March 25, 2016 by Hannah Brencher boca raton A while ago you published an email I sent you. I wrote about living for birthdays. I wrote about moving on. I wrote about life after the dreaded C word... Cancer. You took a clip of my email and put it on Instagram. People liked it. They related to it. They understood it. The cancer is back. 14 years later. I’m not longer a little kid with a wig box to play dress up and wish it all away. It’s back and it’s vicious and I’m so so sad. I try to mask it with sarcasm and cynicism. I try to laugh through the pain. I try to imagine what horrible karmic disaster lead me to this fate again and I come up with nothing. I’m 24. I’m 24 and I’m worried I won’t make it to 25 in May. How do you go on living when the thought of dying tries to take over? I haven’t gotten to travel the world yet. I haven’t fallen in love again. I haven’t had kids. But I’ve had chemo and radiation and I’ve lost my hair. I’ve had people look at me with pity in their eyes. Like I’m so poor broken china doll. I grew up being known as “that cancer girl” and I hated it. So I haven’t told people that it’s back. Well, know I have. I’m telling you. But I don’t want to be a broken china doll. I want to be whole, feel whole, be looked at like I’m whole. So I haven’t told my friends. I just can’t have their eyes fill with pity and sadness. I can’t have them worry. So I tell them I’m fine. And they talk about bridesmaids dresses and summer vacations and tickets to Hamilton and I force a smile and act okay. I’m not okay. The last time I wrote to you I thought that I could look forward to living for a birthday 10, 20, 50 years down the line. Now, now I’ll be happy to live to a birthday 3 months from now.