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Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if your white, black, brown haired, blue eye, nothing matters. Cancer chooses those who it thinks are weak. I had a different plan. I would be the person that gets diagnosed, doesn’t care and beats it with ease. I would stick it to cancer; it couldn’t always choose the perfect victims. I didn’t want to be remembered as Michelle Andrews just another eventually forgotten victim of cancer. The one who fought a good battle but just couldn’t beat it. I didn’t want to “go to a better place.” All of that is the crap people say when they give up. No one wants to die, especially not me. I had the perfect boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and the career of my dreams. Some may say my utopia was all in my head, but it was a perfect reality, and it wasn’t on my calendar for it to end any time soon. I will live.

I’ve known Michelle my whole life, and we’ve always been inseparable, best friends forever. When I heard about her situation, I couldn’t even face her. My best friend, the one person who truly knew me for me, the one I shared everything with, and I couldn’t even look her in the eye, and tell her I was here for her. How could I? My “it girl,” my Michelle was dying of cancer, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. (What if she ended up dying?) How could I possibly function without my other half? I wouldn’t allow myself to just stand there and helplessly watch her die in front of me, especially with the thoughts that I couldn’t have done a thing to change the outcome. Michelle is strong, I wasn’t, which is why I’m at home; praying from a comfortable distance. I can apologize later, when she’s home.

Michelle Andrews. Oh how I loathed her. My whole high school life I was bullied, teased, and antagonized by that monster. I was your typical nerd; in the academic decathlon, captain of debate, and focused only on my school, no time for others. Michelle, being your typical popular athlete, with the perfect body, the grades, the family, and of course the boyfriend. Oh how I hated everything about her. It wasn’t the ideal life, but it worked for me, and it got me where I am today; happy, married, and glad I never had to see her again. That was until I received a letter from her, making me recall all the dreadful memories of her. I was sure the letter was another attempt by her to rub her perfect life in my face one last time. I wish I would have shredded instantly. To my surprise, the letter was handwritten on a napkin. “Kathy, I’m currently in a hospital, fighting cancer. I am going to live, but the thought of dying made me think of how I would be remembered if I were to die. I could not bare the thought of being remembered as a bully. I have changed a lot since high school, and can honestly and wholeheartedly tell you I am sorry for everything I did to you. The truth is I was jealous of you. Perhaps you remember my boyfriend was in the academic decathlon with you, so he could earn a scholarship to college. Shortly after he joined he broke up with me. I’ve never told anyone the real reason, except for you right now. He broke up with me because he said he liked you. As you can imagine I was furious! You would be too if your amazing, hot, perfect boyfriend left you for a nerd. No offense. That is why I was so mean to you, and I regret it. I just had to let you know, and I truly hope you forgive me”. Michelle Andrews, a nice person; who would have thought.

Michelle and I have been together for about two years now. Some would say we’re pretty serious, but honestly I don’t know what we are. We were best friends for 10 years, and I always had a crush on her, but didn’t do anything until a few years back. I was happily surprised she said she felt the same as well. I thought I was in love with her, but honestly I don’t know what I think now. She seems to be head over heels for me, but I just don’t know. Our love seems to be stuck in a continuous cycle of the same thing. We’re happy, we fight, we make-up, repeat. When I found out she had cancer, it made my decision even harder. I can’t just leave the person I may love, alone, and in the middle of this. I just lost my job, and I had no where else to go, so for me being with Michelle was kind of a necessity right now. I could just stay with her for a while longer, it’s not like she’s going anywhere. What could it hurt?

Mr. Jenkins 5th floor, the elderly I’ve been waiting for him to die for several months, he’s still living. Ms. Links 6th floor refuses to leave, because she thinks aliens are at her house, probably time to admit her to the psychiatric department. Ms. Andrews, 1st floor, diagnosed with cancer, temperature rising each day, and HCG levels not looking any better. More importantly, my least annoying patient, you could even say I like her. She’s been under my care for about three months now, and each day I find something different that I like about her. First, she has cancer, and she makes it clear she won’t die. She doesn’t pull that “oh I’m dying, give me sympathy” crap. I can’t stand when my patients do that. If you’re dealing with a serious illness like cancer, don’t sit around and whine, or tell your friends your being as strong as you can, actually do something, and try your hardest to beat the cancer. That’s why I appreciated Michelle. Plus, she makes my reflections at night about the patients I lost that day, a lot easier. Especially since I know she’s not going anywhere. I will send her home cancer free, even though the odds are stacked against her.

“Andrews, Michelle. Age 28, March 18, 2012. Beloved daughter of Jim, and Maggie Andrews. Passed away after a long hard fought battle with cancer. Family and friends described her as a hard working, independent woman. She worked as a broadcast journalist, wining many awards, for the stories she broke. She had a deep love for children, and always wished to one day have her own. She will be remembered by many.”



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