To those who have stuck around:

We know that it isn't easy to love us. We know it can be hard and stressful to be significant others, best friends, co-workers, parents, children, siblings to us. We know the toll it takes on you. I promise, we do notice that it is difficult on you, but that you love us anyway. We know that you have to make sacrifices for us and compromise quite a bit and we are incredibly grateful for it. We aren't always the best at thanking you or acknowledging everything you do for us. Sometimes we are in too much pain or under too much stress. I promise, we are thankful and we know that we couldn't do it without you. Your time, energy, and unconditional love does not go unnoticed. Thank you. Thank you for every day, thank you for every moment, thank you for the rest of our time together.

To those who left:

It would be easy for us to be bitter. It would be a lot easier to just tell you where to shove it, but we won't. We will just thank you for leaving, instead. Thank you for leaving when you did, because we do not have time for people who aren't in our lives for the right reasons. We don't have time for half-ass relationships, guilt trips, or negativity. Thank you for showing us the kind of people we don't want to surround ourselves with. Thank you for also reminding us to be grateful for the positive, loving people we do have.

To those who doubted us:

We do not need your validation. We know what we go through, we know our pain, we know our bodies. I hope that one day you will have the opportunity to gain perspective and understand that just because our pain is invisible, just because we look and act “normal” does not mean that we are not suffering. Your doubt in us made us doubt ourselves so many times and left us feeling isolated and lonely. All you needed to do was be there, listen and support us with every hardship or decision we made. This doubting, while hurtful and toxic, made us stronger.

To those who want to love us:

Please know that loving us isn't a walk in the park. We may be tired, sick, or in too much pain sometimes. We may seem flakey, but in reality, it's our health that is flakey. We promise, we are so much more than our bad days. If you can see past that, and love us through them, then we will happily accept you as a part of our lives. But please, don't get involved if you don't think you can handle it.

To ourselves:

Look at you- you have been through so much. Friendships, jobs, relationships, hobbies have all been affected and maybe lost. But you're still here. You are more than the things you have been through, the pain you experience, the amount of surgeries, medications, tests, the diagnosis, the plans you have canceled, the things you can't do, the scars, the tears- you are more. You are not defined by all of this. You are no less strong, capable, intelligent, loving, creative, charismatic, brilliant. You are still all of these things through your pain and that is pretty damn incredible. Don't forget that and don't sell yourself short. You still have so much to offer to the world. Thank you for being here.