A Poem for World Cancer Day

Hi all,

Today is World Cancer Day, so I wanted to share a poem I wrote about fighting cancer.

Like many others, my family is all too familiar with the nasty disease. My younger sister was diagnosed in November 2020, and I wrote this poem based on conversations I’d had with her and with my dad, who is a cancer survivor.

I gave this poem to my sister to try and help her put her experience into words and to help her feel a little bit understood, even though there’s know way I can really know what she is going through.

She encouraged me to post it, so I’m sharing it today, on World Cancer Day. I’ll also be donating to some amazing charities that do a lot for cancer and research. My top three, if anyone’s looking for a recommendation, are Stand Up to Cancer, Fred’s Team at MSKCC, and St. Jude’s.

Prisoner of War

Sit in the corner
Been dreading this day
Three hours and it’s done
But then Hell awaits

Well wishes pour in
Of kindness and love
I channel the beaten
My angels above

It’s fire in my throat
But it’s knives in my chest
My damn head’s so foggy
But my thoughts won’t quit

They said I’d make it
But I’m on my knees
It’s this so-called cure
That’s exhausting me

Each morning new pain
Each day a fresh scare
They tell you what’s coming
But you can’t prepare

Dark silk all over
I can’t bear to see
It pools on the pillow
My identity

My strong, active body
Now achy and chapped
Fought so hard to love it
Now it’s got me trapped

They say things look good
But I’m on my knees
It’s this so-called cure
That’s consuming meI

t just keeps taking
Now blood count is low
Love all around me
But they’ll never know

Good news fails to lift me
It’s ‘under control’
But half of my battle
Cost half of my soul

Dare I speak the words
That tempt and flare up?
That, in these dark hours,
I want to give up

They’re looking forward
But I’m on my knees
It’s this so-called cure,
Now, that’s killing me

But I see my baby
She’s smiling so big
She laughs and she coos
And I almost forget

Can’t hold her right now
But she’s made of true love
And she’s my escape
Sent down from above

She reminds me why
I’m struggling through
I have more to see
And I’ve much more to do

Have to make it out
Crawling on my knees
In spite of this cruel cure
That’s ravaging me

Still can’t bear to look
Ahead or behind
But I know in my core
I’m close to the light

This nasty disease
It tears me apart
It doesn’t play fair 
But I’ve still got my heart

So today was a wash
There will be new days
When I’ll smell the ocean
Feel sun on my face

Somehow I’ll fight on
I give it my best
And I hate to sit still
But for now I rest

Through silent torture 
I’ll keep my head down
And wait for the day
When I’ve made it out

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