Sunday, March 29, 2009



She tells me it has been there
since last year, growing inside her,
like an unknown seed.
They did not see it
until this years mammogram.
She says she is hopeful,
the doctors are hopeful,
her family is hopeful.

She has only uttered the word
cancer once, choosing instead
to use the word it
when she speaks;
They will remove her breast
because of it,
use radiation to destroy
anything it left behind.
The word makes me think
of monsters in horror films.
I guess in a way, it is.

Though it is not my fault,
I say ‘I’m sorry.’
As she gazes off
into the distance
tears jewel
in her eyes.

I wrote that poem after thinking about my grandmother who died from breast cancer and women I have known who have gone through surgery, treatment and the fear of facing their mortality because of that invader in their bodies.
Some found it so unbelievable that saying the word 'cancer' was much too difficult. It was as if uttering that word gave the growth life and strength, not only in them but over them.
I have thought about what I would do, how I would face things, if the doctor were to tell me that I had breast cancer, or any cancer, growing in my body, invading my life.
I do not think I could stay calm or strong. I think I would wrap my arms around myself, climb into bed, and cry, long and hard. Oh, I know I would do all I could to fight it, to battle the beast and prevent it from taking over and destroying me. I would not go quiet into that good night, I would rage, as the poet Dylan Thomas wrote. But I would cry. I would think about all the things I had wanted to do but never had the time, and all the loved ones I would have to say good bye to if the treatments did not work. I would pray and get angry and feel sad.
And I would question God as to the reason I must face this terror, this pain, this tribulation. It seems that whenever things are not going well we do tend to face God and ask 'Why me? Why now? What have I done?' And if treatments do not work and we face the end of our life, we feel anger. Why were my prayers not answered? Why did He not step in and make things better?
Common sense goes out the window when we face the end. I know God does not make the bad things happen and he cannot always make a miracle. After all, if everyone who prayed for a cure were cured our world would be so overpopulated.
We cannot always have what we want. But God is there for us.
When I think of that, it does not make things any easier, does not make me think that I would face the end with a smile and at peace and with no fear.
I would be sad, angry, fearful, and pray that God will be there for me when it is all over.
I want to believe above all else, that there is more after the end.
I want to believe.

1 comment:

  1. Dearheart, thinking about sad things makes you sad. You can spend months planning how you will deal with cancer, and then get hit by a bus. Don't borrow trouble. Right now, especially, you need to dwell on happy things. Remember that God loves you and cherishes you more than you can imagine. He is ALWAYS there for you! When those sad thoughts come, you might want to replace them with thinking about how good it feels to be wrapped in perfect love.