From The Cancer Poetry Project (Karin B. Miller, editor), Fairview Press, 2001
Last Modified: May 6, 2003
I don't want to hear about your uncle
and how he lived three years
after being diagnosed.
And I don't want to hear
how many times your cousin threw up
when she had chemo.
Nor how your neighbor's baby
had twelve toes
maybe from radiation.
And I don't want your sounds of pity
simpering about my situation.
Pity separates us and
with one out of three getting cancer now,
pity won't keep you safe.
I have suddenly crossed the boundary line
of the risky circle called cancer.
It has made me public property, like being largely pregnant.
People invade - an assault of connections -
for reasons fair and foul.
Strangers on elevators. Acquaintances.
The medical cadre, too.
I am covered with fingerprints, with labels.
I will take hugs, help,
plus anger, strength, and love.
But the only person I want to hear about
is your Grandma Ruth,
who was diagnosed at fifty
and died at ninety,
hold your tongue.
May 31, 2013 - Although financial distress is common, even in insured patients, discussion of costs of cancer care with doctors rarely happens, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from May 31 to June 4 in Chicago.
Jan 26, 2015
Jan 26, 2015