Heal asked readers to express aspects of their cancer experience in the Japanese form of poetry known as haiku — or at least give it a good try!

Autumn yellow leaves
paved the long stone cold walkway
yes it is Cancer.
Rebecca Grella
Two-time breast cancer survivor
Northport, New York

Dahlias, lilies, bulbs
Planted as the leaves do fall
Dare to see them bloom.
— Phyllis Sobel
Five-year lung cancer survivor
Long Island, New York

Diagnosis heard
Healing Faith drawn from within
Strength given each day
— Sharon O’Neill Mulcahy
Nine-month breast cancer survivor
Glastonbury, Connecticut

We learn to cry ~  sigh ~
Laugh ~  love ~  die ~
A mother shows the way.
— Amanda Babich
On her mother’s battle with metastatic breast cancer
Camino, California

Spleen Ohio-sized.
Pink chemo, rose colored specs, 
I fight and survive.
— Amy Heckendorf
Nine-year Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor
Raleigh, North Carolina

He said, “Cancer:
Three years ’til you’ll die.”
She said, “CAN’T, Sir!”
— Ann Kleman
Five-year breast cancer survivor
Bridgeport, Michigan

She napped half the day
Chemo flowing thru her veins
Mimicking raindrops.
— Sandra Susan Bender
Five-year cancer survivor 
Carlsbad, California

The sun falls and night
Engulfs the land and air but
Light will rise again 
— Adrienne Grafton
Patient family educator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts

The arm gets bigger.
She comes to us for help, hope.
Leaves with small arm, smile. 
— Kathy Fleming
Physical therapist specializing in lymphedema treatment
Easthampton, Massachusetts

Thought it was milk ducts
turned out to be cancer, yuck
No cure, but NED Rocks!
— Jessica Harris
Two-year inflammatory breast cancer survivor
Novi, Michigan

Sweetness fills the heart
Food no more feeds the body
Guide us on this road
— Jane Syracuse
Caregiver for a loved one with pancreatic cancer who died in 2007
Ossining, New York

Busy with a life
Interrupted by a veil
Living Life Anew
— Belinda Johnson
Three-year breast cancer survivor 
Russellville, Alabama 

My Liver
Valiantly struggling
wrestles the crab into remission
takes back its space.
— J.T. Verbeck
Two-year metastatic breast cancer survivor
Capitola, California

End breast cancer blues,
Survived Katrina and learned,
Live and love each day.
— Susan Dubinsky
Three-year breast cancer survivor
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana


To read poems by the staff of Heal and sister publication, CURE, click here

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