12 Years in Remission From Cancer

A cancer survivor dedicates two spirited poems to living 12 years post-cancer.

The Twelve Years of Blessings

On the last day of June in two thousand and nine

A cancer diagnosis was mine.

Here I am, 12 years later, a survivor (for now),

And I think “Holy Cow!”

In my mind.

“What has happened, good and bad?

Am I happy? Am I sad?”

More like “ambivalent,” I’m guessing.

Gratefully alive, yet unable to thrive,

For treatment’s a backhanded blessing.


So in the spirit of “12”

I’ve decided to delve

Into the story of what has occurred.

I won’t leave you guessing —

It’s an account of the blessings

That treatment produced in my world.


The Twelve Years in Remission

(to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas)

In the 1st year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me

The tingling of neuropathy.


In the 2nd year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 3rd year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 4th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 5th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

Dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 6th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

Bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 7th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

A chainsaw accident

From the bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 8th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

Helping a friend through cancer,

A chainsaw accident

From the bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 9th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

A third wonderful grandson,

Helping a friend through cancer,

A chainsaw accident

From the bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And the tingling of neuropathy.


In the 10th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

A new DVT (with PE),

A third wonderful grandson,

Helping a friend through cancer,

A chainsaw accident

From the bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And worsening neuropathy.


In the 11th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

Back-to-back concussions,

A new DVT (with PE),

A third wonderful grandson,

Helping a friend through cancer,

A chainsaw accident

From the bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And ever-worse neuropathy.


In the 12th year post-cancer, my treatments gave to me,

Alpha-gal from tick bites,

Back-to-back concussions,

A new DVT (with PE),

A third wonderful grandson,

Helping a friend through cancer,

A chainsaw accident

From the bone-crushing fatigue,

Thus the dis-a-bil-i-ty!

Another lovely grandson!

A new drinking habit (coffee!),

My first baby grandson,

And pretty bad neuropathy!


<<jazz hands here>>

(Don’t forget lymphedema!)

And pret-ty bad neur-o-pa-thyyyyy!

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