Fear of Dying From Cancer Shouldn't Stop You From Living

Through the emotions and anxiety of cancer, she realized she was not living her life to the fullest, and that it isn't over yet.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago when I was 32 years old. I tended to focus on death more than life, during and after my active treatment ended as I was so fearful of dying of cancer. Through those emotions and anxiety, I started to realize I was not living. I wrote the poem “SHE” to remind me that there was so much life to live before the last tick of my clock. There are always goods and bads, and a life well-lived will have all that.

SHE

She likes to think she lived a good life.

Lots of friends, lots of fun and experiences galore.

The word joy was often a visitor in her vocabulary.

She didn’t meddle too much in what could be the downward tailspins.

Her path was as vivid as a dream

Yet real as it had to be.

Sorrow came and went.

Anger

Frustration

Jealousy

Sadness

Yeah, they all came along too.

This is life after all.

Life-bumps, as she called them.

Feelings exploded often

And she soaked them up like rays from the sun,

Never able to quite get enough.

When the clouds moved in,

She had her umbrella open.

Pain

Laughter

Peace

Love

They all followed as if ducks in a row,

Lined up one by one

Taking each step as she did.

Problems interrupted as they should.

She dodged them whenever she could

And absorbed when there was nowhere to turn.

Her back was free of lacerations,

For she never turned it.

What was the point?

"You’d miss out," was what she thought.

And then one day it happened.

The clock had finally stopped.

The road no longer paved.

She embraced the joy one last time.

Breath of sweetness:

In

Out

Silence

And the closing words,

Written one last time

In that of each person’s final departure letter,

Words that could only describe her best:

"She lived."

This poem was originally submitted for the CURE® 2021 Poetry Contest.

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