How Cancer Creeps Into Therapy Sessions


A woman writes about the PTSD she suffered as a result of her breast cancer experience, and how cancer finds its way into her therapy sessions.

I have suffered from PTSD and anxiety for many years thanks to my breast cancer diagnosis 11 years ago when I was 32 years old. Therapy has been my saving grace and that weekly seat on the couch in a therapy session is what has helped me work through the fears, anxiety and emotions that cancer dumps on me daily. “The Couch” is my story of therapy, the cancer that keeps trying to creep into those sessions, and the couch that holds me up.

The Couch

It is where I sit every week and talk about you.

It’s cozy and quiet and yes, quite comfy.

I do the talking and it holds me up.

It listens.

Back and forth,

Back and forth,

My legs shift as I get uncomfortable.

Words can’t describe

That uncomfortable in my mind.

It is you,

Always you.

Lean to the left,

Lean to the right.

My physical presence is in its hands.

You try and speak


It’s not your turn.

You have done enough.

We are not in this for you.

It is because of you.

You constantly interrupt.

As if we want to hear what you have to say.

Of course you sit here too.

You always tag along,

Making yourself known.

Fidgeting hands



My hands do a dance

As they sense you.

It’s why I am here.

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

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