How Far We've Come Since Cancer

Kim Johnson shares poetry from the night of her seizure and how much of a difference three years makes.

We are coming up on the third anniversary of my sister's seizure. On the morning of March 3, 2015 The Medical Center of Aurora called home and my twin answered. He tossed the phone to me, and, to my surprise Angie was on the line. After going back and forth, she told me that my sister has suffered a seizure and I needed to be with her. I rushed to the hospital and tried to wrap my head around the situation that was unfolding.

I had seen so much go wrong with her treatments, but I had never seen her like this. The doctors were scrambling to figure out what kind of patient she would be once she woke. For me though, I was left to wonder if she even was going to wake up.

After all the staff from fifth floor had come to see that we were OK and friends had gone home, I was alone, in the darkness of night, with all of the machines beeping and blinking these were the thoughts that were running through my head...

There is a girl

A young woman

Nearly twenty-eight

Years of age

Been by her side

More often than

I’ve been alone

For far too long

No different than the rest

This chose her

For what reason

We are all so perplexed

Her breath, she breathes

So forced

A choice I’m not sure

Truly chosen

Gaped mouth

As sleep has taken hold

A false picture

Betraying the truths that

Her body holds

Wonder if the ghost I see

Is the lasting image

That I shall forever see

When my mind

Conjures up memories

The cards of life

She has been dealt

Are of a game

That no human soul

Should have to play

All the adventures to be had

Journeys through utopias

All the places yet to be seen

That her eyes will never see

It will be hard

Harder than my imagination

Can imagine now

Unforeseeable when she

Will reach the peak

When this darkness envelops her

Will I then be able to see

Uncertainty has filled my life

Try to articulate words when speaking

Strung together carefully

Hiding the emotional thoughts

Spinning like a hurricane

Jumbled with worries

I can no longer control

As time steals her away

Try to catch a broken life

Before the shards are in the ground

So hard when you

Can no longer do

Because it simply is done

Waiting causes pain, or it did

With no choices, it used to hurt

Thought these scars

Were the ones that people say

Time can never heal

But numbness fills

The void when

Reality sets in

This thing inside of her

She wouldn’t, she couldn’t see

Now known

Shown for all to see

Eating away at her

Stealing away the girl

Just twenty-eight

Years young

When I read through this, I am astounded out just how far she — how far we – have come. It is wonderful knowing that she has been in remission for just over a year now. I am and continue to be marveled by how her journey unfolded but grateful that against every odd, she is still here with us today.