Robin Marie Lavery was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and eventually found herself in remission. Until the cancer returned in 2013 and she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Robin continues her cancer journey and finds ways to cope and understand the disease through her poetry. In “Monster” she details the insidious nature of cancer.


I lurk around,

Waiting for my next victim.

I creep through the


Nucleus and cell walls.

Zig Zag…I flow

through pathways, spreading

my darkness into tiny crevices

Doesn’t matter how old

my victims are…color, size, age and race

are immaterial.

Divide and conquer;

all for the purpose

of achieving dirty destruction.

No doubt, I am a monster,

eating away at flesh and maiming;

showing no mercy.

Oblivious to the pain I impose,

I am sneaky and elusive;

relentlessly feared.

Given my constitution,

I am stubborn and difficult

to contain, unless you are lucky.

Remember, I think it’s a game,

so you have to catch and kill me;

the winner is up for grabs.