The News Is Bleak and Then It Gets Worse


For more than a year, the pain and restricted movement in my jaw are diagnosed as a common joint disorder, but a loss of hearing changes everything.

The doctor’s eyes, nearly frozen in place

Cast downwards, fixed, and distorting his face

Today it seems I’m an interesting case

Three weeks ago he examined my ear

And ordered tests with a note, brief and clear

Three weeks too long to be waiting in fear

The news is bleak and the reason unknown

Were prior tests opportunities blown?

And so we learn that a tumor has grown

The mass is large, it’s been there for some time

But ones like this are so often benign

A surgeon thinks that I could do just fine

The stakes are high as I get on the table

Reposing there, acting brave, but unstable

The needle sharp and the doctors quite able

The fluids drawn, to the surgeon we go

Whatever’s best, I am sure he will know

The images shown on his screen, what a blow

The next few days we await and prepare

The process slow, the pathology rare

The lab confirms a malignancy there

The shock strikes hard, a mind-body attack

But hope endures, helps us take a new tack

It’s time to breathe, forge a plan and strike back

As time goes by, the consensus complete

Advanced, high grade and a challenge to treat

I wonder still, can this cancer be beat?

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Dr. Michael Moore
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