Poetry By Cancer Caregivers
This poem is by Allison Berman, RN, a cancer survivor and nurse at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue, NY. She writes: I had a lumpectomy in 1996 and bilateral mastectomies in 1998 and have since contributed to the initiation of the nationally recognized group ‘Breast Cancer Sisters.’ That group was founded on the AOL chat room 'Cancer Chat,' where women from across the United States can meet online at all hours of the day and night and provide support to each other during their times of sorrow, strength, remission, and death.
“Once a year we celebrate our “birth-day” together, as a group, in different locations across the country. It is here we honor the new, the surviving, and the bravery of those lost to breast cancer. My poem represents the faceless women across the US who continue to allow me to keep my head held high, and give me the daily strength, courage, and hope necessary for my patients walking a similar path.
“It is currently my goal to further my education with a Masters/PhD in Nursing Research and Education with the emphasis on monoclonal antibodies as well as angiogenesis and its relation to the growth and metastasis of various cancers.”
The world of poetry is a means of expression and source of comfort for many people who care for cancer patients. This periodic column spotlights poems written by oncologists, oncology nurses, oncology pharmacists, and other cancer caregivers. We welcome submissions—Please e-mail them to OT@LWW.com
Allison Berman, RN
Twenty years old no cares in the world,
Living each day, no end to occur.
I am bright and beautiful, flying callously through life,
Until the day I'm faced with a fright.
A lump in the breast, growing so fast,
No choice—a mastectomy, no hope, what sense.
Along comes anonymous, silly name, no face,
Nothing matters; she understands my pain.
I confide my problems, fears, and dreams
Any of it possible, not with cancer, you see.
She breathes new life into a girl
Who now realizes there's more to learn.
Twenty years old, all cares in the world;
Living each day, hoping no end will occur.