Poetry by Cancer Caregivers

Pemmaraju, Naveen MD

Oncology Times:
doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000428326.79737.8c

    Submissions are welcome from oncologists, oncology nurses, and other cancer caregivers. E-mail only, please, to: OT@LWWNY.com, and include affiliation/title, address, and phone number, along with a photo, if available.

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    The Quiet Guardians

    Solemn is the night

    Where blood has been spilled

    In the streets of paralysis

    Not in the midst of War

    But Battle of a different Ilk

    The silent fires

    Never-ending, senseless crime

    Relentless non-front-page-heroics

    Quiet CPR compressions

    While the rest of us sleep in our homes

    Tucked away from the mayhem of the streets

    The first responders' task

    Is seldom the work of glory

    And yet their yeomen's' work

    Is what keeps our families safe at night

    When a first responder dies

    It is his or her family that now suffers

    And the many hitherto unknown victims

    They would have saved from harms grasp

    I weep for the 3-year-old son who, waiting to be read to at night finds out

    His brave father

    Who was killed in yesterday's fire

    I weep for the 10-year-old daughter

    Who will never again go to the movies with her police officer mother killed in the line of duty

    I weep for the paramedic's son who will never again play chase around the house with his father

    I weep for the steadfast spouses of all first responders quietly wondering if their mate is going to come home tonight

    The calling and the sacrifice

    The acts of selfless giving

    To all the paramedics and firefighters and police officers and other first responders who keep our families protected

    We all owe you and your families buckets full of our heartfelt love and thanks for all you do.

    Poetry by Cancer Caregivers

    NAVEEN PEMMARAJU, MD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Inspired by a recent, moving newspaper clipping I saw of a first responder who died here in town, I dedicate this poem to all of the first responders who keep us safe at night, as well as to their loving families,” he said.

    © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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