Poetry by Cancer Caregivers

Steinberg, Amir MD, FACP

Oncology Times:
doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000431579.14337.ff
Poetry

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    The Stubborn One

    There once was a patient from Yonkers

    Who loved to drive our staff bonkers

    He always threatened leaving

    Causing his wife's grieving

    His cancer she hopes he conquers

    He did not let us draw morning labs

    And often threw at us verbal jabs

    Eventually he'd consent

    We were shocked he'd relent

    Of course we knew he was keeping tabs

    We really urged him to stick around

    To get his meds to be safe and sound

    But if he did not stay

    There's not more we could say

    He was extremely stubborn we found

    When his white cells began climbing up

    He wanted some wine to have a cup

    He was high as a kite

    The news was out of sight

    He became as gentle as a pup

    He listened to everything said?

    Since he was not going to be dead?

    His discharge was coming

    He began succumbing

    His stubborn tendencies he had shed

    You see the Stubborn One is no more

    He is a gentle man to the core

    But when death seems so near

    And there is palpable fear

    Our dear Stubborn One comes to the fore

    AMIR STEINBERG, MD, FACP, is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, in the hematologic malignancies/stem cell transplantation group in the division of hematology-oncology. He notes that this poem, a limerick, was inspired by interactions with a patient undergoing a stem cell transplant.

    © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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