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Meyskens, Frank L. Jr. MD

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000287839.62842.3c
Department: Poetry By Cancer Caregivers

The world of poetry is a means of expression and source of comfort for many who care for cancer patients. We welcome submissions from oncologists, oncology nurses, oncology pharmacists, and other cancer caregivers. E-mail only, please, to:

Bumper cars on the freeway

and a routine x-ray brought you my way.

It's probably nothing you were told,

just a cyst…or something.

The anticipation in your eyes,

the trembling of your fingertips,

the twenty pounds you had lost

said that probably was full of lies.

The massive spleen was testimony enough

to the hastiness of a busy ER,

a finding often missed

if you weren't looking for it,

and the next gunshot was on the way.

The fear, the quiver, somebody else, not me.

Nothing to worry about:

spleens come out all the time

with ease and facility.


And the chemotherapy is well-tolerated,

the radiation pretty standard,

side effects will be mild.


Two months of fever and chills,

Muscles wasting away,

must be an unusual bug.


I know how you feel.

“Oh you do,

do you (such arrogance),


I hope not.”


probably not.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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