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Poetry by Cancer Caregivers: A Note to the Devil Called Cancer

Indelicato, Jill M.

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000364237.23415.65

So you think you got me this time, with a stage III, grade III, diagnosis,

Well think again—Devil, you don't have me.

I will give you a little credit, you bent me way over for a while,

My spirit laid on the ground, like the limbs of a downed tree.

For weeks, I was lost, and wanted to give up,

I spoke of nothing else, and cried at every thought.

You slapped me around for weeks on end

You continued, on my mind and spirit, your assault.

With my spirit broken, and so sick from treatment

I couldn't think of continuing, I was broken; so I thought,

But you forgot who I am, and who my friends and family are,

They stood me up, and until I could, it was for me they fought.

Oh you almost had me, Devil, but God stepped in too.

And you are not, and never will be, a match for God and I.

You won a few rounds, you took my breast, and even my hair

Ahh, yes my spirit you rattled, but I will not give up and die.

Devil, you can have my breasts, but that is all you get,

You see, I am a Survivor, I have been, for my whole life,

I have survived the odds each time life handed me a fight

And this time I have more help, a supportive and loving wife.

You might win a few more days, here and there

As treatment takes its toll on my body, for a while

But I will emerge on the other side, stronger,

And ready to face life with a laugh and a smile.

You had me for a while, I forgot just who and what I am,

I am a Survivor on this journey—life is for living,

You forgot that, and you forgot all of those on my side

You forgot their spirit, their love, and their nature for giving.

So we will battle for a while, but you will not win!

I have too much to still do and much more to give,

God will carry me, when I cannot walk on my own,

I am a Survivor and I want to live!

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

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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