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Cancer Moms

August 6, 2009

I found this on Kyle’s Caring Bridge Site. He just passed away in July from relapsed ALL. The same disease that Isa has. He was diagnosed in 2000, had two relapses and a bone marrow transplant. Like Papa says, “It ain’t over until it’s over, and that isn’t the outcome we’re looking for.” Think of us today as we are at the hospital for Isa’s chemo.

I did not write this poem. Some other mom did, I guess.


I belong to a special group of women
My friends and I have an amazing bond.
We never wanted to be in this group,
Yet we are in, for life.


Maybe we have met, maybe we haven’t,
Yet our love for each other is boundless.
We know the pain the other one feels,
And we share our victories small or huge.


Words like chemo, IV, Zofran, bald heads
Are always parts of our conversations,
As well as roid rage, tears, and meltdowns…
We always know where the closest puke bucket is,
We can hold it in one hand and if necessary,
Swallow the sandwich the other hand was holding.


We can drive to the hospital,
Park in the dark parking garage
Make our way thru the halls of the hospital
And to the appropriate floor,
Settle in a room, turn the TV on,
Give instructions to the head nurse,
Silence loud beeping IV pumps,
Direct a wagon AND an IV pole
To the playroom without hitting anything
Make our way back to the correct room
And all this, mind you,
With our eyes closed at any given time.


We know how to draw blood from lines
Sticking out of little kids chests.
We can hold them down with one hand,
While a nasogastric tube is inserted in their little nose,
And be on the phone with their dads at the same time.
We can live for days on hospital food,
And on maybe only one meal a day.
We know the names of up to 20 different drugs ,
Their purpose, dosage and time to be taken.
We are always on call, 24 hours a day,
Seven days a week.


We are used to not always looking our best,
Hard to do with only a few hours of sleep.
Make up , hair styling, skirts are words of the past.
We have become addicted to texting,
hospital, clinic, home, wherever…
We talk sometimes at all hours of the night,
We know we can count on someone to be up.


Then for one of us, the world stops.
She has to walk away, broken. The job is over, but the fight is on.
Remember, I said we were in this forever.
We are friends, sisters, temporary nurses,
We are each others rock, each others punching bag,
We listen, we vent, we cry, we laugh together.
We share our lives and our deaths
We share our pain and our victories.
We are strong, but not by choice,
Sometimes we win , sometimes we lose,
But never are we defeated.
We are not nurses
We are not doctors,
We are cancer moms…

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