Canceled for Cancer

She won’t come down for supper tonight
(exhustion to the bone she aplogizes.)
Bring down your belligerent hammer
Shattering my head. Go down,
Smiles arrive with the company.
Folders holding their paper thin whispers
Presenting cakes in eggshell boxes
Handled and tied with candy cane twine.
Bakery buttercream surrounding vanilla sponges,
On doilies that leave a snowy trail and cling to your
Raggedy robe, sash untied and waving goodnight.

The hours slipped out with my hair
From the knot in my head
And the last door latch sounds
Finally. I meet you by the blue skipping
Light where you hand me some sugary flowers
With a clear plastic fork and a used
Occasional napkin.

Choking on a gilded fist I spit
Resistance onto the rosewood floor.
Shoulders slump and roll over my concave chest.
Tired as a rag doll dressed in raw burlap,
Eyes of simple plastic moon glow buttons
Centered on canvas, threaded with red vein thread.
The torn head bows, stitched over and over
Exhausted by breath excused for the whispers
“How does she do it? What does it look like?”

Talk of cures and tinctures and dragons tails.
I can still hear you slapping your thigh,
Distant laughing, over-sold stories.
Hysterical scorn defers to look at me,
Your cheek down on my lap I stand up
Leaving your face on the old gold sofa
Its brocade brambles emboss your cheek.
My slippers slap the stairs
Punishing the boards like a mother’s hand.
Upstairs the bedroom mirror stares back
I laugh along with her reflection —
My face looks uncooked and raw
Like a boxed frozen pie.


Female. East coast transplant living in the Bay Area of California. Living with Stage IV breast cancer. Married to the coolest guy in the universe who occasionally suffers from serious depression. Love my stepsons, although I never thought I'd have that thankless job - ever! And my best friend Simon is also my cat. How I have survived with stage IV: treatments including chemo and surgery; palliative oncology; tenacity; a dark sense of humor; support groups; and my newly reinvented career as a vintage and antiques maven. Some days I miss the old me who led a well respected and well paid life as a business strategist in high tech. So much for that. I blog to simply share my experiences and my poetic approach with others who have cancer of any kind or with their care givers and those who love them. If one person at the very least finds a little commonality or a friend out in the ether tor a smile, a common nod about this experience, or even a link to assistance, then I have accomplished a small but extraordinarily meaningful goal. Go team.

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