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A tribute to those who choose to fight a dreaded disease.


By Tony Radford

The story starts with racing hearts in a room with lots of chairs
where patients wait, anticipate, so little talk – just stares.

On the wall, a clock has stalled and time is standing still,
a silent room, with thoughts of gloom the mind begins to fill.

It finally came, they called her name and led us to a space,
“Please take a seat,” the doc would greet with a kind but solemn face.

The doctor spoke with a stethoscope and clipboard in his hand,
“The tests are back, it’s now a fact - we must devise a plan.”

“Results attest it’s in your breast and we must remove it fast,
to improve your fate, we’ll operate – it’s the only way you’ll last.”

A surgeon’s knife will save your life, some glands may have to go,
though they appear to be all clear, there’s just no way to know.

Some special rules and high-tech tools will help along the way,
the treatments here will last a year, a price it’s best you pay.

The type of cell and stage as well will tell us what to do,
a menu-long of drugs so strong, we’ll mix one just for you.

So here’s the date, you can’t be late, with more unlucky souls
we have for you a bag or two just hanging from a pole.

Here you’ll lay for half a day unless something goes wrong,
if you react, it’s just a fact – you’ll be here all day long.

The needles found in the chemo-lounge are long and very thick.
We’ll add a port so the pain is short, you’ll only feel a prick.

We have some crème to make it seem the pain is not severe,
a little dab, a forceful jab, perhaps a silent tear.

No one knows how things will go, some side-effects aren’t known,
but be aware, you’ll lose your hair as history has shown.

Chemo made one’s bones degrade so now we have a cure,
just pick a spot for a monthly shot, more pain you must endure.

For safety’s sake, we’ll radiate to the point some parts will glow,
but have no fear, we’ll all stand clear and see those cells don’t grow.

And so it goes, too many know the sequence of events,
that painful trip from knife to drip, the sutures, scars and dents.

The path is blazed by every age – all heroes in the fight,
they all endure in hopes a cure is there – somewhere in sight.

With will and strength they go the length – to tread so many days,
the needle pricks, the feeling sick, the poison, cuts and rays.

They want to live, to stay and give, not leave their loves behind,
to fight the curse they will traverse the challenges they find.

All will fight with all their might though some won’t make it through,
but in the end, the strength they send will help the ones that do.

So when you’re out and going about your day – just be aware,
chances are that where you are - you’ll find survivors there.

There they’ll be, but you won’t see a person feeling down,
a scarf that’s tied up top might hide a smooth and shiny crown.

But what’s up there instead of hair should be a sign of pride,
of courage shown – not likely known like the pain they keep inside.

I know well, one heart that swells when I might chance to see,
a lady fair without her hair, in a way that shouldn’t be.

It takes its toll on young and old – the limits very few,
it even strikes our little tikes who’ve just made their debut.

A man, a child, statistics filed confirm it’s on the rise,
an industry has grown to be of such enormous size.

The money’s spent to circumvent effects of this disease
and find a cure that’s so obscure, to bring it to its knees.

No one knows why the number grows, it’s up to one in three,
some folks think it’s what we drink and eat that holds the key.

Despite the cause, take time to pause and go the extra mile,
show you care but don’t you stare – just give a nod and smile.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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