Tag Archives: Cancer

Birthday party

Laura Anne White Rochester, MN   Chemotherapy drug I scan the chemotherapy data into the computer system, noting the date of birth listed at the top right of the screen. Happy birthday, I say, hanging the bag of liquid on the IV pole. Thanks, he replies, and we share a contemptuous laugh. It feels like […]

A Burglar in the Body – Too Heavy

Jan A. Jahner, RN-BC Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA Poet’s statement: In the early weeks of my brother’s cancer journey, both of us were quite ungrounded. “A Burglar in the Body” reflects a snapshot in time. Nine months later he says: “Cancer came with the morning paper, knocking on my door, saying, ‘Guess what? Wake-up […]

The Tyranny of Optimism – A Hectic in My Blood

James B. Rickert Bloomington, Indiana, USA Poet’s statement: “The Tyranny of Optimism” was written after I had spoken to a cancer support group. I became angry when it became apparent that all of us had experienced well-intentioned healthy people asking us to do the impossible: put aside all negative emotions—not mourn the loss of our […]


(An encounter with the Health Care System) Inge Faust I woke up one morning a quarter to nine With an awful feeling in that body of mine And I knew that was not a very good sign Since in my whole life I always felt fine.   How strange to feel so on a sunny […]


Hemal N. Sampat   No bleeding this month. It is how I announced myself. A child arrived And Mom and Dad were overjoyed. Years pass. One day, no more bleeding. No more children to come. Then, bleeding again. It is how he announced himself. A different child arrived Born of Mom alone. Tan-colored, like me […]

Breast Cancer Suite

Terri Kirby Erickson Lewisville, North Carolina, USA Poet’s statement: Since I became a published poet, it has been my privilege to spend a few hours volunteering at one of our local cancer centers, working with a very compassionate chaplain—one who understands the healing power of words. She invited me first, to speak with a group […]

Blades of the mill: a man battling with cancer

Barb Schwarz Karst and Robert Schwarz (Summer 2009) Cancer   THIS CAN’T BE RIGHT “The doctor said it might be lymphoma,” I told his nurse after he had left the room and my temperature had gone from normal happy being to the sweat of a man facing a firing squad in seconds. “So,” she casually said. […]

Artist statement – Blades of the mill: a man battling with cancer By Barb Schwarz Karst

Barb Schwarz Karst (Summer 2009) “Blades of the Mill” is a series of eighteen mixed media paintings representing my brother Bob, four months into his eight-month treatment for cancer. Each of the eighteen paintings contains an image of Bob and a line of poetry that signifies a major turning point in his life. When combining […]