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(East Kilbride, Scotland)

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Cancer Diagnosis

The shock of diagnosis
was etched upon her face
Her eyes and mouth wide open
slow motion, now the pace
“I’m sorry, ” said the doctor
was ringing in her ears
Her nightmares had come true
her deepest darkest fears.

As she slowly left his office
with a cloud above her head
She struggled to remember
everything he’d said
she really can’t remember
how she made it home that day
but somehow she got there
somehow she found her way.

Her heart was thumping loudly
as she made the calls with dread
she tried to tell her family
what the doctor said.
Although she couldn’t see them
she knew just how they felt
winded by the blow
they had all been dealt.

That night she went to see her
and tucked her into bed
she hugged her daughter tightly
and gently kissed her head
she softly said, “I love you”
and quietly shut the door
the tears welled in her eyes
she couldn’t hold back anymore.

“They’ll make me better, Mummy”
was ringing in her ears
her nightmares had come true
her deepest darkest fears.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Edited: Tuesday, May 24, 2011


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Comments about this poem (Lifejackets by Elaine Macfarlane )

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  • Jenny Kim (4/8/2014 7:27:00 AM)

    wow this is really beautifully sad

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  • Jasbir Chatterjee (4/7/2014 4:42:00 AM)

    Cheer up, Elaine; I can understand how you feel; but with strong will power, it is possible to survive...your daughter can be one of them...

  • Dean Bottomley (4/7/2014 3:31:00 AM)

    A beautifully sad poem well constructed

  • Douglas Mcclarty (4/7/2014 1:55:00 AM)

    Elaine I loved the poem full of emotion and Close To Home a poem I wrote on the same subject.

  • Michelle Claus (4/6/2014 4:33:00 PM)

    Powerful. I have tears in my eyes thinking about the reality of this story for many families. You crafted it well, with truth and sensitivity.

  • Savita Tyagi (4/6/2014 4:31:00 PM)

    Warmest thoughts of compassion goes to the one going through this shock. It is just such a heart touching piece of writing.

  • Stephen W (4/6/2014 12:38:00 PM)

    A very sad and moving work.

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/6/2014 9:28:00 AM)

    It is really a shocking experience in once life that comes like a thunderbolt of statement and diagnosis from an expert doctor that his or her patient is at last in the dreaded disease where suffering is high recovery is partial and unsure in certain cases. Though scientific and medical solutions are coming most of the incumbents are fearful about the disease just like a warrant to the ultimate destiny and sorrowful emotions of a particular case is expressed in perfection by the learned poet which is apt and correct in such cases.

  • Mark Dillon (4/6/2014 9:03:00 AM)

    This poem held me from the start by conveying the shear shock of the fragile hold we have on life. It's the news we all dread, just like the unexpected knock on your door late at night. Brilliant composure. I wish anyone in this position godspeed in their recovery.

  • Sallam Yassin (4/6/2014 4:44:00 AM)

    very painful piece in heart touching in thus wrenchs of depth

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