Twas the night before treatment, and, lying in bed,
A flurry of thoughts seemed to race through my head.
The Temodar pills were all lined up with care,
In hopes that remission soon would be there.
The oncologists set me all up with their plans,
And informed consent forms sent home in my hands.
The long lists were grim, naming known side effects;
And risks of the perils that just might come next:
Now, hair loss! Now, skin rash, fatigue, and mouth sores!
On bone marrow damage! Pneumonia, and more!
As this cancer is fast and destructive and mean;
As we meet it with chemo and radiation machine;
With three daily pills until day forty-two,
And a zap of my head for five days each week, too;
To the top of my head, to those cancer cells small --
May they dash away, die away, go away all!
I stood up with a shopping bag flung on my back,
And I looked like a peddler just opening my pack.
A mouth rinse for sores! Anti-nausea pills!
And other such helps for the side effects’ ills!
I passed by the mirror to head toward a shelf,
And I groaned when I saw it, in spite of myself.
I had a round face and a big old round belly,
Thanks to steroids that turn my body into jelly.
With a wink of his eye and the twist of his head,
My husband awoke to relieve all my dread;
And he whispered so softly as he turned out the light,
“It’s okay, dear, I love you. So sleep well tonight.”