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Harry E Gilleland

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Cancer Could Not Break Her Spirit!
by Harry E Gilleland

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Harry E Gilleland
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           >> View all 165

A free-verse poem about someone I knew and her cancer.

The doctor explained her pain
was due to malignant, metastatic
cancer. Like a thief it invaded
her body, stayed hidden awhile,
and then rampaged through
her internal organs. The doctor
handed her a death sentence.

Cancer this advanced is a fearsome foe,
a fire-breathing dragon that would
consume her body piece by piece.
It cannot be defeated; there is no cure.
There are only delaying tactics.
Give up, and it takes you quicker.
This is David versus Goliath …
and this time Goliath will win.

The doctor scheduled her for
chemotherapy, whereby they pumped
a highly toxic mixture of agents
into her body with hopes the toxins
would harm the cancer more than her.
The toxins made her sick, sapped
her energy, took away her appetite.
She only hoped it was kicking her
cancer’s butt even worse.

The oncologist gave her a prognosis
of three to six months. He didn’t know
her fighting spirit! Nothing in her life
had ever beaten her down, and cancer
would be no different. She’d spit in
its eye and resist for all she was worth.

Month after month she took the toxins.
The doctor was surprised when a year
came and passed. She lived life to the
fullest and cursed the cancer for being
such a bully. She took anti-nausea pills
and bought herself a nice wig to wear.
She continued living as normally as she
could, making concessions grudgingly.

She never felt sorry for the tragedy
that had befallen her. It was all
part of life. You accept the bad, just
as well as the good, she’d say. You
grit your teeth and persevere.

She fought like a warrior against
overwhelming odds. She died an
honorable death, still carrying her
sword and shield. On her last day,
nineteen months after diagnosis,
she told those gathered around, “My
cancer may have killed me … but it
never could break my spirit.”
She remained a gallant warrior to her end.

Her body was diseased, but her spirit
remained strong and defiant. She made
the cancer work extra hard to kill her,
and she died smiling at the life she’d had.

Gilleland Poetry

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 9/26/2012
A fine old to a valiant woman. I am reading more lately about the body's ability to defeat cancers that are continually occurring naturally. If we have the right stuff, we can go through life without cancer. In the case of your friend, I believe her determination turned on certain genes that created the white blood cells necessary to fight the cancer much longer than expected.

Ron
Reviewed by Paul Judges 9/25/2012
Powerfully written, Harry
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