Letter to My Former Self
by Joanne Doyle
To the pre-cancer dreamer of life.
How I envy your naïveté.
Untouched by a dreaded disease,
Death always far into the future.
No thoughts of sickening chemo or
The wobbly walks around the block.
No images of that shiny, bald head,
Of the wigs waiting patiently on their stands.
Life was good,
But sometimes humdrum.
When to retire and what trips to take –
Those were your preoccupations.
Well, my dear, your dream was shattered;
You fought to survive.
With the help of doctors, family and friends,
You came through feeling older and wiser.
Now life is not taken for granted;
Each day is greeted with a prayer of thanks.
Family and friends are treasured.
The sky is bluer, the grass is greener,
Sunsets are more glorious and
Ordinary days are just fine.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Joanne Doyle, a two-year survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is a retired librarian living in Salisbury, MD.
This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, January/February 2011.