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We're Watching You

Cancer Cannot

Cancer Cannot

By BMCC undergrad Samuel Lim.

Do you see it? Can you hear it now?

The fine plains and plateaus, the mechanical sounds,

The report, the surreal words that the doctor mouths,

Your heart takes a dive and your mind shuts down,

Then you wake back to life just to face death,

Your lungs clench and hug your chest,

Taking away what you think would soon be your last breath,

And then the doctors tilts his head and says

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this ma’am,

But we found a tumour….”

And the next few words you hear feels irrelevant,

Like having your crimes read back right before a sentence,

Like committing to sin right after your confessions,

It doesn’t matter when or how you got there,

The only words you hear is ‘tumour’ and ‘cancer’

Then comes the cure and denial before the acceptance,

And as you lay in bed at night, you start to question

“Is it me?”

“Could it be careless carcinogens or a rogue gene?”

“Was it that social smoke in college or too much red meat?”

“What could have caused this bodily disunity?”

Truth of the matter is, it’s not your fault,

It’s your body, and yes though you feel it is your responsibility,

You didn’t and couldn’t have known about the secret coup,

Broken and mutant cells that refuse to die off and leave,

Like the millions and billions of its brothers without mourn or grief,

It’s the Paradise Lost of biology,

The rebellion of the few grow and have brought strife to the body,

And in all the pain, there’s a sort of poetry,

It truly does reflect man’s misguided mission for immortality,

Then next few days are ones of familial pity and pondering,

“Do I bite the bullet and go under the knife or take the yellow bag?”

“Or should I just accept that I’m 1 in the 26 and look back at the life I’ve had?”

And this is the power of cancer, that mortal menace,

That beast that will not cease until one of the two is vanquished,

Cancer can bring your life to a stop, physically and mentally,

Cancer can bring great hardships and suffering,

But what you can do, cancer cannot,

Cancer cannot stop you from hoping and fighting,

Cancer cannot destroy the beautiful bonds that tie us in,

Cancer cannot kill the spirit eternal that thrives within,

Cancer cannot take away the life that you have lived,

Cancer cannot fathom the warmth of the love you feel,

Cancer cannot stop you from enjoying that McFlurry,

Cancer cannot stop you from carrying on life’s great journey,

Cancer can only slow you down, but you can run faster,

Cancer can throw punches but like Ali, you can fight harder,

Cancer can say you are weak, but you can shout louder,

Cancer can try to make you feel less, but it is you that dictates dignity and honour,

Cancer can only destroy, but  only you can recreate,

Cancer can try but you can triumph,

And in those dire moments, on whatever decision that stands,

You remember that cancer cannot whereas you can.



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