Aftermath


Two weeks ago the port that was placed in my chest 11 months ago in preparation for my chemo treatments was removed, unceremoniously ending my cancer journey.

I’ve hated that port since the day it was put in because of the pain it caused and what it represented, so I was relieved to get it out. But since having it removed, grief and gratitude have found me in the “aftermath” of this challenging chapter in my life.

With no more treatments, tests, or doctor’s appointments ahead of me, I’m left on my own to put back together the pieces of my life. Actually, I don’t want to “put back together the pieces,” because in my old life I got sick. So Michael and I are working to build a new, better life.

It’s interesting, and a bit awkward, to be here in the “aftermath” of my old life while trying to create a new life because I’m a completely different person, literally and figuratively, than I was a year ago. I’m finding that I need a lot of patience, kindness, and love from myself and others in this fragile place.

What I’m feeling inspired the poem “Aftermath”. I wrote this poem not only because of what I’m going through but also because I believe there are many other people who are in a similar place, whether from a loss, or illness, or an ending of their old life, and also from what we’ve experienced together with the global pandemic.

I hope you find strength in my words.

Aftermath
 
The waves have subsided,
but the ripples continue on
And while the tide has turned,
its current can still be strong
 
It wouldn’t take much, at this moment,
for us to be carried out to sea
For we have fought a long, hard battle,
that has left us weak and on our knees
 
So how do we find the strength to rise,
from the aftermath we are now in?
And after losing so much,
how do we believe that we can ever, again, win?
 
Starting from where we are,
seems like a million miles from where we need to go
But we must dare to reach so high,
even though we’re standing in a place that’s so low
 
Since giving up is not an option,
one step at a time is all we can take
Leaving behind a world that is shattered,
thankful we were strong enough to survive its break
 
Marie Kukula-Tyner

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