Elaine Macfarlane

(East Kilbride, Scotland)

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Cancer Diagnosis


The shock of diagnosis
was etched upon her face
Her eyes and mouth wide open
slow motion, now the pace
“I’m sorry, ” said the doctor
was ringing in her ears
Her nightmares had come true
her deepest darkest fears.

As she slowly left his office
with a cloud above her head
She struggled to remember
everything he’d said
she really can’t remember
how she made it home that day
but somehow she got there
somehow she found her way.

Her heart was thumping loudly
as she made the calls with dread
she tried to tell her family
what the doctor said.
Although she couldn’t see them
she knew just how they felt
winded by the blow
they had all been dealt.

That night she went to see her
and tucked her into bed
she hugged her daughter tightly
and gently kissed her head
she softly said, “I love you”
and quietly shut the door
the tears welled in her eyes
she couldn’t hold back anymore.

“They’ll make me better, Mummy”
was ringing in her ears
her nightmares had come true
her deepest darkest fears.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Edited: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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  • Rookie - 220 Points Jasbir Chatterjee (4/7/2014 4:42:00 AM)

    Cheer up, Elaine; I can understand how you feel; but with strong will power, it is possible to survive...your daughter can be one of them... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 393 Points Michelle Claus (4/6/2014 4:33:00 PM)

    Powerful. I have tears in my eyes thinking about the reality of this story for many families. You crafted it well, with truth and sensitivity. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,840 Points Savita Tyagi (4/6/2014 4:31:00 PM)

    Warmest thoughts of compassion goes to the one going through this shock. It is just such a heart touching piece of writing. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 6,503 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/6/2014 9:28:00 AM)

    It is really a shocking experience in once life that comes like a thunderbolt of statement and diagnosis from an expert doctor that his or her patient is at last in the dreaded disease where suffering is high recovery is partial and unsure in certain cases. Though scientific and medical solutions are coming most of the incumbents are fearful about the disease just like a warrant to the ultimate destiny and sorrowful emotions of a particular case is expressed in perfection by the learned poet which is apt and correct in such cases. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 12 Points Mark Dillon (4/6/2014 9:03:00 AM)

    This poem held me from the start by conveying the shear shock of the fragile hold we have on life. It's the news we all dread, just like the unexpected knock on your door late at night. Brilliant composure. I wish anyone in this position godspeed in their recovery. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 783 Points Colleen Courtney (4/6/2014 4:09:00 AM)

    I, like everyone had to wipe the tear after reading that last line. Such a heart wrenching poem but yet so beautifully written. If this is based on a true ordeal of said persons then my very best wishes to all involved. Lovely poem. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,545 Points Lyn Paul (4/6/2014 12:19:00 AM)

    These words expressed so well full of shock, sadness yet Hope. Hope and support are so valuable at this time and I Hope the outcome has been positive.I wish you well. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,545 Points Titi Dale (4/6/2013 5:03:00 PM)

    Wow...just...wow. This is a very inspirational and tells a very mportant story to us all :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 14 Points Chandra Thiagarajan (4/6/2013 9:06:00 AM)

    A poignant poem which rent my heart. The shock of hearing that one is afflicted with the Emperor of maladies is really too much to bear! - The words - They 'll make me better, Mummy- - -is the positive part and I wish with all my heart that it turns true.! My very best wishes and may God bless her! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 41 Points Jayne Davies (4/6/2013 1:33:00 AM)

    This brought tears to my eyes! It explains exactly how I felt when the Doctor told me the devastating news that I had Breast Cancer! That was over ten years ago now, but the experience will never leave me! A very emotional poem! I wish you all the best xxx I have written a poem called My Angel and Silver Lady, please feel free to read. They relate to my experience xx (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 41 Points Martin O'Neill (4/8/2012 4:09:00 AM)

    If this poem is autobiographical please accept my best wishes and love for the future. Friends of ours had the same experience when their 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I was heartbreaking but the whole village rallied round in an outpouring of love and help.
    I recently had to go in for tests to see if my symptoms were cancer related but thankfully I got a clean bill of health. I wrote a poem in the hospital on the back of a napkin whilst waiting, called it The Appointment. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 220 Points Jasbir Chatterjee (4/6/2012 12:44:00 AM)

    Elaine, I pray that you get better; not all cancer patients go under and often courage brings them round, just like my own mother... (Report) Reply

Read all 18 comments »

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