Monday, February 19, 2018


Carefully placed 
under tissue paper I found 
nestled between
colorful cottony socks 
in a pouch of shimmering silver, 
were three golden ribbons 
like crossed fingers of hope, 
a pair of earrings 
and a small charm--
that medal of honor
tiny beading attached 
linked one after the other. 
One word repetitiously 
encircling the third, 
survivor, survivor, survivor, survivor 
it read. 
Meant to bring joy
by the sender to me-- 
an early stage cancer patient 
treatment now ended 
deemed cancer free. 
Do I tell her I’m not 
nor never will be 
the survivor she is 
with cancer behind her
instead of in front? 
How once I too thought 
when the treatments were done 
I was a survivor 
and would gladly have worn 
that delicate necklace 
of silver and gold 
with that word and the hearts 
the meaning so true, 
at the time. 
Or do I say thank you 
and nothing more, 
letting her think
a word we both share? 
With cancer behind, inside and ahead, 
my eightieth infusion 
just hours away, 
survivor, survivor, survivor, survivor, 
with the four little hearts 
that golden ribbon of hope 
will remain tucked inside 
that silvery pouch 
my silent reminder 
a word I can’t wear. 
Survivor I want to be; 
survivor I hope to be. 
It's not supposed to be me. 


  1. I believe as long as we keep getting up everyday we are surviors. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Martha, Many people share your view, and I do see where you are coming from: if you are still alive then you are surviving. But, I have thought for a long time that if someone survived a car accident or cancer, they were no longer dealing with the physical results of that event. Since cancer is still in my body--somewhere--then I have not survived it because I am still dealing with it and always will and am supposed to die from it--unless something else kills me first. I think this topic will always be debated by those affected by cancer and other diseases. Thanks for sharing the your viewpoint.

  2. Gracias lisa. Rosy mexico. Somos sobrevivientes por el hecho de estar aqui

    1. Hello, Rosy. You agree with Martha that we are survivors (somos sobrevivientes) because we are here. I do see your point but wanted to share my point of view on the subject. I love to hear from my readers. So glad you stopped by.