Courtnie Mckern 1976 (Council Bluffs, Iowa)

February 24 

Wondering thoughts enter my mind,
As the doctor gives bad news.
I’m sorry Mrs, it’s cancer,
From what we have no clues.

I’m going to die, I think inside,
Then she opens up her chart.
The tears begin to instantly fall,
And I quickly fall apart.

I’m thirty-one, I’m way too young!
I have so much to enjoy.
Cancer doesn’t really care,
Whose life it will destroy.

My doctor can see I’m scared to death,
As I sit there all alone.
She holds off on the details,
Til my husband I can phone.

He soon arrives and we embrace,
Not a single word is said.
Outside awaits the doctor,
And the results of which I dread.

An operation must be done,
A decision I must make.
Cancer is present in only one.
But both breasts they can take.

After months of waiting,
The operation takes place.
Everything goes really well,
But a new battle I must face.

They told me I’d need chemo,
Which made me really I’ll.
But I knew my babies needed me,
And I somehow found the will.

I’ve come to terms with my cancer,
And no one is to blame.
It’s adjusted my perception of life,
And a better person I became.

Through the help of my family and friends,
My struggles did finally end.
One day I hope to help someone else,
And a shoulder I will lend!

About this poem

This poem was written during the time I was going thru chemo. I was really scared of dying and I just sat down and started writing my thoughts on paper.

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Written on March 17, 2008

Submitted by Courtnie.mckern on February 17, 2024

1:24 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,244
Words 281
Stanzas 10
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Courtnie Mckern

Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Went to St. Albert high school. Received an associate degree from Iowa Western. Now lives in Bellevue, Ne with 2 children and a boyfriend. more…

All Courtnie Mckern poems | Courtnie Mckern Books

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Discuss the poem Cancer with the community...

  • Courtnie.mckern
    Yes that was a very stressful time in my life, but I made it through with my family and friends! I hope everything went good with your surgery and u are well now
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • dougb.72572
    Very honest account of startling diagnosis and nagging fear and doubt. Crowned off with a victory and newfound courage. Mine was radical prostate surgery in 2017 Christmas time.
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • RonaldBunch
    Cancer is scarry, I'm glad you survived, I hope I never get it, hopefully I'll continue to eat better and lower my chances of getting it...
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • Courtnie.mckern
      thank you! I’ve been cancer free for 16 yrs
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • npirandy
    Pain in very articulate display solemnly spoken.
    LikeReply4 months ago
  • nulllulu641
    I, too have had that feeling. I've got about 7 months. Writing helps in so many ways. In my prayers
    LikeReply4 months ago


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"Cancer" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jul 2024. <>.

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