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Poetry and Medicine
March 16, 2005

My Radiation Treatment

Author Affiliations
 

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to charlene_breedlove@jama-archives.org.

JAMA. 2005;293(11):1301. doi:10.1001/jama.293.11.1301

for Diane, Heather, and Allison

1
Every week four or five, completing the course,
bring candies, cakes or cut flowers: I see,
this is a type of sanctuary for the hurt.
2
Colorful fish weaving through coral and seaweed:
I begin to see myself as part of another life
larger than my own life.
3
These one-size-fits-all cotton gowns,
white with blue binding, always tie on the right:
Sharing this common burden, I grow in self worth.
4
We stroll by the Keukenhof garden,
its tulip beds, its cherry trees, its dark water, quietly
hanging behind lighted glass.
Decades before cancer,
savoring delights of the original near Amsterdam,
I didn’t know death as soil for beauty.
5
Is more than courtesy at work in this place?
I begin therapy with love of family and friends,
I finish beloved by the whole earth.

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