Met a woman recently starting her own journey
The look in her eyes has haunted me

She touched me in a mysterious and unexplained way
My heart aches for her as she finds her own way

Her face, the fear she was trying to hide
Reminded me of me and brought tears to my eyes

It all started for me just over a year ago
But the memories are as vivid today as they were then

The gut-wrenching squeeze of the unknown
Feeling the fear and confusion all over again

Difficult to move on when there are so many reminders
Seeing short hair when I look in the mirror

Every time my fingers slide over the scars
They seem fresh and new, like it just happened yesterday

I have made it to the other side
So now what?

It feels like I cannot win
But every day I keep on trying

There is no manual for life after cancer
They say my life should be back to “normal”

The memories, the pain, the journey cannot be buried
It’s a permanent part of who I am

It will continue to haunt me
To take me back in time

I still get lost and lose my way
Wishing the pain would just go away

There is always a little niggle lingering in the background
Sometimes it sleeps, sometimes it is wide awake

At times it feels like there is a chain around my ankle
Pulling me backward, pulling me down

The fear is still there every day
And I wonder what will set me free

Time will dull the pain
Keep the memories at bay

Every day is still a battle even though I am victorious
The fatigue weighs me down and I am ever so tired

I continue to remind myself that here I am, here I stand
I have been kicked around, but I am now a better person

The day that forever changed my life
Is permanently etched in my brain

The images will eventually fade away into the past
But it is still hard to not look back in the rear view mirror

 

Karen M. Fries

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