An Ode to Chemotherapy

by admin on May 22, 2015

giftige FlüssigkeitIt’s my eight year anniversary from when surgery removed my cancer and my breast. After this followed chemo and then radiation. When chemo was complete, I wrote a poem called “An Ode to Chemotherapy.” It is a strange poem that I wrote for myself as a way of saying goodbye to chemotherapy. It is both real and really corny. I am not a poetry writer, as you will notice. And I never shared it before because there are parts that are graphic. The truth is that most people do not want to know the details of what a cancer patient goes through. And I don’t blame them. During my treatments, only one person asked me about the details. Most were content to know simply whether or not I was doing alright. So I never thought anyone might like to read this. However, more recently I have shared this poem with other patients who have experienced chemotherapy, and it helped them to say goodbye to chemo too. Thus, I am sharing it now. I felt a silly poem was the best way to make light of the heavy topic. If you know someone who is going through or has gone through chemo, perhaps they can add their own verses to say GOODBYE to crazy chemo!


An Ode to Chemotherapy


Stuff Stuff Stuff arm with port

Next to my heart it stops short

Chemo travels in tube through vein

To avoid burning nerve pain.

Miss Miss Miss-beating heart

Port procedure gives it a start

Doctor says that’s very rare

Just like my cancer… so unfair!

Pound Pound Pound drums my heart

This is how chemo does start

Small steroid pill packing punch

Doctors swear it helps a bunch.

Tick Tock Tick chimes the clock

Steroids don’t form a muscular jock

Instead, keeping me up at night

A sleeping pill makes it right.

Up Up Up tales in head

Steroids turn skin beet red

Chest pounding…is this an attack?

Sure I got steroids…not crack?

Prick Prick Prick in my arm

Access my port without harm

Take some blood and do a test

Checking blood counts at their best.

Drip Drip Drip here it flows

What chemo will do, God only knows

Days to kill a cancer cell

Weeks to recover from that hell.

Thump Thump Thump taps my heart

Are they ready with a crash cart?

Chemo’s bad for my heart I’m told

Although young, I soon will be old.

Spin Spin Spin twists the room

First IV will be done soon

Here comes the allergy drugs

Can I instead have more hugs?

Brrr Brrr Brrr it’s so cold

Shivering as drugs take hold

Ten others in the room like me

Can I have a warm blankie?

Nod Nod Nod falls my head

Drugs make me ready for bed

But steroids stop me from sleep

And chatter in the room is deep.

Chatter Chatter Chatter all around

So much noise, so much sound

Can there be quiet for some rest?

Don’t want to hear your health tests!

Plug Plug Plug my dear ear

I truly do not want to hear

Your tales of woe are too great

I fear this too will be my fate!

Hello Hello Hello nurses say

I get a new one each new day

They’re not allowed to get too close

Fear of patient loss and morose.

Tick Tick Tock hours for drips

Drink lots of water, in small sips

Too tired to talk, too wired to sleep

Lying still…boredom runs deep.

Love Love Love from support

Praying this process be short

Eyes filled with much much worry

Can pain be gone in a hurry?

Flush Flush Flush several times

Instructions in bathroom chimes

Poison is coming out of you

And we don’t want to get it too!

Dead Dead Dead what I heard

They were not talking ‘bout a bird

Nurses discuss a patient lost

Hold your tongues at all cost!

Short Short Short of long breath

Along with a heavy chest

Am I having a heart attack?

To the hospital let’s go back.

No No No my doc shrugs

Cancer doc says, “not the drugs”

Heart doc says, “there’s no clot”

Port doc says, “tube’s in right spot.”

Take Take Take these small pills

Drugs to care for all your ills

A dozen in my body now

At least I’m able to keep chow.

Pills Pills Pills one two three

For nausea, sleep and allergy

And something strong for bone pain

With steroids, weight I will gain.

Can’t Can’t Can’t sleep, eat or move

But slowly get back into the groove

Blood counts say “She’s not gonna die.”

Docs shout, “Give it one more try!”

Stop Stop Stop bodily function

Regardless of food consumption

Constipation is what I heard

Shutdown is the correct word.

Germs Germs Germs everywhere

Germs inside me having a fair

Beast called yeast decided to rise

Thrush on my tongue, no surprise.

Wigs Wigs Wigs to be cool

When I take kids to school

In truth they’re itchy and hot

Costumes I wear, for changed I’m not!

Try Try Try looking my best

Each time I have a valued guest

They tell me that I look well

But without charades, I’m in hell.

Red Red Red, all I see

Blood won’t stop gushing from me

I feel like Carrie at her prom

How can these docs be so calm?

Sniff Sniff Sniff odors and smells

Of every food I know so well

Once something I loved to eat

Now reeking of stinky feet!

Drenched Drenched Drenched in sweat

With young age, the harder this gets

Hormones gone in a mad dash

Not a flush, but major hot flash!

Again Again Again chemo flows

Cumulative impact makes me slow

Each treatment nearer to Death

Finding it harder to catch breath.

Time Time Time and again

As close to death as docs can

Killing this beast “Disease” that began

Long ago with the fall of man.

Stop Stop Stop the presses

Poor blood counts doc confesses

More shots to fix this intrusion

To avoid a blood transfusion.

Kill Kill Kill cells, the goal

But live or die, can’t have my soul

Chemo can kill just as cancer could

But I’m in God’s hands; His will for good.

Lord Lord Lord carry me tonight

I am in a terrible fright

Fever is high…ER should I go?

Are organs beginning to slow?

“Mama Mama Mama, play with me”

Too weak and ill, can’t you see?

“Are you going to be alright?”

Docs say, “yes”– if I fight.

Little Little Little ones, I fear

You are the ones I hold so dear

I want to live to be with you

And be there to see you through.

Truth Truth Truth what I need

So I open the Bible to read

“Will I die, Lord?” I thought

Job 42:12, the answers I got.

Trust Trust Trust His words to me

Clinging His promises sets me free

Live or die…I do not care

For I BELIEVE God’s word; He’s fair.

Yucky Yucky Yucky how I feel

I wonder why my heart stands still

Oh, wait a minute, now I see

Driving near where they injected me.

Tears Tears Tears roll off face

As I drive past another place

The church where I had my prayer

Memories of emotions are there.

Heaven Heaven Heaven is my hope

A life without pain and dope

God gives me peace and sets me free

From Depression engulfing me.





Kimberly Efseaff May 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Makes me want to cry for all the hell
You have been through. Your courage
is immense, and your faith so strong
walking through such a deep valley.
Thank you for sharing such
a personal journey. I love you much
dear sister!

Pat Efseaff May 23, 2015 at 1:26 am

Dear daughter: Even though I helped you daily, it’s hard for someone else to imagine the pain and suffering you went trough. Praise the Lord for healing the cancer and may he give you more strength day by day.

E May 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm


Thank you for sharing your heart and your poem. Never had cancer myself but watched my dad go through exactly what your poem described. What a wonderful assignment God has equipped you for and which you do so well — encourage and give hope to others — just the same mission of Jesus, our Lord. You are a noble ambassador!

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