A poem reflecting a real life experience of the lack of compassion a consultant showed during an annual cancer check up.
I am more than just the disease you see,
here lying in the bed.
Or sitting in the chair
outside the clinic that you led.
But let me introduce you to
the patient that you see,
and then you’ll realise who it is.
Not disease, nor check-up, but me!
But first just let me set the scene
as we get close to check-up date.
I worry what you will say to me
as your results could seal my fate.
Inside this so called patient
is a beast I cannot tame.
One that appointment date awakes,
fear and terror is its name.
I have got to know this beast so well
since we met when I was four.
With the surgery and chemotherapy
for Cancer that came knocking at my door.
Now still forty years later
Fear and terror wakes again
As the check up date comes closer
your clinic door, the lion’s den!
First of all the clinical tests.
the blood test from my veins
I watch it fill the path lab pot?
My future it contains.
The terror then starts, the fear attacks
A weakness it has seen
As I sit and wait and worry
whilst you consider it routine.
You’re late again, clinic time delayed,
the beast attacks once more
As I’m waiting for you to call my name
through a semi-opened door.
And consider when I enter,
that I’m not just another on your list
but a person who has this done to
every year with not one missed!
Your bloods are fine lets examine you
routine again I bet.
But every lump and bump you find
brings back memories I can’t forget.
So again more tests, a further wait
This time the beast remains.
I really wish you would understand
what your actions and words contain.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming you
For what the tests you do may find.
But I blame you for not looking
in my eyes and what’s behind.
I am more than just a process
that must be followed year on year
and the words that will put the beast at bay
are ‘Good news. You are all clear!’
Then the beast will sleep again
Just sleep. Not disappear.
But wait to wake and rise once more
for my appointment again next year.
So now you’ve seen the person here
with fear and terror interlinked.
Look behind these eyes of mine.
There’s more to me than you ‘care’ to think!