The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

The Now

by Joanna KreiselPatient & Survivor, Breast Cancer; CaregiverMay 22, 2024View more posts from Joanna Kreisel

In 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33. I had surgery and treatment in Boston and then moved home to Hudson Valley, New York to live close to my family. I met the love of my life shortly thereafter. After about two and a half years together, in October 2023, he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. He is currently undergoing treatment via a clinical trial. Short of my five-year cancerversary, I am now both a survivor and caretaker. Below is a poem I wrote while reflecting on this experience thus far.

* * *

The Now

I thought I couldn’t bear any more

Then I expand


Time slips away, slowly

Awake with grief

I dig deeper, heart heavy


Mine, scars

His, wounds

Lean on me, I will take you through


I tighten my grip, but it continues to take

A strength stronger than before

I wish I didn’t need to be


Moments of deep despair

We share tears

You are home, where I need to be

I am yours


I long for before or after

But there is only now


Joanna Kreisel

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