The Cost of Living

by Candice Tucker

Needles in, drains out

Try not to cry; try not to shout

Breathe. Don’t breathe. The testing is almost done

More blood tests to confirm the reality you can’t escape from

The treatment may kill you and the side effects are grave

In goes the toxins...Don’t worry! Be brave!

We’ve almost cured you but not before

We introduce you to the porch surrounding Death’s door

You’re in remission! You’re so lucky!

Now let’s talk about late effects; some can be yucky

You’ll be trapped in a body that you’re not sure is yours

But that’s the price we pay these days for cures

You have organ damage and won’t bear children of your own

But you’re a survivor! Don’t piss and moan!

Also, here’s the bill...yeah, living is very expensive

Hey, you didn’t die! Don’t get defensive

Also you get to enjoy the luxury of constant fear

That the remission won’t last, that your marrow won’t remain clear

Now get out there survivor; put on a brave face!

And endure those side effects, debt, and crippling fear of relapse with grace

Candice 'Nikki' Tucker is a board certified physician assistant who works in Pediatric Oncology. She has long been a poet but truly saw the value in it when she began to face her own health challenges and needed an outlet for expression. She continues to write as an outlet and to document what is the emotional roller coaster that is her clinic work as she sees the most glorious victories and most devastatingly tragic losses on a daily basis.

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April 2018

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