Lost Identity


​Have you ever wondered what it feels like having cancer?

It actually feels lonely, lonely and often isolated

Your life has paused and your dreams are distant

Your friends often avoid you. Social Media turns antisocial

Invitations stop. text messages dry up. Your phone falls silent

Silent, just as cancer has grown inside you


Cast your mind back like the rod of a hopeful angler

To the beginning when you announced your news

The mass of support andsomany people’s views


Have you ever wondered what it feels like having cancer?

The adverts advise the statistics, fact and figures

Age does not matter, whether you work, or have a family or not


Oncology, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, lymph nodes are your new buzz words

Your diary is now filled with dates of the seemingly endless 'cycles' planned

A new chapter begins and with its pages unclear

The side effects hit you, and who you thought was you, slowly disappears


Struck down by fatigue, no appetite or taste

You sleep when you can, days turn into night

Monday soon becomes Friday, week 1 completes

Poor memory, frustration and poison in your veins, so bleak


Losing hair, eyebrows and eyelashes - in effect losing ‘you’

Who is the reflection that you see, can it be true

Is this the sign of no identity, who am I?

Who is this person looking back sadly at me

Tearful eyes, expressionless and solemn you see


You stick to your comfort zone, safe places to hideout

You attend appointments, clinics and blood tests you ride out

Cycles come and go, you know you’ll feel sickened

You soon get an idea that this cancer shit is wicked


Meeting friends can be worthwhile, a coffee, a smile

Its the walking away, avoiding eye contact that riles

Are people so ignorant that they can’t reach out

The truth is they dont know how to and dont even try.


Who is this reflection before me looking back

Yes the person who has a different appearance each time

No signs of pain, No tearful stare, expressionless face with hardly a hair

This person is me, my friend, we’ll get along just fine


This poem is dedicated to everyone who has been unfortunate enough to suffer from any form of cancer, not just breast cancer.


(C) LLEWELLYN-MCKENZIE COMMUNICATIONS 2019