Healing Through Poetry

Helene Berlin’s poem, No Guarantees, is this month’s Healing Through Poetry feature:

Danger may be waiting around the corner

I found it myself in the shower one morning

Suddenly, shocking me, no prior warning

Lump like a rock in me, silently forming


How in the hell could this happen to me?

No family history, healthy at fifty-three

Docs say “mammo today, right away, don’t delay” 

Luckily insurance will pay


Waiting in the changing room all alone

Scared to the bone, pink paper gown – cold

Minute hand slows while image unfolds

Suspicious, irregular borders, I’m told


“Good luck,” the young radiologist said

Hope giving way to dismay and dread

Destiny suspended by a slender thread

Am I going to die?  How far has it spread?


Invasive, aggressive, found it in time

Was it chance or the hand of a Power Divine?

I’m not religious but I’ll always believe

My doctors were angels sent to bless me


Treatment was harsh, slash-poison-and-burn

No guarantees disease won’t return

Modern medicine can’t answer for sure

Though I won the battle, will I lose the war?


Today friends tell me it’s finished, move on

But that’s more easily said than done

I’ll never stop looking over my shoulder —

Danger may be waiting, just around the corner.

Helene was diagnosed with breast cancer a little more than 7 years ago.

If you are interested in sharing your poetry, please email stacia@lbbc.org for more information. You may be the next poet featured on Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s blog!


14 thoughts on “Healing Through Poetry

  1. Helen
    I loved your poem. I can identify with all your emotions. It is a gift to be able to put all those thoughts and feelings into words. Continue to be write and inspire and mostly continue to stay well.
    Lisa Marsella

  2. as a 2yr br survivor,,,THANKS,,I am full of active cancer,,so
    appreciate all the thoughts,articles,prayers and Love–all share,,
    Hugs,,Peggy B

  3. Thank you! I’m glad you found my poem helpful. It was originally posted more than 3 years ago and it’s very strange that there are new comments today because as of today today I am a TEN YEAR survivor!

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