Poems from Wildfire: Act of Love

It’s not a bouquet

or jewelry

or dinner out

or a box of sweets.

To me,

an act of love

is cutting away

my soiled bandages

and replacing them fresh.

It is helping me bleed fluid,

dark as red wine,

from the JP drain,

while you look at me

with tenderness

in your eyes

and not disgust.

Cathy Gigante-Brown. Writer. Diagnosed at 53. IDC, Stage I. I had a mastectomy, chemo and am on Evista. At 58, I’m not “young” but I like to think I am young at heart. I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry. My works have appeared in a bunch of publications, both online and print, including Industry, The Establishment, The Huffington Post, Essence and Ravishly (where I documented my breast cancer journey with dozens of essays). Several of my scripts have been produced by small, independent film companies. My novels The El, its sequel The Bells of Brooklyn, and Different Drummer are published by Volossal (DD was finished while I was still on chemo). I’m a Brooklyn native, where I still live with my husband and son. @cathygigantebrown

Editor’s Note: This piece has been republished with permission from WILDFIRE Magazine, the 2018 “Caregiver” issue (Vol 3, No 4, Copyright (c) August 2018 by Wildfire Community LLC). More information available at wildfirecommunity.org

Every month, Rethink will be sharing powerful stories and poetry from WILDFIRE Magazine. Use code RETHINK for 10% off anything in the WILDFIRE Shop.

WILDFIRE Magazine is the only magazine for young women survivors and fighters of breast cancer under 45 years old. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, WILDFIRE is a beautiful, story-based bi-monthly magazine published on different themes relevant to young women survivors, from stage 0 to stage IV. Beautiful and ad-free! Visit  wildfirecommunity.org for more info.

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