Reflections of Breast Cancer: A Poetry Series

by Sara Lou


I spent my twenties

In the mirror

Disgusted by my hips, dips and lips

Envious of beautiful women

When I turned thirty and discovered

Mirrors no longer frighten me

For I found the grace to love this body 

Just in time 

For them to cut, poison and eradicate

The love that was new

Eyes Open

In the beginning

My mother told me 

It will surprise you who lights a 

Candle in the darkness

& who fades into the shadows.

I have never heard

The applause of strangers

& the silence of loved ones

As deafening as this.


Did it spread?

Is my body full of cancer?

How long do I have?

During the

Excruciating silence

Of waiting weeks

For results

I wrote a letter

To my husband

& debated

Which of his friends

I should give it to

In the event

I should pass

I ended up 

Keeping it in our home

& there is shall stay

Tucked away

In a drawer

With all my fears


We connect

Almost magnetically

Small talk is replaced with deepest fears

& our jokes are black as night

As laughter covers

The sadness

In the room

Like a blanket

We don’t complain about

Aching backs

Changing eyesight

Or anything

That represents growing old

Because we know

Growing old isa privilege

Only some 

Are lucky enough

To experience


Pacing in parking garages

Crying on public benches

Counting tiles in waiting rooms

He’s a mirror of my own emotion

Holding it together

So I don’t fall apart

& I don’t know what it’s like

To wait for someone else to awake

Just to care for them each day

But my love

When do you have room

For you?


It’s been 5 months

Since I escaped my body

& began floating 

Above myself in the sky

Watching, observing

Without feeling

Because sometimes

Floating is the only way to endure

The heartache that is reality

& I wonder

When will my body and soul

Meet again

Sara was diagnosed with breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma, Grade 3 on July 29th, 2021. After going through surgery, chemotherapy & radiation, she is sharing her experience of cancer survivorship through poetry. Read more poems and words from Sara here.

Read more from the community here!

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