Writing to express yourself

Becsta Member Posts: 1

Hello there,

Has anyone else felt the urge to write or be creative to express how you are feeling about your diagnosis/ treatment?  If so, what do you do with your pieces?  I wrote a poem about chemotherapy, and I don't know what to do with it.  All I can think of is to share it here.  So here it is:

Chemo sucks
balls – A Poem


On a scale of one to balls, chemo sucks balls.


I hate sitting in the ward as the nurse jabs at my veins with
his needles. 

I feel guilty that I harbour momentary ill will towards him,
this man who works to help me.

Blank faced while poison pumps through my body, I fight to
stay calm as though this were a normal thing to do on a Wednesday morning.

I see other people in the ward and wish that they were not
there, having poison pumped through their bodies. 

We don’t talk – we are bound in solidarity, yet maintain our
solitary thoughts.


I hate the tiredness that overcomes me as anti-nausea medication
takes effect. 

I ebb and flow through consciousness, aware but unengaged with
my mother’s attempts to cheer me.

At home I feel heavy, hollow, ill.  I make the sounds and nod the nods to
indicate I am alright, I will be alright soon.

Nausea follows sleep and restless sleep awakes to
nausea.  The days pass.  Is this living?  Where did the week go?

I wait for the haze to lift to feel human once more.


I hate the strange taste and feel I find in my mouth after

A feeling indescribably dull yet unrelenting, as though my
teeth and tongue are not my own.

Smells too strong make my stomach turn – how strange that my
clothes should repel me because they smell too much like me.

I observe these physical phenomena from a distance, waiting
until they abate.  This is but a point in
time, I think.

I awake each morning hopeful for my regular senses returned.


I hate the shift in identity as breaking hair falls through
my fingers.   

The world now knows – I am a cancer patient. 

I was naively hopeful as I whisked hair from the bottom of
the shower; the coming days dash hopes when I find hair on my pillow, on my
couch, on my clothes.

Frustrated, I cut it short and suddenly I am a new version of
me, the version who wears a head scarf and contemplates wigs. 

I dig deeper and fold this new me in, lest in anger I spit it


I hate that other people must experience this strange “therapy”
called chemo.

My heart breaks for children who surely struggle to understand
why the medicine makes them sick.

My soul hurts for the elderly who endure this at the end of
their lives, a trauma where there should be peace.

I anger for people young and healthy, like me, who are told
we are not in fact healthy, and we must be poisoned to be better.  

Chemo is a cruel and unusual punishment for sins unknown.

On a scale of one to balls, chemo sucks balls. 


  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    Hey @Becsta I've been getting paid to write for years. Not sexy, controversial, popular stuff--annual reports, quarterly reports and more bloody reports interspersed with the odd 'how to' or media release.

    This is a good place to write about things that matter, personally. Depending on the day, the year and what else is going on, some people will read your stuff. Or not. Sometimes they will comment, sometimes they won't. After a while you develop your own style which makes it easier to express yourself in a way that feels right for you. Your own voice.

    So much of your poem strikes a chord with me. That feeling of disbelief and becoming 'the other me'. Identifying with others while trying to distance yourself. Well done. Mxx
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Hey @Becsta

    Brilliant lovely.  You nailed exactly how it is.  It has been a couple of years since chemo for me but that sure made me remember what it was like.
    Keep writing, you're good at it, and this exactly the right place to share.  I love to write, but mostly these days it comes out less that literate.
    Thank you for putting into words how most people feel going through this phase of "treatment".
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    I've wanted to write my life down warts and all. Some things I have told my husband and some I have never told a soul. What if it turns out entertaining, enlightening or something? Then I would have to make a pen name and change all names and places to fictitious. Goes in the too hard basket for another year.

  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,261
    Writing doesn’t have to involve publishing! I found writing a journal in the first few years post diagnosis very helpful - a reminder of how things changed, what happened, how I felt etc. It was never intended for a readership, although my daughter may get a copy one day. I have a couple of story ideas (nothing to do with cancer) at the back of my head, may do something about them if I take leave next year. Well done @Becsta, I got through chemo without a lot of the misery but I am certain that getting your feelings out and down on paper helps. 
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    I started a blog to keep friends and family updated on my treatment and it ended up as a journal.  I can look back on it now and track my progress through treatment.
  • Sally_AS
    Sally_AS Member Posts: 8
    Thank you Becsta for sharing your writing with us. I giggled at the opening line and you captured me with your story. Thank you