May 17, 2019

10 Things Worse Than Dying

By Ellis Emerson


There are worse things than dying.
Like grudges so old that you don’t even
remember why you’re angry.

There are worse things than dying. 
Like well-meaning people who tell you that
at least you have the good cancer.

There are worse things than dying. 
Like middle school lunchrooms and nowhere to sit. 
Or maybe just all of middle school.

There are worse things than dying.
Like hospital waiting rooms an hour after 
your appointment was supposed to start 
and no WiFi.

There are worse things than dying.
Like someone eating the leftovers that
you’ve been looking forward to all day.

There are worse things than dying.
Like people who tell you to look on the 
bright side and everything happens for a reason.

There are worse things than dying.
Like regretting not taking that trip to San
Juan when you had the chance.

There are worse things than dying. 
Like Netflix asking if you’re still watching 4
hours into a Breaking Bad marathon. Again.

There are worse things than dying.
Like taking yourself so seriously that you
forgot how to laugh. At the world and at yourself.

There are worse things than dying.
Like not really living.

May 17, 2019

Stuck

By Rachel Mihalko


This time last year
Was one of the worst times
Of my life

And all I can think of now
Is what happened then
Not what is happening now

I just want to move on
And forget this time last year
Because it feels like no good came from it
And I wish it never happened at all

Because then
Maybe I wouldn’t be stuck there now

May 17, 2019

That Was the Plan

By Ellis Emerson


I thought I planted tulips. I was sure I planted tulips.

I read about tulips. How they grow best. I studied them. Pests and diseases. The food they need. I planted rows and rows of tulips. Carefully all spring, I lined the dirt with bulbs.

Soon I’d have a field of all brightly colored tulips.

That was the plan. Anyway.

I’m confused. I now have roses growing instead. They’re lovely to look at but I can’t get past the thorns.

May 17, 2019

What You Grow

By: Rachel Mihalko


Flowers die with winter’s snow
You must water what you grow

A year ago I saw the snow
You must water what you grow

Winter was long would not let go
You must water what you grow

Now I see light down on the road
You must water what you grow

Hope sprang with the grass I mow
You must water what you grow

Now it isn’t perfect, though
And the plant has built its home
So you must water what you grow

April 23, 2019

CAPTIVATED

By Michelle L. Urmeneta


Captivated…

not by one, not by many…
this past convention I made lifelong friends — -not few — — but many…

Pam, the one who sponsored me to come here…
you still owe me $440 for hustling the table and sporting that gear!!!

Kane, drinking buddies from the start…
in the 50’s… you left imprints on my heart…

Peter, you’ve got strong orator moves…
but nothing can compete with those “grooves”…

Todd, an imminent presence that warmed my heart…
a prominent new homie from the start…

Erin, thanks for sharing your skills…
who knew — -you don’t have to seduce to get a free meal!!! 🙂

Jaden, although we’ve known each other awhile…
it’s a reassurance to get one of your unique smiles…

For all others that I missed…
thank you for making my weekend a bliss!!!

-Michelle L. Urmeneta

Memories of CancerCon 2019…

March 27, 2019

One Day

By: Rachel Mihalko

Lucky is not a word I would use
To describe what I have been through
But perhaps I could change my perspective
And try to see things
Another way


I have grown 
And matured 
And become more myself

I have learned
That things are not always 
What they look like
For I never really looked
Sick.

I have gotten closer 
To others
Who have suffered 
And I have seen the beauty
That comes 
From pain.

Everyone around me
I seem to count as lucky 
But why
Can’t I see that for me?

I have survived so much
But I still cannot see
How surviving 
Counts me lucky

Because 
Did I really deserve 
To go through this 
At all?

So one day I might be able 
to count myself lucky. 
But today is not yet 
That day.


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