Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Please read!

Charity trustee Shirley Ryan has kindly given permission to share this poem after her first solo awareness library talk today. It gives a good insight of how both we and the parents we are talking to feel and what we are up against when trying to knock down the taboo wall that surrounds childhood cancer but how each talk and chip in the wall counts x (Please note Emily is a fictional character)

I went to the library today, just Emily and me,
It's singing and rhyming and stories you see,
we love this time Just Em and me,
we arrive a little early,eager to start,
Emily s enthusiasm just melts my heart,
we sit on a chair, quite close to the front, waiting patiently to sing and not miss a note,
I look in the corner not meaning to stare, I notice a lady sitting there....
"hello everybody how are you all?
I've come to talk won't take much time at all,
I'm here to tell you of a thing called childhood cancer, to make you aware, hopefully give you some answers,
I don't want to scare you just make you aware, kids get cancer too and it's not so rare"....
OMG really? who was she? coming into to scare Emily and me?
showing us pictures of kids with no hair, mentioning symptoms and signs and to be aware,
Emily is fine healthy too, immunised, not even the flu,
please go away we don't want to hear, my child is ok ,
look it's quite clear.
At last she stops talking, and we can begin, to rhyme, to clap,to start to sing,
but she is still sat in the corner and looks a little sad, a far away look, I feel a bit bad,
Singing is finished so I wonder over, to talk to her no intentions to hover,
she looks at me and begins to smile, and says if you would just sit for a while,
I will tell you a story of courage and spirit, and there is a very special child in it,
this child had cancer became very ill, got sick, had medicine but it never broke his will,
he fought hard he fought strong and it went on and and on,
like George slaying the dragon, then singing a happy song,
like a warrior going into war, he had bruises, pokes and was very sore,
he lost his hair and was sick a lot, but this brave warrior he fought and fought,
he's doing ok now, but that's not to say he has no after effects from those fretful days...
I came to talk to parents like you, because before his diagnosis we were ok too,
so if by me being here makes you uncomfortable or sad, these are not the intentions that I have,
I'm here to let you all know, Childhood cancer is real and it's there,
this is not just for my warrior you see, its for people like you,
your friends your neighbours your family too,
and I hope from this that you will see, then begin to help people like me
to raise awareness, to talk of this too, to make some one else I just did for you.

© Shirley Ryan 2014

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