WARNING:  If you were ever in my Creative Writing class, please don’t read on.  You may suffer irrevocable literary damage, and I wouldn’t want to be blamed for sabotage-by-puny-poetry! 

NOTE:  Given the topic of this entry, I’m sure you’ll understand that I’ve provided no illustrations…

DISCLAIMER:  The  cartoon at the end of this entry might be mildly shocking to some and downright traumatizing to others…  I apologize if it strikes you as inappropriate!  But it was sent to me earlier this summer by a good friend, at a time when I needed the laugh, and it succeeded mightily in having that effect!  If you’re not in the mood for a guffaw, you might want to avert your eyes…

Alright, now that all the business is out of the way…let’s get down to brass tacks!  With only one week of daily radiation treatments left, more and more of you are writing to find out how I’m faring!  The simple answer is “Fine.”  Really, truly fine.  But I have a friend who relates his news in mostly poetic form, and he inspired me (you may disagree with the word “inspired”…actually, I disagree with it myself!) to attempt to convey my reality to you in, uh, more subtle terms than the medical/anatomical words usually employed!  Ladies and gentlemen, at your own risk, I give you…drum roll, please…

(Yup, I spent extra time on the stunningness of that title…)

I’ve heard your awkward ref’rences requesting further news
On treatments and reactions of these “parts” that come in twos
I’ve tried to be quite delicate in speaking of my woes
(It would have been much easier with cancer of the nose!)
It’s difficult to speak of certain illnesses, you see,
When they involve less public parts of my anatomy!
But having understood that you request because you care
I’ll try to speak in kosher terms, with bold but cryptic flair
My daily zapping in the land of dirndls, cows and cheese
Will end December seventeenth—can it be sooner, please?
So far, the major side-effects have been fatigue and burns
They’re nothing to complain about if rads prevent returns
I quite enjoy the daily trek from Germany through France
Except that all the bakeries are tightening my pants!
The forty-minute pilgrimage ends in a big machine
That circles as it bleeps and blurps and heals with rays unseen
The nurses all are friendly, except “Poopy Face”—she’s cold
And even though I love them, I must say it’s getting old
Yet all it takes to rid my mind of weariness, I swear
Is realizing that this therapy left me my hair
No chemo—not mastectomy—these treatments could be worse!
So I choose to rejoice as I see nurse after Swiss nurse
Hey, one more week—just SEVEN DAYS—the end is nearly here
My students, wild and wonderful, will fill the time with cheer
So there you have it: your update, ambiguous but sound!
And not even an N-word or a B-word to be found…
Not THOSE words—wow, I can’t believe you let your mind go there!
No, these words rhyme with “ripple” and with “rest.”  Scandalous pair.
And speaking of those two, when radiations ripples wane
I count on resting—this vacation will not pass in vain!
I thank you for the courage you’ve transmitted with your love
(And I refuse to rhyme that line with “Of” or, worse, with “dove”!)
Please know you’ve been beyond mere friends.  Much more: a family.
I am so blessed, so fortunate, that God gave you to me…


I’ll end with some shots of the Kandern Christmas market and my ensemble.  We had a grand time!




  1. OH MY WORD!!!! that cartoon is AMAZING!!!! amazing. i almost fell of my chair laughing. if only that was truth…of what men had to go for 😉 what a lovely poem…it was quite cryptic and yet well written. i enjoyed the part about the bakeries on your journey causing your pants to tighten a bit. I am concerned about the burns…what kinds of burns. are they interior burns? exterior burns?> do they hurt? do you have some cream for them, or medication? I AM glad that the things that you most feared did NOT have to be done…i am SOOO thankful to God for that my dear.

    and once again..i feel that cartoon should be made into a SHIRT 😉 oh what a hoot that would be!

  2. I laughed. A lot.

  3. guffaw.

  4. Happy Christmas Michele! Hey, I loved the “manogram” – I can relate to your feelings! But, uh, Dave said, “Tell Michele that I fail to see the humour in that.” Thinking of you – hope you have a splendidly scrumptious holiday, with lots of laughter, music, food and the people you love to be around!

  5. Hey… now that I’ve read the poem (yah, I am afraid I always browse the pictures first…:o) I just have to say that we BOTH definitely found the humour in that. And then I realized – today is the 18th! And that means you’re done! Bless you! REST!

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