Poems for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: 2) Jade

Jade dancing, in the front left

This is the only blog post I have ever cried at, both writing and reading. It does not get any easier to read through each time, and I must have read through it at least a hundred times by now. It is difficult to believe Jade has gone, and before all this it would have been difficult for me to understand how two people, who had never met and only messaged over Facebook for a year or so, could become so close. But having the same diagnosis can connect you in a way that may seem strange to the outside world, but means everything to those inside that world. In a weird way, Jade was my rock. Her attitude, her spirit, and her strength is something I admired and will always look up to. I don’t need to say any more to introduce this poem, except that Jade; we all miss you.

 

A Collection of Poems for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

2) Jade

Childhood cancer is my beautiful friend Jade.

One of the best this world has ever made.

 

It is messages bouncing back and forth

Across the oceans;

Slowly,

Often,

Daily,

As you come to realise that Jade,

Childhood cancer in Adelaide,

Is me,

Childhood cancer in Surrey.

 

Childhood cancer is despite the seas

The lands,

The miles ,

Despite the cancer,

The tears

And the trials;

It is the exchanging of smiles.

 

Childhood cancer is feeling so close to a girl

You’ve never met,

Because there’s a part of her,

And a part of you,

That can remain unsaid;

That you both just get.

 

Childhood cancer is the bond

You mould from hurt, fear and sickness

Into strength, love and character.

That, as things grow more difficult,

Makes you grip each other even tighter,

That tells your friend to stay a fighter.

 

Childhood cancer is having lost your old self,

But a girl who was a stranger,

Who never even knew twenty fourteen you,

Rediscovering and gently extending a hand from Adelaide,

So you no longer fade,

So you come out of the shade.

 

Childhood cancer is the strength

Of a girl,

Of a young woman,

Listening to the fears and the tears of another

As she clings on to her health

But lies dying herself.

 

Childhood cancer is my friend Jade

Surviving cancer aged two,

To have it return at twenty two.

Surviving the first attack with a ten per cent chance,

But this time Jade passed.

 

Twenty two years is better than two I guess, but not nearly good enough.

 

Childhood cancer is my friend Jade

With flaming pink hair and a sense of humour to match,

Hurting,

Crying,

Dying.

 

Childhood cancer is trying to give strength and hope to a girl your own age,

Ten thousand, one hundred, miles across this world,

Going through the surgery you yourself had

That gave you clear margins

And depression and post traumatic stress disorder to match.

Childhood cancer is Jade getting back on her feet,

Despite the pain and exhaustion,

Beginning to believe she has a chance again.

All going well, but then…

Childhood cancer is Jade back in hospital.

 

Childhood cancer is Jade,

Too beautiful for this world,

Bloated with steroids,

Confined to bed,

Because of the agony and aching from the tumours

Pop,

Pop,

Popping up along her spine, and

Squash,

Squash,

Squashing her nerves.

Because we like to use smiley, happy language,

To match the smiley, happy bald heads we see on our screens

When it comes to childhood cancer.

Whereas if you lived childhood cancer,

I can tell you for sure your autocorrects would be

Fuck,

Fuck,

Fuck.

 

Fuck, how do I live through this?
Fuck, what if I don’t live through this?
If this is how hard it is going to be, fuck, do I even want to live through this?

 

But Jade did want to live through this

And Jade told me, deep down, she felt she would live through this;

But it did not matter.

Because as much as it pains me

That these tears don’t bring her back,

Childhood cancer killed Jade.

 

So childhood cancer is coming home in the hours after midnight

Walking on moonlight

Floating out the taxi on a day with no fight.

It is getting home,

Unlocking your phone;

And as your heart stops beating,

The sick rising in your throat,

And the world stops turning

To press instead from every side;

Childhood cancer is reading your friend has died.

 

Because no matter her tiny, frail frame could hold your fear on her shoulders

Or that despite her nasogastric tube she was built to move boulders

This disease gives no fucks how special she was made;

Childhood cancer killed beautiful Jade.

 

So yes,

I’ll say it again:

Two years is better than twenty two,

But not nearly good enough.

 

About the Author

tumourhasit@gmail.com

3 Comments

Marilyn

Beth we can only imagine how you have felt, are feeling and will feel fighting this cancer and even multiplying the thought a hundred times doesn’t give us any idea. Your writing and poetry helps us to understand a bit more. I hope more and more people share these posts. It is too easy for most of us to look away and avoid the pain.
Big hugs to you and your family, Marilyn x

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Allison semikin

Beth. You take my breath away with your words.
I know how much Jade meant to you and how much you feel her loss.
I didn’t know Jade but I know how much she did help to you step back into the world again and out from the shadows.
I cannot replace what Jade gave you but I am here for you whenever and wherever you need me. I am here to talk about her and celebrate her with you.

Love you Beth ❤️

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Annelise Cruickshank

Beth I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Jade and only remember you as a young girl. Your writing helps me ( and others I’m sure) to have an understanding of what you face, and your emotion is palpable, keep well. The words bring both of you to life and demonstrate a maturity beyond your years, that too is teenage cancer! Be sure that you will be helping so many others. My love and admiration to you and yours……..Annelise xx

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