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
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;
As you come to realise that Jade,
Childhood cancer in Adelaide,
Childhood cancer in Surrey.
Childhood cancer is despite the seas
The miles ,
Despite the cancer,
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.
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.
With flaming pink hair and a sense of humour to match,
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
Popping up along her spine, and
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, 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.
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.
I’ll say it again:
Two years is better than twenty two,
But not nearly good enough.