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Cancer Never Had Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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It is not my blood under that microscope
They must have mixed up the vials
I will never have to take steroids or chemo
Nausea will not overtake my body each morning
I am not sick, that blood is not mine
My hair will remain attached to my head
A port, what is that? I will never know
Other kids will not pick on me because of my appearance
I will never sleep in a hospital
I am not sick, that blood is not mine
I will never be a cancer patient
Mutated cells are not destroying my body
My life will not change
I will wake up from this horrible nightmare
I am not sick, that blood is not mine

I lost weight because I didn't eat
I didn't eat because I wasn't hungry
I was pale because I didn't go outside
I didn't go outside because I didn't want to
I was exhausted because I didn't sleep
I didn't sleep because I couldn't shut my mind off
I was weak because I didn't exercise
I didn't exercise because it was too hard
I didn't play with my friends because I watched TV
I watched TV because it didn't take any effort
I was not acting like a normal girl because I was different
I was different because I had cancer.

It was the chlorine in my drinking water
It was the polluted air I breathed in
It was the genes passed on by my parents
It was the radiation emitted from the microwave
I am trapped in the body that sabotaged me
It was my blood cells that mutated themselves
It was the spoiled milk that I drank
It was the pen cap I chewed on for days
It was the school lunch I consumed
I am trapped in the body that sabotaged me
It was the time I didn't wear sunscreen
It was the rusty nail I stepped on
It was the aerosol spray that entered my lungs
It was the reason that I feel so debilitated
I am trapped in the body that sabotaged me

I swallowed the pills because I was sick
I was sick because of a mutated cell
I cried that morning because it hurt to stand up
It hurt to stand up because my muscles were sore
I fell down in the shower because my back gave out
My back gave out because it was being poisoned
I wore a bandana because my hair fell out
My hair fell out because of the chemotherapy I took
I lay in my bed because I was stuck in my room
I was stuck in my room because I couldn't walk down the stairs
I did not look like a normal girl because I was different
I was different because I had cancer

I take back the time I yelled at my siblings
I take back the mean name I called my friend
I take back the anger that escaped my body
I take back the time I forgot to say thank you
Why is this disease destroying my body?
I take back the time I broke that silver necklace
I take back the lie I told my mom
I take back feelings of jealousy toward my classmates
I take back the time I said that I hated my family
Why is this disease destroying my body?
I take back the time I ruined the surprise party
I take back the guilt I made my dad feel
I take back the envy I felt for my sister
I take back the times I pretended to be sick
Why is this disease destroying my body?

I wanted a cause for my terminal illness because I needed a reason
I needed a reason so I would stop blaming myself
I realized it was not anything that I had done because that didn't make sense
That didn't make sense because healthy people did the same things
I needed to stop trying to blame because I had to face reality
I had to face reality because the truth is that I may never know what caused my disease
I learned that cancer was more than a disease because it changed my life
It changed my life because it threatened to take it away
I continued to fight because I wasn't ready to give up my life
I wasn't ready to give up my life because I had so much more I wanted to accomplish
I did not think like a normal girl because I was different
I was different because I had cancer

It was my blood under that microscope
They did not mixed up the vials
I had to take steroids and chemo
Nausea took over my body each morning
I was sick, that blood was mine
My hair fell off my head
A port was an IV's pathway to my veins
Other kids did pick on me because of my appearance
I slept in a hospital every other weekend for a year and a half
I was sick, that blood was mine
I was a cancer patient
Mutated cells were destroying my body
My life changed dramatically
I never woke up from that reality
I was sick, that blood was mine

I look at the world through different eyes because I am a survivor
I am a survivor because I never gave up
I look forward to the future because I know that it is bright
I know that it is bright because I will embrace every opportunity that comes my way
I am thankful for my doctors, nurses, family, and friends because they helped to save my life
They helped to save my life because they knew it was not over
I am proud of myself because I conquered leukemia
I conquered leukemia because I am strong

I had cancer. Cancer NEVER had me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the September 2010 Teen Ink Nonfiction Contest.




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This article has 12 comments. Post your own!

CinnyJones said...
Mar. 7 at 12:37 am:
Hey, I think this poem is absolutly beautiful and I am doing the Relay For Life this year in New Plymouth, New Zealand to help fight against cancer. I was wondering if I could make a promotional video using your poem with full credit to you. This deserves to be heard because its so beautiful and raw. 
Get back to me soon, Cinny x
 
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Haidyn_M said...
Sept. 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm:
I just read your peom today in my reading class, and when I read this, I could tell your heart was put full into this. You are amazing and a BIG reason why everyone with leukemia or any other cancer should stay strong. Just God Bless to You. ♥
 
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IAmWhoIWantToBe said...
Apr. 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm:
This poem is so interesting and it's so, so amazing. You are amazing. And you are inspirational...
 
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eliana924 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm:
This is so heartwrenching! I can't begin to imagine everything you must have gone through... it's amazing that you've survived and you stayed strong and wrote about it.
 
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Keli S. said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 10:06 pm:
Hey. i want you to know that you are an amazing writer. also im sorry you had to go through having cancer but the good thing is it has made you a better person afterward. and im really happy for that because my dad had leuakemia and that was back in the 70s when if you had it than you might as well just pick out your coffin because no one surivied it then. but he is alive and well today but is so ignorant about it. he doesnt consider the fact that he should be dead right now and make the best of... (more »)
 
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ryan236 said...
Oct. 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm:
This was amazing , I also have lueakmia and every word spoke to me. amazing...
 
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rabbit friend said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm:
Emily I can't imagine what you have gone through but this poem shares some light. You are an amazing girl and an inspiration to all.
 
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spease said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm:
Emily - Teachers aren't supposed to play favorites but we do!
 
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laurenleckss said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm:
I am so proud to be your friend.
 
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henlady said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm:
You are an incredible writer, and an inspiring person. This poem is incredible. INCREDIBLE!
 
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sammyjaneeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm:
This made me cry. It was beautiful, and I admire you for your strength and bravery.
 
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soccer_star4GOD said...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm:
this poem. is. amazing. amazing.
 
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