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You - A Poem by Diane Leopard



by Diane Leopard

YOU crept silently into my life

YOU came along without warning

No lights flashing, no sirens screaming

Are YOU real or am I dreaming?

YOU turned my world upside down

As only YOU can do

The lights went dim, my head was spinning

I didn’t know if YOU were winning.


YOU might stay

YOU might go

Do any of us really know

YOU made my days so cold and lonely

The tears I cried left me empty inside

But, what YOU didn’t know

Is that my world is filled with so much love

I was wrapped in a protective glove.


YOU changed my world but that’s not bad

For every day I feel so glad

The beauty that surrounds us all

Was waiting just outside the door

YOU held my life in your cold hand

But YOU gave my world a loving glow.


If YOU should ever call again

I’ll walk with YOU into the rain

But just for now we walk together

 Your shadow never far away

YOU may come, YOU may go

YOU may take and YOU may hurt

BUT, just for now I want to say

Thank YOU for giving me a bright new day.


In 2013 aged 49 I had treatment for breast cancer. Since then I have taken up photography and have created a series of non-clinical photographs to describe the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis called ‘Focus on Emotions’. Some of which have been published at The Breast Cancer Art Project,  and on several other websites.

Shortly after my five year review I started writing poetry. Poetry has given me a way to express some of my innermost feeling, the words just flowed from my heart.

Both photography and poetry have been very therapeutic and healing for me, I found a creativity within me that I didn’t realise even existed.Poetry

You’ tells my cancer story from the devastating diagnosis, the constant fear of living with the worry that it might return and how I found a way to recover and enjoy every day.

Reflecting on who are, who we have become, and learning to and accept ourselves no matter what we see is sometimes difficult. But, it can improve our general wellbeing and bring about contentment and happiness.  We are our own story of life and I am certainly enjoying writing mine.

I am the wellbeing therapist for the MS Society in North Staffordshire and  have delivered several wellbeing and self-care presentations for Breast Cancer Care, along with wellbeing and Mindfulness sessions in our local primary school (aged 3-12). I do breast awareness promotion at events for our local breast cancer support group Pink Sisters and write as a guest blogger.

I hope to encourage other cancer patients to consider expressing themselves through photography and poetry.

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Diane Potter (not verified)

I love this - it sums it up so totally and completely. I was diagnosed in Sept 2019 at the age of 60 and it changed my life. But I am now also taking the plunge to do something different with my life. Wishing you all the very best

Diane Leopard (not verified)

Hi Diane, thank you so much for your kind message. I hope that you are keeping well and enjoying doing something different with your life. Take care Diane