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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.
‘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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