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Jeanette Dooley - Joint winner Liverpool Poetry Competition 2011

It's the same old me you know! Since I got the cancer, everyone has changed I'm spoken to in quiet tones, and worse, when out of earshot, whispers I hear about me! How is she? How's she coping? What do the doctors think? Look, you reader, it's still the same old me, The me who sat you on my knee, The me you worked with all those years, The me the professional with a degree, The me who went on holiday The me who even learned to ski Yes that me, I am still here, This cancer, it does not define me, Don't look at me with those worried sad eyes, yes I can still laugh, share a joke Yes I can talk on every topic, we used to argue my husband and me, about everything on the news on TV We used to put the world to rights, Now, all he can say is, "would you like a cup of tea." My friends when they visit, bring me fruit ,and invalid food, I hate it you know, but I don't like to be rude. They look at me different, like as if I'm already wearing a shroud, Speaking so softly, like I would just die if they spoke too loud, Ohh, for the chance to go out for a dance, To meet up in town, ooh just go on, just ask, please give me that chance. The chance to be me, to wear my best clothes, The chance to share our worries and fears, The chance to laugh out loud, till we are both in tears. The chance to just be us me and you as we always were, Just like the cancer was never ever there. The time may come, as this illness goes on, When I can't do these things Because I'm too far gone, But until that day comes, Be the same old you, the us, the we, Don't let the cancer control you, I am still the same old girl, Eyes like diamonds, lips like pearls, I can still wear my hair in curls, So, listen, don't let the cancer define me, Let us carry on, in defiance, let us carry on as always. Jeanette Dooley Joint winner Liverpool Poetry Competition 2011

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