If the shoe fits (autobiography in five short chapters)

walk image credit: Good Search

I love this poem. Whatever your current situation, this may fit. Maybe you’re upset over something, maybe you’re just ready to approach life from a new angle. (How about a TRY angle?)

If you’ve been re-diagnosed, and are in the sad, angry, or why-me stage, this could relate to cancer. It’s not making those emotions wrong, it’s giving you the opportunity to choose empowerment. And it’s okay if you don’t choose that right away. Emotions must be payed attention to, or they will move from whisper to scream, and that will affect your health even more.

If you’re a caregiver, the poem could be for how you play your role. Cancer is a heavy load to walk with someone. Note the word with. You alone, cannot carry this load. Share it. Ask for help. Give yourself “me” time. Lighten up. Love yourself.

Put on your walking shoes…

Autobiography in five short chapters

by Portia Nelson


CH 1

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to get out.


CH 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


CH 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in… it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


CH 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


CH 5

I walk down another street.



What’s your cancer song?

still standing Image credit: Good Search

You know how it goes. You hear a song on the radio, and it’s not a love song, or break-up song, but a cancer song. The words fit your situation perfectly, or communicates what you need to hear to boost you up. When I was first diagnosed, I played and re-played Mario Lanza’s “When You Walk Through a Storm.” The song gave me strength, reminding me I was not on the path alone.

Then, my roots deepened with a gospel song from The Glide Ensemble Love to Give CD. “God Will Take Care of You.” I’d play the second one all the way to the cancer clinic—over and over, and over. “Don’t you worry so much about the path you chose. . .”

Word got out I was groovin’ to gospel. I was gifted the WOW Gospel 2008 CD. I’d have my morning pep session, listening to a song on the CD sung by Myron Butler and Levi. “Stronger” starts off with a guy saying, “Ugh, I wasn’t really expecting this.” It makes me laugh. What a perfect cancer lament! Then the song goes into, “You thought the test was gonna take you out, but now you’re stronger than before.”

Toward the end of chemo, my song became Elton John’s “Still Standing.” “Did you think this fool could ever win, well look at me, I’m comin’ back again. . .”

Several years later, I was re-diagnosed, a second time. Working out at the gym, Pat Benatar came belting over the radio: “Hit me with your best shot! . . . You don’t fight fair – that’s okay, see if I care. . . I’ll get right back on my feet again.” The song gave me some “umph” to put into my workout, as I sang this song along in my mind to cancer.

What song brings you through though or scary times of the cancer journey?