The Club

Friday 23 August, 2013 by Dean

I'm a type 1 diabetic and have just started my battle with melanoma. I wrote a poem and showed it to a few people. They've all urged me to send it to you as they found it inspirational in different ways. Here's my poem. Please warn others of this terrible club that's always recruiting, always looking for new members. For today is Daffodil Day. A day we acknowledge, and raise awareness of 'The Club'. I'm a new member... Today I'm lying in a hospital bed all alone and scared. I don't want to acknowledge cancer today, I want to hug my wife instead. She's not here right now, so I wrote this:

The Club

I'm a new member of a dangerous club.
No, I'm not a Rebel a Crib or Mustang.
I didn't ask for membership – as no-one would. And I cannot leave, but I wish I could.

Each year you renew, if you like it or not,
And you get scanned and poked to examine your rot,
to see if it's grown, or if it has not.

You can never get out, or leave when you want.
You see, the club is called CANCER, believe it or not.
Blood in, blood out... check in, check out...

Here I lay in my hospital bed,
melanoma removed, but still a threat.
Surgery, drains and needles are strangers no more,
it's the recovery time, the pain, the hurt that there are no answers for.

Panadol , morphine, OxyContin, pandadene forte, yep I've had them all
Brings some relief as you lay quiet and just stare at the wall.
Melanoma it seems is a popular thing. Varies in shape, size, and it can even hide.
If you find it early, you're one of the lucky ones. For those that don't, your pain has only just begun.

My wife found mine at an early stage it seems,
if she hadn't then things would've been really quite extreme.
I'd be counting each day, and I'd cherish every breath,
not knowing when I could kiss my dearest MAX next.

I thank her for this whenever I can, for I love her so much and I'm her biggest fan.
I don't want to hurt her for I love her so much, but now I have cancer, how's that for luck?

Max has been with me every step of this journey
didn't leave my side as she followed the gurney,
into surgery to have it removed, dying to hear 'It's all been removed!'

...Still waiting... Remission it seems is the best we can hope.
It will never be gone, I have it for life. It's lucky I have Max, my beautiful wife.
She helps me get through, and gives me support.
God knows I need it, or else I'd fall short

Us men sometimes forget, we're not that invisible
No matter how tough we act, cancer is unpredictable
You cannot run and you cannot hide. My advice to you is to swallow your pride.

If you find a lump, or an unfamiliar bump, get to a doctor before it's too late.
Check your skin at least every three months.
Anything strange report it at once.

Ladies, too, can join the club,
for you are included, and won't be snubbed!
This club is not picky, it will take anyone really
This is the bit where it gets really scary.

Picture three friends. Now, pick them carefully,
for those three friends could start on this journey.
You see 1 in 4 is the general rule. 1 in 4 join the club,
that's not made up or futuristic. They will simply become another statistic.

So what can you do to avoid this mess?
We've all heard the obvious of slip, slop, slap
We've all heard the warnings, they're all so familiar
But what about those that are growing within you?

Check yourself often, and move on to a loved one,
if you find nothing, then call it a dry run.
I thank my wife for the early detection,
and hold her every day to show my affection.

I love her so much and will fight to keep her
Cancer won't win, it only brings us closer
For we have a bond, and it's two against one. I hear her crying, and silent sobs
Wishing it away, feeling she has been robbed.

But together we'll fight, and we'll stop at nothing.
For the glass is half-full, and a cure is forthcoming,
Many before me have been on this ride, many of them are still alive,
they still have hope and they still have pride and donate often to keep the dream alive.

You see cancer is deadly and not to be taken lightly,
but with research and money, a cure is likely.
I don't know where my journey will end, but if you've just read this - I've at least warned a friend!

If you or someone you know has melanoma and would like more information and support, call our Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 and speak with one of our experienced cancer nurses. See also Melanoma Patients Australia for more support. 
Updated: 23 Aug, 2013