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Ode to My Friend

October 2022 Vol 8 No 5
Maureen Dever-Bumba
Clover, South Carolina

I am a triple-negative breast cancer survivor and am finally having my port removed. It’s been a tough decision for me, and maybe it is for others. At first, I was afraid that if I removed the port, the cancer would return. Then, I was in a horrible accident, and having the port truly saved my life, by providing the ER trauma department intravenous access for giving me blood and medications during this crisis moment. Now, it’s time to let it go.

Polly comes to me when I am so sick, so scared
And she stays, a constant, always close to my heart
My protector, from the Red Devil
My comforter, from sharp daggers and digs
My reminder, that there is a way back

Polly and I work together
To walk through purgatory, tethered and timed and infused
To pretend that I am whole

And then dawn, a tiny prick of light after we endure radiation together, her beside me
And then I protect Polly
Not certified? No access!
Carefully keeping her safe and flush and alive, just in case
Time for her to leave? No, not yet! I’m not ready! I’m not safe!
“It’s time.” Time to separate? OK, maybe; let me think, let me speak with her.

And then, suddenly she saves my life AGAIN
The accident, the helicopter, can’t get a line, I’m fading
“Is that a port?”
Yes, yes, Polly is there
She takes the fluids, the blood, the drugs that save me AGAIN
She remains by my side in the ICU, the hospital, and through rehab
My protector, my reminder of the way back, bringing me back

Polly and I have walked together these last 2 years
She is quiet, undemanding
But she says it’s time to go
I’m cancer-free, rehabilitated, and mostly whole
But we’ve been almost 5 years together
How can I continue without her?
What if something happens and I need her?

My friend, it’s time for me to go
It’s time for her to go: my friend
Go, my friend.

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