Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate

A friend of mine

Who I see as

Objectively beautiful, kind

Loving and generous

Who inspired me

At a time when I was

Nothing, had nothing–

Has been diagnosed with

Breast cancer and she has

Gone to her social media

To ask

“Why me?”

I can’t help but agree, but

I understand that

I don’t understand everything.

She asked again–

“I did everything right

I did all you asked of me, God

I was healthy

I was bright

I never had periods of

Long stress or duress

I have not been badly damaged

By life and it’s many challenges —

I am blessed!

Why me?”

I was so shocked

That someone could believe

That cancer was somehow

Deserved, by behaviors

That unhealthy people

Are a type

And that they deserve the misery

They chose for themselves

I was a bit blown away

That she didn’t know

That cancer doesn’t discriminate

It doesn’t care about your race

Your gender

Your age

It sometimes doesn’t even care

About the smoke breaks

Or the bottle of whiskey

Your liver can’t drink

It doesn’t care about that

Decades of heartbreak

You thought might kill you in your sleep

It doesn’t care about


That’s why we need

To understand, empathize, support and

Stop pretending

As if we all get what we deserve

That you only get

What you put out there

That you are somehow

Avoiding punishment while

The others are gluttons

Who need to repent

The cruel soft truth is–

We don’t know everything.

I am disheartened

By her diagnosis, however

I am more disheartened

By her ableism

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