Don’t Count the Days. Make the Days Count.

BY Rebecca Finkel


Today we have a special feature, a poem by Rebecca Finkel whose wife Flavia was diagnosed 16 months ago with de novo metastatic breast cancer to the lung, bone, spine and brain. Since diagnosis Flavia has had a Craniotomy and a second surgery for Hydrocephalus.  Currently all of her mets are stable.

Edited by Barbara Bigelow


Don't Count the Days. Make the Days Count.

By Rebecca Finkel


I remember that day

The day we found out

Our life turned upside down

With the words that came out


It’s cancer she said

That’s what’s causing your pain

As the color left your face

I sat watching it drain


Don’t the doctors know

Or try to understand

The power of their words

And how that they might land


We held hands as we sat

Words flying on right by

Treatment and dozens of tests

As we tried not to cry


Doctors and nurses

They now fill up our day

That pit in our stomach

What will they say?


There is a new pill to help

But it makes you feel quite sick

So, we choose this or the cancer

How are we supposed to pick?


New pills and new treatments

They say to be hopeful

But it’s still 2-3

And we should be grateful?


You see treatment is for life

The only way to skate death

Every three weeks this will be

Wait- until her last breath?


Every 3 months there are scans

Awful thoughts fill our minds

Will it be better or worse?

What will they find?


Just when we think

Ok we can do this

A test will come back

And rip right through us


In quieter moments

We think the list through

Where are our loved ones?

That asked, “what can we do”?


We wish they would just say

“I don’t know what to do “,

And then we would say,

“I know, us too”.


The well intentioned often say

This is a blessing can’t you see?

We see you never heard the words

That brought us to our knees


It’s breast cancer you say.

Oh, that type is so mundane

I guess you still don’t realize

It’s in her bones and also in her brain


Imagine your life

And all of your dreams

Replaced with IV’s, surgeries

And medical teams


Our dreams were not big

Not much to really ask

They have been replaced now

With these wires, this bed, this mask


But it’s a different mask

Then the one we wear out there

Watching the world keep going

Has never felt so unfair


They say she is brave

Oh, so courageous and so strong

In quieter moments she explains

How they are wrong


Of course she is scared,

How could she not be?

A son at home who needs her

And then there is me


Even I don’t recognize

The face that I see

When I glance in the mirror

I wonder how can this be?


Why is this the set of cards

That were put into our hands

The set we were dealt

That changed all our plans


How did we get here?

I beg for an answer

Why do good people

and babies get cancer?


I plead I get it now

The lessons every turn

Can we take it all back now?

I promise we will learn


It doesn’t work like that

We have learned quite quick

There is no reason or misdeed

That makes some people sick


It’s a gamble that we play

With careless disregard

Until the day we realize

We too can pull that card


I want to scream it out loud

Be grateful for your health

It’s so much more important

Than your looks, than your wealth


Because cancer just doesn’t care

Whose life it will destroy

Even with all of your plans and

Kids at home to enjoy

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