Welcome to My Reality (A Cancer Survivor on COVID-19)

Written by Bradley W. Buchanan for the collection: 'Life in the time of #COVID'


you didn’t ask me the way to this place

or enter it willingly at first

but here we are

afraid of what we cannot see

or feel until it is too late

you’re right that it sucks

and I was brought here

kicking and screaming

neutropenic and immune-suppressed

what I wonder is your excuse

for not washing your hands before now?

is it such an imposition

to ward off a sickness

that will hurt us both?

of course you will outlive me anyway

knowing the lives

I have already used up

just making it to this precarious

purgatorial pre-emptive quarantine

whose protection you may resent

but which may save you

from later repentance

how does it seem from

where you are sitting?

this is my best-case scenario

and I always find it terrifying

after you leave I will still be here

counting the blessings

that add up to nothing

against tomorrow’s uncertainty





Brad Buchanan’s writings have appeared in nearly 200 journals, and he has also published three book-length collections of poetry: 'The Miracle Shirker' (Poet’s Corner Press, 2005), 'Swimming the Mirror: Poems for My Daughter' (Roan Press, 2008), and 'The Scars, Aligned: A Cancer Narrative' (Finishing Line Press, 2019). He has also published two academic books, and has recently written blog entries for 'Poets & Writers' and SacWellness.com. His essay “I’m Done with Being a Cancer Survivor: What I am Now is a GvHD Patient” was published in 'Prometheus Dreaming', an online journal. He was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in February 2015, and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016, which involved temporary vision loss and disability, as well as an ongoing illness: chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease.

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