A poem by Ruth Munglani
Editor’s note: At a recent Wednesday patient luncheon, 22-year-old Ruth Munglani shared a poem she wrote to commemorate her proton graduation day. She had spent several months in Jacksonville having proton therapy for Ewing sarcoma and has returned to her home in the U.K. We thank Ruth for the opportunity to publish her work.
When lying asleep in the depths of my chemo,
The doctor popped into my room.
She beamed at me and patted my shoulder,
‘You’ll be going to America soon.’
‘America? Why would I go there?’ I replied,
I looked at her with dismay.
My friends, my family, my whole life was here,
All I wanted to do was stay.
The doctor explained to my chemo-addled brain
About protons and all of that.
To be honest, I wasn’t really listening to her,
I got distracted by the fact
That America was so very far away;
Across an entire ocean.
And that I would have to spend a few months there
Getting some form of radiation.
The day for the flight dawned bright and early,
I woke up filled with dread.
More treatment abroad was not appealing,
I pulled the blankets over my head.
The first few days were stressful for my mum;
She cried on the I-95.
The speed limit, it appeared; merely a suggestion,
We were glad to get home alive.
But the protons really have been fine.
I hop up on the bed and relax,
Listen to the chatter and the music,
What would make it perfect: some snacks.
We have enjoyed our down time too,
Lots of trips to the beach and the sea.
One thing though I am looking forward to:
A good old English cup of tea.
I’ve made some really good friends since I’ve been here;
People who smile and care,
Who stop and ask ‘How’s your day going?’
A sense of community is shared.
There have been many memorable moments,
Expressions like ‘Happy Friday’ and ‘Y’all’,
But mostly I’ll remember the kindness of everyone
And the little things, however small.
And now at last it is ending.
I find myself sad to go home.
It has felt like a holiday being here,
Full of friends, never alone.
So thank you to all who have made it
A truly wonderful experience for us.
Treatment has never been so positive.
I think you’ve got it sussed.