Untitled – from 1990

*When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have lived with chronic pain, in one form or another, ever since. i actually think it helped prepare me to deal with my diagnosis of Breast Cancer and the emotional and physical pain that have come with it. The following poem was written in 1990, approximately 10 years after being diagnosed with JRA. I am now Cancer free and outgrew my Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but am still living with chronic pain from Lupus.


I used to think the Pain

Would never

Go away

It was an unwanted

Part of me

Part of my bones

Part of my soul

I used to wish

That I would die

Not to stop living

But to stop hurting

My fragile world would

Threaten to fall


Each time I heard

“You’ll just have to learn  

To live with it”

But the amazing thing is that

I have –

And now

When the pain comes

It’s still a part of me

But it doesn’t control or

Define me

My soul wants to

Live now

And my world isn’t as


As it

Used to



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