From the very first time,
Fire burns inside.
Licks and rolls inside my veins,
Determined to kill.
Even if that means a part of me with it.
My crown litters the floor
in big chunks of hair.
My heart beats fast.
My skin goes sallow.
My head grows tired.
Gone is vanity.
Makeup applied to mask illness,
Not for beauty.
Clothes worn to comfort a weathered body,
Not for style.
Wigs placed so others won’t stare,
Not for fun.
Fear loves to torment me.
And ask me questions like,
Will I wake up tomorrow?
How much time do I have left?
Am I strong enough to finish this?
And they don’t know why,
This is the reason I can’t sleep at night.
Because I worry it’s my last time.
Fast forward 5 months,
To my very last round.
My face is as white as a sheet.
Stares are no longer discreet.
All that is left is the fire.
I feel it ignite something inside of me.
I rise from my chair one last time,
Like a phoenix from it’s ashes.
And I walk away tall,
I’m finished with chemo.
By Megan Pinon
Megan Pinon is a 30 year old Mexican American who lives in Los Angeles and practices as a licensed operating room nurse. She rediscovered her love for writing when she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at 27 years old. Poetry and journaling has given her the gift of expressing herself during the hardest moments of her life. Her pieces “The Phoenix,”“Underwater,” and “Broken” reveal her experiences during treatment and explore a quiet strength despite her losses. She is currently enjoying life as a survivor in remission with her companion dog Luke.