'Please don't' - by Cordelia

2 minute read time.

 “‘Please Don’t …’ By Cordelia” Written over an aerial photo of a snowy path through a forest.

Cordelia, our guest blogger from earlier this week, is back today with a poem she wrote about coping with people’s comments around her breast cancer diagnosis. Want to catch up on Cordelia’s previous blog? Click here to read her story.

Please don’t…

Please don’t tell me how I should feel

Or what I should think about having breast cancer;

How I should be ‘over it’ by now;

How I should be more positive;

How I should be grateful that I’m alive.


And please don’t say, ‘You’re over-reacting to your situation,

It’s only you who feels like this’ or

‘It’s time you got on with your life.’

How can you know? You have never been in my situation.

And please don’t ask me what I have contributed to my cancer

Or tell me how brave I’ve been.

There was no choice is all.

It was just the luck of the draw.


And please don’t ask me how my breast cancer journey has been.

There was no journey.

There is no journey, because there is no end in sight.

And for pity’s sake, don’t say,

‘well we’re all going to die in the end,

I could get run over by a bus tomorrow.’

It’s different.

You have never stared death head on.

You have never had breast cancer.

We are on different sides of the track now.


Tell me instead

That you cannot know what it is like living through this hell.

Tell me instead that you have an open heart

And an open mind,

That you’ll listen,

That you’ll try and understand.

Even when what I’m saying sounds preposterous to you.

It is my reality.

And please, please try and look beyond your own fears.

Or if you can’t, tell me so.

Having breast cancer is terrifying

And the terror does not diminish,

Because the fear that is will come back is ever present.

So, please, please don’t tell me that I’m one of the lucky ones.

That I’ll be back to normal soon,

Because my life and I have been changed forever.

A huge thanks to Cordelia for sharing this powerful piece with us. If you have any poetry that you would like to share on the Community do remember we have the Express yourself group - a space where you can share anything creative, cancer related or not.