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Chapter 12: So Now I Lay Me Down to Cry


In this chapter, Christine's writing takes a somber and introspective turn as she confronts the harsh reality of her worsening health condition. The cold January day becomes a metaphor for the chilling news she receives about her brain tumor. At not even seventeen, she is confronted with the news that her tumor has grown and is now beyond treatment. The raw emotion of fear, sadness, and anger is palpable in her words.

The writing offers a stark portrayal of her internal struggle as she grapples with the impending threat of death. Christine's anger is directed at the tumor itself, described as a "violent predator" that is encroaching upon her ability to live a normal life. The specific location of the tumor, on the right motor strip, becomes significant as it jeopardizes her ability to walk, talk, eat, and use her left side.

Christine expresses the loss of her independence, a key aspect of her identity, as she becomes confined to a hospital bed. She reflects on her dreams and the life milestones she won't have the chance to experience if the tumor takes her life.

The poem "I Will Not Die" serves as a defiant anthem in the face of her despair. Christine refuses to succumb to the tumor's power, highlighting her determination to fight and endure, even as she battles with depression and anger. The poem echoes her resolve to stand tall and not let the disease define her.

The poem "So Now I Lay Me Down to Cry" encapsulates Christine's overwhelming emotions. She juxtaposes her strong outward appearance with the turmoil inside her, depicting her internal struggle. The poem conveys the weight of the battle she faces, and the unfairness of life's challenges. Through her writing, Christine shares her vulnerability, pain, and determination to push through the darkness.

So Now I Lay Me Down to Cry


It's cold in January especially with winter's snow and wind chill factors. But the coldest day was that Wednesday I went to the hospital to find once again my brain tumor had grown and it was here to stay this time. There was nothing the doctors could do.

Not even seventeen yet and I was already being told death was waiting at my door step. I was scared, I was sad, I was angry, I hated life ever since I found out I had this violent predator inside my head. One of only two known people in the entire country known to possess this violent growing beast, and he was attacking the spot of freedom. The right motor strip, which is what gave me the pleasure of walking, talking, eating, the feel/touch and my strength on the entire left side.

I was sixteen years old and sleeping at home in a hospital bed. I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom, I couldn't walk or balance. I lost what made me different; my independence.

I was alive for the moment, but my daemon was "creeping" inside my brain, getting ready to take over my body entirely.

I would lay in my bed for hours, not wanting to sleep but not having the energy to be awake. At night I would pray, I would bargain with myself and God. "I am not ready" I would say. "This is not what I wanted out of life. What about getting married and having children of my own. What about university, and having that pride and happiness of knowing I did it because I never gave up on myself".

"I refuse to die, I don't care", I would torment myself at night, "no no I'm not going! I won't give up".

I Will Not Die

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

I used to think the world was fair and that life works itself out
But now I’m confused and my heart’s filled with doubt,
The threads of this dream are starting to unwind
I’ve come to learn the world is unjust and fate is unkind.

I always thought you were real but my perception was blind
You’re blurring my vision and playing with my mind,
Slowly like the sands of time you’re ripping away at my soul
You’ve taken all I have, all that makes me whole,

Driving myself crazy trying to fill that empty void
But I can’t pull it together, my confidence you’ve destroyed.
You’ve taken my happiness and replaced it with hate
So much hatred and anger I just can’t take.
You’ve poisoned me enough, I’ll break down and cry
But never will I give up, no I will not die.

You will not take me down, you will not conquer me tonight
I will not lie down in my grave I’ll stand up and fight,
I maybe bleeding but take off that smile if you think you’ve won
A knife through my heart is nothing, the battle’s just begun.

There is warrior inside me that you failed to see
A strength you missed while you were judging me
She will not give up as easy as you think
I’m drowning in depression but she will not sink.

Through all the pain and criticism she will stand tall
When pushed passed the limit she will not fall,
I will take whatever you give to me
And with God by my side I will be free.

I won’t bow down to you and just take the abuse
You can’t break my faith, don’t try there’s no use.
So you can turn that smile into a frown
Because this is one girl that just won’t go down.

So Now I Lay Me Down to Cry

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

As the sounds of my music fill my mind
The words for my anger I cannot find,
As the tears fill my eyes
My broken heart I can't disguise.

I stand strong
But only for so long.

My insides are splitting at the seams
You stabbed a knife through my heart & shattered my dreams.
You tell me not to cry, it will be okay
How can you understand if you've never been tortured this way,
Don't hold my hand and tell me it will be alright
While you lay soundly, I cry myself to sleep every night.

The path seems foggy in my blurry sight
I won this battle before but I don't know how long I can fight.
My eyes are swollen
My heart is broken.

Like sand, the grains of my faith are slipping through my fingers
I'm being pulled under by blocks of cinder,
Going under the oceans of depression
Drowning in the constant fight for my obsession.

My desire is to be normal, just to be wanted
I'd try with all my heart, just to be teased and taunted,
As soon as things seem to go my way
Another bomb drops and I'm cast astray.

Everything in life just seems so unfair
Some struggle endlessly while others coast without care.

Other poems of interest for So Now I Lay Me Down to Cry

What If Faith is Not Enough?

Because I Never Gave Up on Me

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