You are here

Chapter 4: Nightmares in Oncology

Nightmares In Oncology


"Nightmares in Oncology” continues to convey the emotional depth and intensity of her experiences as a childhood cancer survivor. These poems delve into themes of fear, uncertainty, pain, and the quest for meaning in the face of difficult circumstances.

These poems reflect on the difficult reality of facing cancer and the harshness of the medical environment. It touches upon the overwhelming odds, the initial shock of diagnosis, and the physical changes that come with treatment. The mention of Sarah's passing adds a layer of sadness and highlights the unpredictability of life and medical outcomes. The description of the hospital setting and the sounds of crying and pain provide a haunting backdrop for the dreams and thoughts that follow.

"What If Faith is Not Enough?": This poem delves into the struggle of questioning one's faith and hope when faced with challenging circumstances. It explores the fear of an uncertain future and the desperation to hold onto something meaningful. The imagery of a misty graveyard, the unknown tombstone, and the darkness conveys a sense of isolation and the unknown. The poem captures the internal battle between hope and despair and touches on the fear of losing a sense of purpose and belief.

"No Relief": This poem captures the intensity of facing the possibility of death, and the complex emotions that come with that experience. The imagery of death and the afterlife is juxtaposed with the relief of being alive, yet it also raises questions about the true nature of relief in the face of profound challenges. The poem captures the mix of emotions and the difficulty of finding a sense of relief even in moments of reprieve.

These poems continue to offer a glimpse into Christine's internal world, providing a platform for her to express the depth of her emotions and thoughts. They offer readers a chance to empathize with her experiences and to better understand the emotional journey of a childhood cancer survivor. Through her writing, Christine Mulvihill offers a valuable perspective on the complexities of facing adversity, loss, and the search for meaning in difficult circumstances.

Nightmares In Oncology


Less than 40% chance is not what anyone would have hoped for. But you can’t change the odds; you can only fight against them.

When we found out that I had ALL, (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) my family members tried to explain to me what was going to happen, but I know now that nothing in the entire world could prepared me for what was about to happen.

Before I knew it, I was hooked up to an IV and all my long blonde gorgeous hair was gone, once perfectly placed on my two-year-old head, now on my pillow.

About a year later my angel Sarah went back to heaven. She died in her sleep, because the doctors failed to find a match for her bone marrow transplant.

Sitting in my hospital bed with the sounds of people crying and other children screaming out in pain and agony echoing through my head, I dream...

What If Faith is Not Enough?

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

When reality finally hits you it hurts
When the truth comes into focus it’s brutally painful.
Hope isn't always enough
It’s not always a happy ending.
What happens when faith is not enough?

I get hot flashes
My depression splashes
My soul is cold like stone,
The fear of being alone.

So now I lay me down to sleep
I pray you lord my soul to keep
Don’t let me die before I wake
I pray you lord my soul do not take.

I barely have a past
And may have no future
    Empty pages of a book
    A story left unwritten
    A life left unlived

    A hope left in the dust.
Please don't take me yet
Your mercy you won't regret
I am down on my knees
Begging you please
Don’t take me away.

At night I dream a misty graveyard
A tombstone the name I cannot see
A flashlight in the darkness
A figure so lifeless I cannot breathe,
Then I awake not as fearless as I may seem.

If this is my future
And if it comes to pass
And this breath be my last
Then this thought to you I cast.

What if faith is not enough?
Then life would be rather tough
With nothing to believe in
And nothing to justify
Nothing to keep you sane
Nothing to grasp when you fall
You will have nothing, nothing at all.

Sometimes that is how I am
Falling in the darkness
With nothing to take hold
This feeling leaves me cold
hearted, soulless, empty.
All I feel is the pain of being unreal
No one knows how this life feels,
When you are so lifeless.

So now I lay me down to cry
I pray you lord you can't let me die.
Now I lay me down to sleep
Close my eyes without a peep
Never to be opened again.

No Relief

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

I can feel death upon me
I can feel it all around me
I can see the daemon of death
He takes away my breath.

It slowly crawls up my spine
A painful silent wine
Utter my soft pale lips
And more and more my body slips
Down into the after life
Though scarless it stabs like a knife.
Down and down I go, it's time to say goodbye
Tears run down my face as memories flash by.

But now I'm moving up
It seems my time's not up
It was just a false alarm
My heart should be ringing charms.

If this is better than I ever conceived,
Then why am I not relieved?

Other poems of interest for Nightmares in Oncology

I Will Not Die          This Little Song of Mine

Navigation:     Table of Contents          Chapter 5: Depression and Despair