The View from Remission


Look up high, and what do you see?

Dark clouds of cancer hanging over me.

Recurrence and death, two clouds of doom.

Grief and fear add to the gloom.


Yet look all around me: it’s clear and bright,

because lining each cloud is a silvery light.

A glow so strong it reveals the way

peace and joy can infuse life every day.


I accept the uncertainty and lack of control,

yet still miss the innocence my illness stole.

I hate cancer scares, canceling plans,

and feeling anxious while awaiting scans.


But I love….

The Silver Linings:

A valuable education in illness and healing granted few physicians.

A new career in writing: a different but equal passion,

and a way to reach more people than I ever could have in my office.

A few unexpected years at home with my children,

during which I’ve embraced the parenting I could do each day,

(maybe doing a better job that I would have done with all the time in the world).

Many old relationships made richer for having shared trying times.

Incredible new friendships that would never have been born otherwise.

And an ever-deepening spiritual faith.


The intimate knowledge of what might have been lost (and might yet be)

makes me feel today—every day—in a wonderfully intense way.

Little problems remain trivial.

The ordinary has become marvelous.

I seek out and cherish joyful moments.

Even unpleasant times are less painful, for they are proof that I am still here.


Wendy S. Harpham, MD


Silver Linings: The Other Side of Cancer (Gullo and Glass, pub) ONS Publications 1997