Poems from the trenches of mortality
I thought I could be a hero
but you defeated us all.
For what was growing inside you
had never been seen before.
If you have any notion that doctors, especially oncologists, become inured to the impact of disease, suffering, and death, this book of hard-hitting, heartfelt, honest, and compassionate poems will set you straight.
The poet is Frank Meyskens, a practicing oncologist and professor of medicine, many of whose poems have appeared in Oncology Times. Dr. Meyskens writes about themes increasingly important in our society, as our population ages and technology advances.
He does not write clever descriptions of disease, as many doctor poets do. Rather, he focuses on what really happens to people as they become patients, and what really happens in the relationship between patient and doctor/caregiver, from first encounter through ongoing care.
Read these poems and you will understand how illness affects the patient, the doctor, and those who stand and wait, the family and loved ones.
Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Biological Chemistry at University of California, Irvine, where he is also Associate Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences and Director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He lives in Irvine, California, with his wife, Linda. Aching for Tomorrow is the first published collection of his poems.
All royalties to the author will be contributed to the Meyskens Patient Care Fund (for non-medical expenses) of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California, Irvine.