Two Alpha Tigers
Two alpha tigers pent up in a cage,
Pacing back and forth seeking personal space.
Removed from their lives, thrust into treatment,
The tigers distressed, aggravated …displaced.
“You’ve been approved for bone marrow transplant.”
Arrangements are made! No time to recant.
Multiple myeloma, a blood marrow cancer,
“You’re going to Washington for stem cell transplant.”
Uprooted from life on an uncharged trek,
The female tiger an emotional wreck,
The male tiger needs his mate for support,
“I know this is hard. Please keep it in check.”
The female tiger challenged by age,
Emotions well up on this side of rage.
“Of course I support you, you know this is true…
I’m mad, sad, aggravated… my emotions enrage!”
The small living quarters are really confined,
A one room apartment puts both in a bind.
“You’re on my nerves with your annoying quirks,
I need more space and a place to unwind!”
Two living souls designed by Creation,
Respect the dynamics of self-validation.
“You’re not alone here, you know this is true.”
They keep it in check with self-admiration.
Entrenched in the confines of life saving treatment,
The tigers come to a mutual agreement.
“We can spend our time bickering and growing apart,
But that’s not who we are. We promised commitment.”
“I love you, tiger,” they say back and forth,
We’re two weeks in, we can handle henceforth.
This time of confinement will not last forever,
Think critically my love, there’s a reason we’re north.
Validation, validation the facts will reveal,
We’re here for a reason, so let’s keep it real.
We’re on the hunt for long term remission,
We’ll score the kill and go home to heal.
The female tiger decides to concede,
The male tiger knows just what she needs.
“I know I’m controlling, I haven’t a doubt…
My paws are off now, let’s get on and succeed.”
The tigers determined to get what they’re after,
Decide to transform their grief into laughter.
The next step is chemo for stem cell collection,
“We’re one day closer to our happily-ever-after.”
Phase one chemo kills off the cancer,
Front line militia comes on like a gangster.
“How will I feel? Will I become ill?”
“Everyone’s different. You’ll soon have your answer.”
The female tiger along side her man,
Holds it together as best as she can.
Chemo is given …paws intertwined,
In sickness and health, that’s part of the plan.
Phase one is finished! They’ve jumped the first hurdle,
Only one side effect… the tiger’s nocturnal.
“I’m not tired… I can’t fall asleep!”
“Then please get up and write in your journal.”
Next step in the process is stem cell collection.
Medical apheresis determines selection.
Technology akin to bizarre science fiction,
Cells are collected through blood circulation.
Phase two chemo is very hardcore.
A dose so lethal like napalm in war.
Most cancer and bone marrow gone in an instant,
Epic annihilation is what is called for.
One day to recover and clear out the poison,
The day after that is stem cell infusion.
Stem cells arrive cryogenically frozen,
Thawed out at bedside replaced by transfusion.
Two alpha tigers astonished at best,
With all that they’ve been through, would never have guessed,
“We went the wrong way and all for good reason,
Thank God we turned back! We know we are blessed!”
A cancer diagnosis puts your world upside down,
“Screw chemotherapy! It will NOT take me down!”
“I watched chemo treatments drain life from your mom,
A natural approach will keep me around!”
The tigers realized their enormous mistake.
Three years wasted from being afraid.
“I almost missed my chance for survival,
We’ve scored our kill. Now let’s go home and celebrate!”