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A Child’s Bittersweet Victory
7 Posts

At the age of 15, Christine Mulvihill completed her poetic novel, Life is One Tough Pill to Swallow, the story of her lifelong fight with cancer. Her story begins at the age of 3 in the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and ends tragically, again at CHEO, at the age of 17. This is the introduction to her poetic novel which can be found at Childhood-Cancer-Survivor.com;
I thought that after I was discharged from the hospital everything would be normal or even sort of normal, but that’s not how this story goes. You see, somewhere through all this my soul has been scared and a curse cast upon myself, a curse I will take to my grave.

Her poetic novel includes several stories and over 40 poems, some about misery, depression, pain, life and poems about death.

This is one of her poems.

Because I Never Gave Up on Me

Christine moved back home from the hospital after a 3-year battle with cancer, determined to leave cancer behind and fit in to her new world. But leaving cancer behind is much more difficult than just getting home. Memories of her life in pediatric oncology still haunt her, even in her victory celebration. Christine writes;
Memories can be good things, and sometimes when it's over they are all you have left. I was blessed with an extremely vivid memory which I am grateful for, but every time the glass shatters I remember what I lost over 10 years ago, all the times the glass has shattered and all the struggles of faith that the sun will shine again for me. I get angry because all I can seem to think of are the times I had everything, but was too blind to see it, and how it was taken from me, and now at times I feel I have nothing.

The single most important event in Christine’s life is the loss of her only friend Sarah. These two four-year-old girls have been trapped together in a bubble for about a year and that bubble bursts with Sarah’s death. Christine is now alone in life with no friends. Sarah’s death will be one recurring memory that is reflected in most of her work and the driving force in her fight to survive.

Sarah was such a gift to me, I had never had someone who understood so much and shared all the physical and emotional pain of the countless needles, spinal taps and loss of freedom knowing you have an IV connected to your chest 24/7. I think although so young we needed each other. When Sarah passed, part of me went with her and part of her stayed with me. Although I was unable to attend the funeral, I still think about her all the time. I believe that she died so that I could live and because of that I never gave up. All through my life she has given me the strength to hold on.

Because I Never Gave Up on Me

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

Walking down the hall without that horrid IV
No words can do justice to how I feel so free
I one so small have conquered that roaring “C”
And showed you all I can, because I never gave up on me.

Not many believed, they lose faith fast
Not even I dreamt how long I’d last
They said it had ended when the stone was cast
But I showed you all I could, because I never gave up on me.

Oh how the pain burned
Slow like seasons turned
And to give up I yearned
But I showed you strength, because I never gave up on me.

With silent tears I struggled on
My only hope she now was gone
From above her light shone
I showed her I was grateful, because I never gave up on me.

Lying in bed
Listening to sounds I dread
Screams of a child and loved ones who cry
There are too many miles to go why can’t I just die.

My skin is sore
From the needles I bore
The drugs I take
They make me ache
I’m tired of fighting let’s end this bid,
Oh why can’t I just be a normal kid?

I’d show myself and I’d show you all
That I made it through with my back against the wall
Because I never gave up on me.

In size and in strength may you never judge me
I won that battle because I had faith in me
There is so much more that you can’t see
And I showed you all, because I never gave up on me.

Walking down the hall without that horrid IV
No words can do justice to how I feel so free,
I one so small have conquered that roaring “C”
And showed you all I can, because I never gave up on me.


2 Replies
25 Posts
So brave and how sad, makes my heart ache!
1201 Posts
MPM‍ Hello....I read every word......and needed 3 Kleenexes.....in total.......What a brave and strong young lady.......

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