Keri's Poem: Breast Cancer, Year One

Doug Haberstroh Health Guide
  • Keri Haberstroh Breast Cancer


    My name is Doug Haberstroh, and this is the story of my wife Keri, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at the age of 25.


    In this message to friends and family, Keri reflects on the past year since her breast cancer diagnosis in a poem. The funny thing about the poem, or at least the funny thing to me, is that I never saw this poem until a friend put all her e-mails together for me in a scrapbook.


    When I went through the scrapbook and finally came upon the poem I lost it and had to put the scrapbook away for a while. I now have the poem memorized by heart.


    It's not every day you get to look into the heart and emotions of a loved one, but Keri has now given me that chance every time I read her poem.

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    Thank you, Babe. I loved you then, now, and forever.





    Subject: Year One

    Sent: Friday, April 7, 2006 10:57 AM


    Hi Everyone,


    Just a little something I wrote to express myself about this occasion. It's a little long, but gets my thoughts out.


    It's been exactly one year

    Since I was first to hear

    The scariest words

    That began my fear.


    Breast Cancer was said

    And I dropped my head

    As my tears fell down

    My heart filled with dread.


    Why me? I thought

    It was answers I sought

    Was it something I did

    Or maybe something I did not.


    Chemo treatments came first

    Side effects were the worst

    A bad reaction I had

    Then back to health I was nursed.


    Surgery then came

    I would never be the same

    I was missing a part

    From my small body frame.


    The healing was slow

    But I worked hard to show

    The amount of strength

    That in my body did flow.


    Then the doctor's advice

    Extra chemo would be nice

    To make sure it's gone

    A few treatments should suffice.


    Reconstruction was to follow

    I would finally not feel hollow

    Expanding was a pain

    But not too hard to swallow.


    In the end it looked so good

    As close to perfect as it could

    I felt a little more normal

    Coming to the end of this journey felt good.


    Through it all I never doubted

    The love and support that had surrounded

    Many prayers were said for me

    And my faith they kept founded.


    I'll never forget the experience I had

    Even though a lot was sad

    But the lessons that I learned

    Have made me glad

    That I got a second chance

    At the life I had.


    The cancer moved I regret

    It's not quite over yet

    But God has a plan for me

    And it's a good one I bet.


    One day we'll see the end

    The memories will all blend

    And in my life

    A new door will be opened.



    Metastatic Breast Cancer
    A Note from Doug: We're also telling Keri's breast cancer story as a weekly comic strip. Check back each week to follow her treatment. In this week's episode, Episode 13, Keri distills a year's worth of life post-cancer diagnosis into a lovely poem. 


Published On: November 19, 2007