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Merri's Blog

I was almost a leap year baby

Posted by Merri Hiatt on February 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)


I celebrate my birthday each year on February 28th. Yes, I was almost a leap year baby.

Birthdays are often a time of reflection. Thinking back on the last year and planning for the future. We believe another year lies before us, but we don't know what might come our way. A diagnosis may change our plans drastically. News of a pending divorce or marriage can alter how we view the days ahead. And, sometimes, we spend so much time thinking about yesterday that we miss the day right at our feet.

When I was knee-deep in chemotherapy treatment for cancer (diffused large b-cell lymphoma, to be exact), I remember counting seconds as a way to get through a difficult time. Every part of my body hurt and moving even half an inch or blinking my eyes took too much energy. I didn't see how I would ever get through that stretch of time.

Then, I began counting. One, two, three, four... When I got to sixty, I was relieved that an entire minute had passed. I had not died. I thought if I could do that sixty more times, I would make it through the next hour. I began to count again.

I still count today when times are tough. Instead of wishing the moment away, I try to experience it, hard as it may be, and then move past it.

With an extra twenty-four hour period this month, I hope you are able to pause for a moment and give thanks for the gifts you have received, honor the challenges for what they have to teach us and plan for the days ahead. It all lies before us like an unwritten book. It is up to us to lay down the words and breathe them into every part of our being.

cancer's hot breath - poem

Posted by Merri Hiatt on October 27, 2011 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (2)

cancer's hot breath by Merri Hiatt


even now

i can feel the hot sting of death

from the dragon’s fiery throat

against my neck

blazing a trail

down my spine

the spittle sizzles

on my flesh

as the cells

inside my body


with an infestation

of disease


you see me

as a whole, complete person

your eyes deceive you

i am the walking wounded

a woman

who swims

inside a swirling, frenetic spiral

intent on consuming her


the hairs

on the back of my neck

stand on end




for the teeth

of the beast

to pierce my fleshy tissue


how long can I run

how long can I endure

the hunt

the game

i play

has become far too real

and yet something stirs

inside me

and will not let me succumb

it bids me onward

gives my feet wings

lets my spirit sing with hope

that the sticky breath

will be abated

and I shall be



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