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  • Crystal Leonardi

Just a Man

After a tremendously difficult day in hospital yesterday with Sebastian, I found myself turning to writing to process all of the emotions of the day. Below is a poem I wrote last night, titled 'Just a Man'.

Sebastian was due to start his 1st day of chemotherapy in Cairns Hospital yesterday but unfortunately, there were complications. After 2 failed attempts to access his port, an x-ray was ordered on suspicion that it had flipped or moved since being de-accessed last Wednesday in QCH. The x-ray was inconclusive but it was agreed that it had definitely turned at least 90 degrees and should be accessed from the side, rather than from the top. After sedation (which didn't really help) and a 3rd failed attempt, the port was deemed faulty and we were sent home.


It was a day of many tears (from us all), pain, fear, and unfortunately trauma for Sebastian. We left the hospital after 7 hours, no chemotherapy, no port accessed, and no idea what was going to happen next.


Today we await a call from Dr Walker (QCH Oncology), after further discussions with the surgical team.


*The picture attached is from yesterday, in one of Sebby's more relaxed moments. I thought it was too cute not to capture!


'Just a Man' by Crystal Leonardi


Let me go! Daddy, don’t leave me alone!

Let me go! Daddy, please take me home!


A man broad and strong,

No longer stoic like King-Kong.


Brought down like a feather,

Grasping for courage, a waning endeavour.


The pleading screams of his son,

Accumulated trauma unable to be undone.


Sheer desperation fills the air,

A small boy confined to a chemo chair.


A lonely tear rolls down his cheek,

No match for his son’s soul-crushing peak.


His heartbroken, red eyes and quivering voice,

Evidence of helplessness and loss of choice.


The years of watching his son suffer,

Never having witnessed anything tougher.


Pain and anguish prolonged, engrained, unfading,

Brought to the surface like an intruder invading.


Once unafraid and filled with certainty,

His heart now bruised and battered for eternity.


A man left completely shattered on the inside,

A dad forever frightened but full of loving pride.


Time stands still like a concrete statue,

Tears fall, emotions stall, my love will always catch you.

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