beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

  • Contact BIDMC
  • Maps & Directions
  • Other Locations
  • Careers at BIDMC
  • Smaller Larger

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

Smaller Larger

A Poem

Posted 4/25/2017

Posted in

  Chemo brain is not generally a poetic topic, but there are exceptions to everything. I was delighted to see this poem on NPR's website and hope that you like it, too.


Chemo Scrambled My Brain

Meredith Rizzo

After years working as a nurse in critical care units, Anne Webster found herself lying in the hospital struggling to get well. She had been given the wrong dose of a chemotherapy medication to treat Crohn's disease. The mistake had caused her bone marrow to shut down, and she'd developed pneumonia.

As she lay in the hospital, she thought, "If I live, I'm gonna write about this."

After three weeks, she recovered. And the experience led Webster to write Chemo Brain, a poem about how the drug scrambled her thinking.

Poetry, she says, has a way of trimming "away every extraneous word until the essence shines through."

These days, she writes essays and poetry full-time. Webster's first collection of poems, A History of Nursing, was nominated for a 2008 National Book Award. She's currently working on a second anthology and a novel about a nurse involved in a murder mystery.

"I'm a nurse," she says. "It's what I know."

Read the poem: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/04/23/525062440/chemo-scrambled-my-brain

Share:

Add your comment

 
 
 

Categories

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud