Inspirational poem helps cancer fight

WORKING TOGETHER: Catherine Batten and Jo Davies at the Tate Modern art gallery

WORKING TOGETHER: Catherine Batten and Jo Davies at the Tate Modern art gallery

First published in News by

A POEM written by a Weymouth woman to help friends and family better understand her fight against cancer has achieved national recognition.

Jo Davies, 32, heard But Remember This read out to introduce an evening to celebrate the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day at the Tate Modern art gallery on London's South Bank.

But the poem has also been used by a specialist care team working with nurses in Leeds to better emphasise with them the needs of their patients and visitors.

Mrs Davies, who lives with husband Chris and son Harvey, five, in Broadlands Road, has been attending the Trimar Hospice in Weymouth for the last year.

During this time she has been working with Rosetta Life's artist-in-residence Catherine Batten on her poem and a film to accompany it.

Mrs Davies, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2003, said: "To hear my poem read aloud by Lucinda Jarrett, who is artistic director and founder of Rosetta Life, was a very different experience for me as, before this, I was the only person to read out my words.

Mrs Davies attended the Tate Modern with husband Chris.

She added: "I was delighted with how the poem was received and I hope that it will help my family and friends to gain a better understanding of my inner voice."

The reading of But Remember This at the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day event at Tate Modern was followed by readings of other poems that had been entered into an international competition.

More than 150 poems from people in 10 countries were entered into the online contest to mark the day.

Mrs Davies' poem has also been used by the Palliative Care Pathways Team in Leeds when discussing the Gold Standard Framework, a national initiative which helps the palliative care team talk to nurses so that they can find an empathy with the needs of the users of their services.

Published Her poem was felt to embody this and helped to demonstrate that what is being shown on the outside does not always demonstrate what is being felt on the inside.

The poem has also been published on the World Day website (www.worldday.org) as a poem of the week'.

The website was created by Help the Hospices to support World Day, which was a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.

Also published on the website are a number of poems by Dorothy Trewartha and Mary Winton, who are also users of Trimar's services.

BUT REMEMBER THIS

I was created perfectly

But fate turned to me

And said, I have deceived you,

Your time is up, now see:

Childish dreams, fragile and weak at the seams.

Grown up plans, crazy trips to far off lands

Where I'd love to be good, but rather be bad.

What's inside my head, is driving me mad,

Hiding swollen eyes and a wounded pride.

The best years of my life denied;

For all my wild ideas

Taunt me now. Filled with tears

The flesh is weak, the mind saddened and slow.

Life goes on and round we go.

Words can't kill these things, I know,

But man can't live on hope alone -

It can be cut, all that is grown.

I'll cross the sea for a brighter world

Yet led by Angels, with life's treasures to behold:

A daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife,

Time has slowly been twisting the knife.

There's a sadness in my eyes -

No-one guessed,

no-one tried.

Some people think I'll be far away,

Some know, I'm with them everyday.

But remember this . . .

I am blessed; I have loved and been loved.

Some friends have come and gone;

Ones who have lied, who said they cared

Left me hurt, left me scorned and scared

But the good ones have stayed, and played, and

Have been inspirational to this frightened little girl.

Bless the day you came into my life.

I'm looking out for Angels,

Just trying to find some peace.

Is this the right place to stay?

Please, my wings, fly me away.

I know Heaven sent and Heaven stole. But Angels

Lead me to some peaceful land that I cannot find inside my head;

The present like I've never seen it . . .

Is this the right place to rest, and stay?

Please let my wings fly me away.

Always Heaven is a place nearby.

Heaven knows I'm ready to be found,

So there's no need to say 'goodbye'.

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