Fuck you lung cancer, and fuck you death

Warning: This contains salty language and was written by the bravest, most talented, and generous woman your publisher knows.

I have lung cancer.

I feel real bad.

Sure, I’ve told friends, to lighten my load,

but even that makes me sad.

I love being alive more than I can say.

I love my world,

my little dog Moose,

walking the 101,

singing, laughing,

loving who YOU are—

even wishing on a star!

But now death through lung cancer

wants me gone—and, no thanks to it,

I wrote this song.

The ‘life cycles’ and ‘acceptance’

of the New Age-y world

don’t feel like MY way to go—

while good wishes, positivity,

healing light and prayers

don’t seem to make death stop,

or even go slow.

I’ve stopped considering this a fight,

I know death always wins.

Instead, I’ve got this attitude—

which some might call shockin’!

I’d love to exit laughing,

smiling, strong, and true,

but I much prefer to just scream out,

“Lung cancer and death, fuck you!”

Yeah, fuck the kiss-ass, spiritual shit

heaven-bound folks spin and spout—

I say, “Death’s an asshole, so is lung cancer—

they fucking freak me out!”

Fuck you, death!

Fuck you, lung cancer!

You can’t draw worth shit,

and you ain’t no dancer!

Fuck you for that horror of a thoracic ward,

for that agonizing surgery, just like being gored!

Fuck you for dumping me there!

Fuck you, ‘cause you don’t care.

Fuck you for interrupting my song,

for tripping me up in my dance,

for taking away my chance

to talk more about my books,

so folks might just give them a glance—

books they might be glad to learn I wrote ‘em—

Death, here’s a boot in your bony scrotum!

I’ll never wear skeleton jewelry again

or dress like a ghoul on Halloween.

You’re not funny, or cute,

or some wild drag queen.

You’re butt-ugly mean,

a foul eyesore,

a sightless, heartless mug—

a thug.

Some folks will STILL try dressing you up—

but why suck up?

Once YOU get a grip,

they’re ALL shit out of luck!

I don’t want you at my party.

You’re not arty.

You’re not wanted here.

You bring only suffering, sorrow, and fear—

even drowning sad people in their beer

by making their life look dull and drear.

You’re life’s mutant, twisted, aborted brother,

taking pleasure in torture,

in watching kids smother,

killing everything beautiful, fun, and light—

you ugly, mother-fucking sight.

You humiliated Don, and Robert, and Doug,

my little sis,

and sweet-hearted men I loved to kiss.

You made my dad scream in horrible pain.

You tricked Thomas into dissolving his brain.

You made my mom cry in her bleak little bed,

You slurped every song out of George’s head.

You smashed my pal Andy into a pole.

You’re a fucking asshole.

Fuck you especially, you disgusting lung cancer,

for making my friends feel low,

grieving our good times,

having to sigh

and wanting to cry

‘cause I’ll probably die.

Fuck you most of all

for making my dog feel sad!

He’ll be searching, and hoping,

and feeling real bad

‘cause he won’t ever find me,

no matter how hard he tries.

He’s just a good little dog

who doesn’t know that people die.

Sure, grind me to dust and choke my breath,

but fuck you, you fucking shithead death.

Rip out that lung and fuck me up,

but till I’m dead, you can’t shut me up.

The one body part I’ll still give ya for free—

as you beat me, and gut me,

and rot me, and slime me—

you putrid, sleazy, heartbreak-bringer—

is THIS—my precious middle finger.


  1. Heard this twice when Janice read it out loud–then it made me laugh and forget to be sad about her–but reading it here, now, I’ve just got the tears I need to cry rolling down my cheeks–for my mum and dad and my soul-mate George, for my dear friend and cleaning customer, Reiner Clode (and my other elderly cleaning customers who have passed on), for my poor ex-daughter-in law, and my now motherless granddaughter, for my damned orange cat… and even for my own future death, like in that Gerard Manley Hopkins poem! A lot of us are getting to the age where we’ve got to think about it. Thanks, Hugh, for printing this so I can sit here in privacy and feel those big, salty tears roll down my face!

    Oh, and–Fuck you, Death!

  2. This was so real. Good use of the fuck word. Made me cry because it was so personal. I felt like I could see Janices thought process regarding her cancer and the poem (or song) was absolutely perfect.

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