There was a Time – poems, musings, and thoughts of experiencing cancer

It finally happened.  I have a book for sale on Amazon: There was a Time

The journey started in 2011 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  During treatment I tried to write about what was happening to me, but again and again, I had difficulty approaching the feelings I was having.  I can’t say exactly when it happened, but somewhere, I found myself responding with poetry rather than prose.  Perhaps it was the radiation treatments or the powerful emotions that treatment creates, but breaking away from full sentences to just the metaphorical language of poetry allowed me to better express how it felt to be a cancer patient.

There was a Time is a collection of these poems that attempt to share with you how it felt to lookup and see a machine spinning around my body shooting radiation at me.  It is my way of both exploring the emotional impact and telling the story of what happened.  I wanted to paint a picture of what happened.  I wanted to communicate how my world changed under that beam.

But somewhere, somehow, how I thought about things – writing, story telling, and art all changed with this experience.  The oddest part of this journey is poetry.  Prior to cancer I rarely wrote poetry and even claimed to not like it.  While I was studying English for my BA, I went out of my way to avoid classes that dealt in poetry.  I was a confirmed lover and writer of prose, full sentences and structured stories. 

Like so many things after cancer, things are different.  The body is damaged and responds differently.  The mind can be filled with fear and anxiety. The soul becomes weary of having to keep fighting and you just start responding differently.

Then another thing happened, but this happened before I was treated.  In 2007 my mother died from pancreatic cancer.  I was there when she was diagnosed, when she was told it was terminal, and watched her die after a short stay in hospice.  From diagnosis to death in just a few weeks.  At the time I grieved the loss and moved on with life.

But when I started writing about my cancer, I began to see my mother differently and took on a different perspective of the experience.  Being a cancer patient myself, I began to see what it may have been like for her.  The way she handled her last days taught me an important lesson about how to die with grace and understanding.

As I wrote poems about me, I also started writing poems about mother.

There was a Time, includes both sets of poems.  Those from a cancer patient and those from a son standing at the bed side of his mother.

It is my hope that someone may find something in these poems that speaks to them.

That is my purpose in writing and making this book available, to express what it’s like to be on two sides, patient and family, of this thing called cancer.

The link above (and in the side bar) is an Amazon link where you can purchase the book, either for yourself or for someone you think might find it valuable.



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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41 Responses to There was a Time – poems, musings, and thoughts of experiencing cancer

  1. Gargi Mehra says:

    Congratulations Andrew! It’s very inspiring to read your journey so far and wishing you all the best for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Hi Andrew. Had to stop by to congratulate you. I’m so happy to see you’ve published the book! Going through the misery that is cancer requires some kind of outlet, and it’s wonderful you’ve written your experiences into poetry. I’ve read some of your poems on your blog in the past, and they’re heartfelt and evocative. I’ve ordered my copy and will be sure to leave a review when I finish reading it. I look forward to it. Congrats again!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. amandavaughn says:

    Wow, congratulations! I am an aspiring author myself, but I’m a long way from publication. I can’t wait to read some more of your posts! Blessings. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Debra says:

    Andrew, I very much look forward to reading your poems. Congratulations on getting this to publication and ready for sale, and I am glad you provided a little background on your experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. kritsayvonne says:

    Congratulations – a milestone indeed. I hope you get fab reviews. x

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your book looks wonderful – congratulations! One thing you may want to consider is adding the “Look Inside” feature, which allows potential buyers to sample a portion of the book (you decide how much). This is can a powerful tool for drawing people into your work – I can’t count the number of times I’ve “Looked Inside” a book, gotten captivated, and clicked the “Buy” button on Amazon!

    Here are some links to get you started: and Hope this helps! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations, Andrew! Enjoy the journey.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ron Lewandowski says:

    Congratulations Andrew !!!
    It is exciting to know your first book is now a reality. I’m like you were…not a big poetry fan…but I never had a friend that was a poet!!

    How can I buy an autographed copy?

    Much success to you sir!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Ron, sure I’d be happy to that. I hadn’t thought about doing that, but send me a message through the “contact me” page under “about me” and we can work out the details. I have author copies on order, when I get them, I can start selling autographed copies (I can’t do that through Amazon). I think I have a paypal account somewhere that could be used.


  9. Hearty congrats on getting this book out there. I know how gratified you must feel. Best of luck with it! RT

    Liked by 3 people

  10. As a cancer survivor myself and someone who watched her mother die from the disease as well, I can totally empathize with you. I wish you much success with your book.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. siskinbob says:

    Congratulations Andrew. I hope your book is a success. Good luck, head down for book number two ?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m hoping to sell a few copies. I have another collection in the works, but at my current rate it will b 2023 before that’s ready. However, I am starting outline another collection that might be completed before then.


  12. jfwknifton says:

    Congratulations ! With the absolute flood of poetry being churned out nowadays it is a real achievement to have your book published by a commercial concern. Try to get your friends to do some favourable reviews.
    Did you know it’s also available throughout the British Empire too?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Congratulations on this book, Andrew.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Relax... says:

    Peace, and congratulations!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Congratulations, Andrew. You have worked on this book for years, and I am so pleased that You FINALLY have gotten it published. Proud of you; that wasn’t an easy task, and I know you will help many others when they read about your experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s been a long process. I took three years to write and edit and then a couple of years fusing over whether or not to publish. I hope others find some useful in the collection.


  16. CJ Hartwell says:

    Congratulations, Andrew!
    That’s a beautiful backstory, too. I kinda know what you mean about being changed. When I had a couple of serious surgeries in my mid-30s, I discovered I was having more troubles hiding my emotions. I used to take pride in being “a rock”, now I cried at sappy commercials. Later when my dad had a stroke and was in recovery, he told me how he was having trouble with the same thing! We had a bit of bonding over it that involved a few tears. 🙂
    Off to buy your book with its lovely cover!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I am very happy for you, and will be ordering a copy. Is this your first book, or have you published others? Nothing like holding the smooth, new book in your hand. Your name on it. Your thousands of hours, joy, sadness enveloped in those pages. Congratulations.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Dan says:

    Congratulations, Andrew!

    Liked by 3 people

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