No Bravery Medal

This poem was sent to us by Carol Miele. Carol writes: “I was diagnosed with MBC 1 1/2 yrs. ago (bilateral) with bone mets. I have found that writing poetry about my experience with metastatic breast cancer serves as both a cathartic and a form of therapy…both for me and the people who have read them. I have written several and would like to share my most recent with you. I’ve titled it No Bravery Medal. I believe it could serve as an anthem for those of us with cancer.”

No Bravery Medal
by Carol Miele

There’s no bravery medal for folks with cancer,
There’s no Purple Hearts for Moms who die,
There aren’t any taps played at your funeral,
Even if they stand tall when your hearse goes by.

There is talk of a battle that you’re waging,
And survivor stories surely do abound,
But deep inside you know you are dying,
For a cure it seems has not been found.

There’s no bravery medal for folks with cancer,
Despite being on the front all those lonely days,
Instead of medals you wear your ‘chest port’ proudly,
For the life-extending role that it plays.

Since any chance of getting better still eludes you,
You bow your head when tumor counts have risen,
You wait for scans that look inside to tell your story,
Like a fighter waits in the ring for the ‘big decision’.

There’s no bravery medal for folks with cancer,
Despite the invading enemy you deal with every day,
There’s not a jury that would find you guilty,
If you went AWOL and ran far away.

But you can’t quite run away from yourself,
If you hung up your gloves to leave the ring,
So you soldier on and stop your lips from trembling,
Then wipe the tear from your eye that starts to sting.

There’s no bravery medal for folks with cancer,
Though Congress should bestow one without pause,
Citing you for ‘unflinching bravery in battle‘,
And giving your life up fighting for the cause.


For more about Carol, you can read this tribute page, sent in by her daughter, at this link: Carol Miele.


Posted on May 3, 2012

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6 thoughts on “No Bravery Medal

  1. Carol Miele is a creative and inspiring woman who has written a poem that describes the emotional journey a woman with MBC cancer travels as she fights for her life. She is the brave soldier who never flinches from battle even as she lives and deals with a regimen of tests, treatments and emotional upheavals. Her poem is both beautiful and haunting. Through her writing she has been able to describe her innermost feelings giving voice to all women diagnosed with MBC cancer. Families and friends are given an insight into the world of a woman battlling this disease. Carol is beautiful both inside and out and I am so proud to call her my sister.

    • Dolores, what a beautiful comment. And thank you for reminding me that I need to get back on Facebook & Twitter and share this link. Hope you share it, too.

  2. I love this poem- by far one her best! I’m glad to be her daughter! Her strength is amazing, her courage never ending and her ability to live life without hesitation is inspiring! She is my soldier!

  3. Carol, has inspired me to take many new journeys in my life even well before she was diagnosed. Carol was my boss, mentor and above all she is still my friend. Her words of encouragement and reality and the need to find the strength within ourselves to face new challenges are amazing! Carol please share this poem with everyone who is fighting a battle. Truly inspirational! Xxoo

  4. Carol, this is my anthem, I am you and you are me, fighting the same. We are soldiers, we do battle each and every day, and we deserve a medal. Keep fighting my friend, as I will, and we will stand together. One day the cure will be our victory even if we go before that final battle is won. You are in my prayers.

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