Drinks and chemo-cocktails

When I was a little girl I went through a phase where I wrote a poem for everything. Some good friends of my father's, the Knuppenburgs, had just added a Tiki Bar to their estate. My stepmother owned a bar so I was no stranger to the bar business, but I had no idea what a Tiki Bar was, and for some reason that was enough to inspire a poem. So I retreated to my room for a bit and came back eager and proud to show off my work.

It was titled The Tiki Bar. The lines were simple and silly and went something like:

Where you order up beers

And to drink your fears

At the Tiki Bar


Where the pretty faced ladies

Drink to their maybes

At the Tiki Bar



Whether I was just so cute at the age of 10, or I was a poetic genious ahead of my time, they thought my poem was funny enough to frame and hang above the Tiki Bar. It actually still hangs there today.

Years and years later, after my own bout with cancer my father received the news that Butch Knuppenburg was also diagnosed with cancer.

Since I understood the importance of a good laugh while in treatment, I called my Dad and anounced that I was coming out of retirement, and stepping back into the ring, to write one more poem for Mr. Knuppenburg.

Between classes I sat down on a comfy chair on campus and I followed the original format of the Tiki Bar poem for nostalgia, and produced this beauty:


The Cancer Ward


Upon arrival you are given, essentially, a napkin for clothes.

Then they shove a small hose up your nose.

At the cancer ward



And then they insert a tube, in a place I don't want to say.

The funny part is, apparently, you get better this way

At the cancer ward.



Toxic chemicals rush through your veins.

The best part is they give you narcotics for pain.

At the cancer ward.



Nurses measure every ounce of urine you expel.

Then calculate the water you drank by amount, color, and smell.

At the cancer ward



You'll make a a friend or two in the waiting room, whether you want one or not.

One major advantage, you can now legally smoke pot.

At the cancer ward.



One last thing that unites cancer patients with a bit of a scowl.

All of us, every last one, has had problems with our bowels.

At the cancer ward.



--Becky Busch

October 15, 2012


I guess you could say I am the Dr. Suess of medical poetry. (or as least I will say that about myself) :)


I shared this with friends and family, and at the request of my father, I shared it with my physicians as well. I few weeks later my cancer buddy, Tom, sent me this:


Watch out Robert Frost

take your Road Not Taken and get lost


Becky brings the rhymes on things that really matter

Like tiki bars and colon cancer


Surgery, radiation and chemo can be really tough

Even when you are on the baby stuff


To young to know what she does about death and life

All of it's beauty, challenges and strife


Yeah, Becky has been through hell

But is back and doing better than well


So as you can see one poem can certainly inspire another! (Thanks Tom :))

The next time a loved one is under the weather, maybe try cheering them up with something silly. I know for me, I appreciated the funny cards just as much (sometimes more) as the sentimental ones.

Latest comments

05.11 | 16:12

I am so sorry you had to experience this, Becky. But one thing no stinking fire can take away from you is this: You're an awesome writer. Keep on producing!!

15.04 | 16:00

You are the first person that I have heard from that has this bugger! feel free to reach out to me in the contact me section. Limited response in this section

15.04 | 03:48

Wow. IHow are you doing with the Teratocarcinosarcoma. I was diagnosed with it last September.

15.11 | 18:32

Wow! What an inspirational story! I hope that you continue to share. And for those that don't get it. Try and fit in her shoes one day.