Coping with the storm


By guest poet,  Lynne Fornieles





Superstorm heaves in, unstoppable,

black Cyclops eye spitting spikes.

Hearts pound as adrenalin bangs

and infomercial

send the city to higher ground.


Is this real?

Will the clapperboard shout

‘Cut. It’s a wrap’?

In Rockaway, they crouch

behind closed doors and boarded windows.



Three day ago she heard she had the cancer.

Two days ago scans made weather maps

illuminating its path.

Yesterday she learned therapies won’t help.

No drugs or rays or knife.

Today is all.


Her doctor stands beside her as she lies quietly wired.

Monitors dawn chorus to the hiss of oxygen

and quietly padding feet. She tells him and he listens.

Her fears for others, worries for the battered homeless,

worries for their number, worries for the wake that icy foams

behind bitter swirling skirts.

The wages of sin is death

she angry whispers to her pillow.


The storm fades, flickering screens reveal

cars tossed like salad into a ribboned bowl of boardwalk.

Old man in baseball cap with a face

that’s used to smiling, now wet with tears.

Sighing she opens to express

all that has gone and cannot be the same.

She cannot be the same.


The void of her words

forms a space and they sit together, silent .

Pale morning light seeps

through sterile glass.

Smiling she weeps as memories

arc behind her eyes.

He takes her hand and feels it cool,

as she copes with the storm.



A tribute to Dr JS and his patient 12th November 2012

Coping with a Storm


  • Stunning. Thank you, Lynne. PS Dr. Salwitz, ever since I heard Elie Wiesel's words - "Think higher and feel deeper." - I take time many times each week to make sure I do. Your posts help me meet this goal; they enrich my life...and, I'm sure, those of so many others.
    • James Salwitz, MD
      Think higher and feel deeper ... Fantastic thoughts... I appreciate you teaching me. Jcs
  • Gopal Pandey
    For your information I have cured three cases of cancer viz. Melanoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Colo-rectal cancer with homeopathy. So I disagree that alternative does not work for cancer treatment.
    • James Salwitz, MD
      Actually, I never said that alternative medicine does not work for cancer treatment ... I said that alternative medicine is treatment provided with little published data or research. The exciting thing would be for you to publish your cases so that they could be studied and understood. In the absence of objective analysis, we have no way to judge when or if a particular treatment will help or hurt. If you wish to present your cases in detail here, on Sunrise Rounds, I would be honored to publish them. I would be happy to provide a basic analysis of how a medical oncologist would view your results and you can present what you believe happened. Please note that you would need to get your patient's consent to avoid HIPAA problems. Suggest sending a draft directly to my email if you wish to pursue. jcs
      • Gopal Pandey
        Dear JCS: You are right you did not say that but the general feeling is such. I just wanted to bring to your attention that I did cure these cases of cancer and some other incurable diseases in friends and and family without any fees. I have no controls or other data to offer for publication other than the testimonials from the patients. I don't practice homeopathy as it is forbidden here in North Carolina and/or I don't have credentials to satisfy the State agencies. I would be glad to treat a few volunteers that you may know of if thy have belief in this system of medicine, of course without a fee. With best regards, Gopal Pandey Chalotte, NC May 9, 2013
        • James Salwitz, MD
          Thanks for your honesty, feedback and compassionate offer. jcs
  • Marilyn Hoffman Fuss
    I just read your essay on treating an evil, manipulative man posted on Kevin M.D. Your description of the evil, manipulative man who was dying body part by body part made me think of Donald Trump. Please forgive me if by chance you are a Republican and a supporter. One of the most compassionate doctors I, terminal for about four years now, have encountered is a palliative care specialist and (sob) a Trump supporter. He is a good doctor, cutting edge in palliative oncology. He is not my physician anymore because I became a pariah at the cancer center near my home because I was informed after successful radiation therapy to rid me of multiple pelvic endometrial metastases, that it had been known for 3 months that I had a distant node (suspicious and yes, malignant, and a suspicious thyroid, not malignant). Even though I had plead with my onc/rad for transparency, I got the opposite, and then my onc/gyn lied in his notes about from where and when this info came to his attention. I complained to patient relations and this past fall I was informed by one of my present docs that a smart patient never complains to patient relations about a physician. That cancer center couldn't get rid of me fast enough. Over twenty-five months ago, I was told to go home to die.

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