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  • Cynthia Chin-Lee

The 12 Days of Cancer

Sung to the tune of The 12 days of Christmas


Illustration by Xavier Romero-Frias - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23287278
Illustration of the original lyrics of the 12 Days of Christmas

For fun, I rewrote the lyrics to the traditional Christmas song, the Twelve Days of Christmas, to reflect my cancer journey with the new title, the Twelve Days of Cancer. A little about this song: according to historians, this is a European tune (probably of French origin) with English lyrics first published in 1780. Most historians believe it is designed as a memory and forfeit game where one singer sings a verse and the next singer has to correctly add the next verse lest they have to forfeit something to their opponent, such as a kiss or even an article of clothing? Also note that the 12 days start after Christmas, December 25, and proceed to the 12th day, January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany. See https://parade.com/1108781/kelseypelzer/12-days-of-christmas-meaning/.


Anyway, enjoy the parody!


For those who don’t know me, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive lobular carcinoma), but declined surgery and radiation (to the annoyance of my medical team). Using nutrition, supplements, and hormone blockers as well stress reduction and exercise, I was able to reverse my cancer. I had a PET scan about 8 months after my initial diagnosis that showed “no evidence of disease.”


On the first day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – an order for surgery.


On the second day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 2 big fat bills and an order for surgery.


On the third day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 4th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 5th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 6th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills and an order for surgery.


On the 7th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 7 fruit smoothies, 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 8th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 8 cups of green tea, 7 fruit smoothies, 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 9th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 9 mushroom burgers, 8 cups of green tea, 7 fruit smoothies, 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 10th day of cancer, my doctor sent to me – 10 salads spinning, 9 mushroom burgers, 8 cups of green tea, 7 fruit smoothies, 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 11th day of cancer my doctor sent to me – 11 yoga stretches, 10 salads spinning, 9 mushroom burgers, 8 cups of green tea, 7 fruit smoothies, 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


On the 12th day of cancer my doctor sent to me – 12 meditations, 11 yoga stretches, 10 salads spinning, 9 mushroom burgers, 8 cups of green tea, 7 fruit smoothies, 6 beams of radiation, 5 blood tests, 4 calling nurses, 3 new pills, 2 big fat bills, and an order for surgery.


Original lyrics

New lyrics

Notes

Reference

A partridge in a pear tree

An order for surgery

The first treatment for many types of cancer with solid tumors is to remove the tumor(s) surgically. Unfortunately research studies show that removing a primary tumor surgically often activates microscopic cancer cells and can make the cancer worse. Surgery can also have serious complications such as blood clots, bleeding, shock, and infection.

2 turtle doves

2 big fat bills

Average medical costs for breast cancer patients is over $100,000. Other cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer are even more expensive to treat.

3 French hens

3 new pills

4 calling birds

4 calling nurses

5 golden rings

5 blood tests

6 geese a laying

6 beams of radiation

The second line of treatment for cancer is often radiation. Unfortunately radiation can cause secondary cancers and can have serious side effects including fatigue, hair loss, and skin problems. Depending on where the radiation is focused, you can have headaches, nausea, dry mouth, and breast soreness.

7 swans a swimming

7 fruit smoothies

Fruit has the lowest methionine of all the foods with fish and poultry having the highest amount. An essential amino acid, methionine is necessary for cancer to grow and thrive so if you reduce your methionine, you starve the cancer.

8 maids a milking

8 cups of green tea

Green tea may help prevent and reduce cancer if you have it.

9 ladies dancing

9 mushroom burgers

In this case, the mushrooms, like portobellos, replace the beef! Mushrooms have been shown to help prevent and reduce cancer.

10 lords a leaping

10 salads spinning

11 pipers piping

11 yoga stretches

Stress reduction through yoga, tai chi, and meditation can encourage your body to heal.

12 drummers drumming

12 meditations

P.S. If you want to hear me singing the parody, leave a comment.





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