I lie in the imaging room.

A machine hisses and whines.

Radioactive isotopes light up my brain.

My mind flips through a life deemed over.


For almost a year I keep silent.

I hide from others and myself.

I labor through each day.

My secret stays guarded.


I grow tired of hiding.

I feel like a fraud.

I finally share the news.

My children are the catalyst.


I hope I can show them resilience.

Finding meaning at purpose is also my goal.

Illness provides and odd sort of renewal.

I could not be more surprised.


My life is not over.

It is being reshaped and repurposed.

I am discovering new goals and roles.

I am silent no more.



Used by permission of the author.

Allan Hugh Cole

Allan Hugh Cole Jr., Ph.D., serves as Deputy to the President for Societal Challenges and Opportunities at The University of ...more