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Saturday, March 14, 2009


by Lori Desrosiers

Heather McNamara, 7, will be discharged from a New York hospital today after a daring, high-risk operation last month in which doctors removed six vital organs so they could take out a baseball-sized tumor that had invaded her abdomen and threatened her life. The marathon Feb. 6 operation lasted 23 hours. It was the first of its kind in a child and the second in the world, said the lead surgeon, Tomoaki Kato. In effect, the young cancer patient was both the donor and recipient of her own organs. . . . Kato's team removed and chilled the child's stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver and small and large intestines as they would for transplantation, so they could be restored after the tumor was taken out. --Steve Sternberg USA Today (March 10)

a stomach in a box
next to a spleen
along with a liver
on ice like soda
or picnic potato salad
in a box not in me
while they cut it out
mean old cancer ball
goodbye parts
goodbye stomach
pancreas, spleen
yet here I am
going home to my sister
and my dog Angel
leaving my parts
in a box.

Lori Desrosiers' chapbook Three Vanities is being published by Pudding House Press. Her poems have appeared in Common Ground Review, Big City Lit, The Equinox, Ballard Street Poetry Journal, November 3rd Club, Blue Fifth Review, Gold Wake Press' mini-chapbook series and others. She is the managing editor/publisher of Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry. She lives in Westfield, Massachusetts.