Poem in Preparation for Surgery


Instructions to the Body
Prior to Surgery

Yield to the scalpel whether laser or blade,
limit leaks of precious fluids,
let nerves that are cut be soothed,
relax into the induced-sleep state of healing.

Heart beats strong in a steady rhythm,
blood pressure calm,
breath relaxed and easy,
all organ systems functioning smoothly.

From the giant pharmacy of drugs
for which you have instructions,
make all those that in your wisdom
are needed to optimally heal.

Release what is to be taken
for the highest good.
Protect what is to remain
for future days stretching out long before me.

Allow melding with mind, emotion and spirit
in service of healing.

Be hopeful, be kind to all concerned.
Know I trust.
Know I love you.
Know I am most grateful.

And to the cells that are leaving,
a blessing for long service,
both individually and together
speak well for me.

Be hopeful, be kind to all concerned.
Know I trust.
Know I love you.
Know I am most grateful.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2007

From my short collection, New Year’s Eve Surgery, which I gave to my medical team before a bilateral mastectomy and removal of my ovaries in 2007.  It turned out that I carry a BRCA 2 mutation and I’d had three breast cancer tumors by that point. I spent time in research and reflection before making such a deeply personal decision. I wanted my team to know something about me before embarking on this very personal and human experience. I wanted the conversation to be more healing and less clinical. And so I chose some poems and a few winter photos to speak for me. I decorated the chapbook covers with glitter streamer and star stickers. My sister, Marie, had the brilliant idea for them to sign my copy of the chapbook, which made it very interactive. Later, I got to read all their support for me. Amazing!

Three weeks ago I was facing another major surgery, hysterectomy, and thought of this poem. I recited it aloud to myself for several days before: the mind giving the body specific instructions to do well. These were my own affirmations, a very practical piece. I printed a copy of the poem and took it with me, intending to read it again at the hospital. Instead, when the anesthesiologist came to talk with me, she asked an unexpected question: “Was there anything I wanted to have her read to me before surgery? While awake or asleep?” I gave her this poem and she read it to me immediately prior to the surgery, while I was sleeping. Awesome! Very calming of my anxiety. I did not have to arrange anything. I felt in good hands all around and I have healed well.

(New Year’s Eve Surgery is available in the Store as a FREE pdf for a bit longer.)

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4 thoughts on “Poem in Preparation for Surgery

  1. Tresa-Gillman-Davis


    This is an absolutely beautiful piece. It reminds me of one of my favorite passages of scripture, Psalms 139. I wish I had seen it before my friend had her cancer on Monday this week. While covered with blankets of prayer from all over the U.S., these words would have no doubt been an extra comfort in this most uncertain time for her.

    Thank you for sharing!


  2. Margaret Dubay Mikus Post author

    I am grateful for your comment, Tresa! Blessings and healing energy to your recovering friend. I truly believe we are all awesome healers. She may like my book, “As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation–Poems, Letters, and Inner Listening,” written when I had cancer the first time (with selected poems from the first 5 years).

  3. Harpreet Gujral

    Beautiful poem and affirmation for any surgery. I am amazed at how you have so beautifully strung the words like a perfect pearl string; elegant and wise! I will be sharing this anyone seeking my guidance/help.
    Thank you so much this gift, Margaret!
    warm regards,

  4. Margaret Dubay Mikus

    You are most welcome, Harpreet! I feel like you understand what I was aiming for: to be useful, to be of service. Thank you so much for sharing my poems!

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