Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trees Aren't Always Trees

All around me, trees welcome spring. Normally I love to watch this process, but this year is different.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know of my mother’s amazing cancer journey and how it is drawing to a close. You may not know that my oldest sister died, at 55, of ovarian cancer in 2000. And now my remaining sister has discovered suspicious lumps; her doctors are rushing her through tests and plan to excise two lumps this Thursday for biopsy

I, thankfully, remain healthy.

Back to those trees. I’m stuck in a metaphor loop.

Dark branches against the sky are lungs. Bronchi. Bronchioles. Alveoli. All reaching toward the sky in a gasp for air.

Dark branches against the sky are the blue veins visible under the milky white skin of a breast.

Dark branches against the sky are the circulatory system.

Dark branches against the sky are the lymphatic conduits that run throughout our bodies.

Dark branches against the sky take the shape of a brain, tracing the folds and valleys, mimicking the neuron. Axon. Soma. Dendrite.

The tangled nests of squirrels are tumors. The small nests of birds are tumors. Fruit trees bloom with disease. The green buds are tumors, coursing their way though lymph, blood, and tissue.

The process of spring, which should mean growth and blooming and change, has become malignant.

Photo credit: Tiny Topaz

3/12/09 update: My sister's simple biopsy turned into a general anesthesia, tangerine-sized lump removal, chest drain kind of thing.  Pathology should be in on Monday. Send white light.
3/17/09 update: Both the tumor and the scalene lymph nodes were malignant.


Sarah said...

This is so beautiful, but so sad at the same time.I'm sending you hugs. S xx

Christy Raedeke said...

Just: wow. I'll never look at a bare tree the same way.

Kelly Hudgins said...

Thanks to you both.