The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.


by Kris RileyMother of a Childhood Cancer SurvivorFebruary 21, 2024View more posts from Kris Riley

We have a tree called Hope. The anniversary of Matt’s diagnosis is a painful day for us; there was no happiness, so we do not celebrate it. Instead, we celebrate the anniversary of his completion of treatment. So for his anniversary we planted a tree, and Matt named it Hope. We picked a flowering apple tree and it grows outside our living room window. When I look at our tree it reminds me how the cycle of the tree reflects our journey with cancer.

When the tree is bare in winter it reminds me of when we were diagnosed and how dead and empty we felt inside. We feel like we have no hope. But slowly a bud begins to form in our hearts and we again begin to feel hope. We hear a bird sing, a child laugh and smile again, the warmth of the sun. Suddenly that bud bursts forth into a blossom and we begin to have hope in the future. As the tree is in full bloom, we are filled with hope as we have completed treatment and are warmed by the satisfaction that we have survived. The tree will provide nourishment and protection for other creatures just as we will offer nourishment and support to others who are on this journey.

The branches of the tree aren’t all perfectly formed any longer, but there is strength and beauty in its imperfection as we remember what that tree has had to overcome to survive. Sometimes we enter a fall in this battle with cancer and just as the leaves fall from the tree, so do our tears. The winds blow us sometimes to our breaking point and some will have to again face winter. We need to remember that when the tree looks bare and void of life, there is a bud of hope just waiting to burst forth. As I watch Hope grow skyward, I watch my son reaching also, for the sky is the limit for him.

Join the Conversation!

Leave a comment below. Remember to keep it positive!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *