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My Earthquake and Aftermath

by Loree Hill

Rumble, crumble, still now silent.
I've been through an earthquake
Only instead of it lasting seconds,
Mine has lasted months.
Cancer came from out of nowhere, it seems.
Unexpected, I was unprepared.
Just as pressure builds in Earth's center,
Cancer slowly grew in my core
Erupting in lymph nodes, creating tumors in my chest.
At first shock and fear with the diagnosis given,
Ground beneath me shaking, knocking me down.
I grab for life, hold on and endure the rumble, praying it will be over soon.
Finally, it stops.
Remission - relief with hesitation.
Are you sure?
I sit still, silent
Trying to make sense of what just happened.
Was it real or a bad dream?
I get up slowly, assess the damage and try to move forward
Lifting myself from the ashes and dust.
I have survived while others have not
Remission, I remind myself, remission!
The ground has stopped moving,
The worst is over.
Now what? Now what do I do?
I stand looking around,
My former life gone
Everything is a mangled mess of things
I once knew as strong structures built by my own hands,
Now unrecognizable
Only endless heaps scattered far and wide.
How do I rebuild? Where do I begin?
The task seems so daunting.
One day at a time, one brick at a time.
Do I have the strength?
I look in a shard of mirror, see my reflection and wonder who she is
I'm not the same.
Tattered, bruised, cut and scarred in places once unmarred
Cancer hit, my earthquake, double digits on the Richter scale
Once in remission, those around you mistakenly think you are through it
But the cancer survivor knows you are not.
Chance of an after shock looms heavy,
Reoccurrence may come at any time
No way to stop it even if it does.
Periodic scans watch for build up, potential activity.
And the fall out, the aftermath, the clean up and rebuilding...
It will take years, if not another lifetime.

Loree Hill is a writer, business owner, wife and mother of two. Cooking and baking, and writing poetry and fiction are among her creative passions. Diagnosed with blood cancer in 2008, she is a survivor in remission.