My web site is devoted to medical and treatment information about this rare cancer. My blog is devoted to sharing what has been the more difficult part of the journey for me, the emotional and spiritual road I've traveled as a rare cancer survivor.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Apple Tree

Don't know if I'm being sappy or indulgent or sentimental here, but please bear with me!

Before my cancer diagnosis, I bought an apple tree.  We'd had a large above ground pool in our backyard, which we'd removed, and I wanted TREES in our back yard to fill the space.  I thought a fruit tree would be nice, so bought a self-pollinating green apple tree.  After a few years, it actually had lots of apples, and they were the best apples I'd ever tasted.  One year, just after my cancer diagnosis, I notices we had a worm problem with the apples, so I decided to spray the tree with insecticide.   A few days after I sprayed it, the leaves started dying, and I realized my mistake...I'd sprayed it with herbicide instead of insecticide.  Soon branches started dying.  I pruned the tree many times hoping that when I removed the dead wood, enough of it would survive to keep the tree alive.  As I did that, I felt I was "debulking" it, much like my own cytoreduction surgery.  In the end, all of the branches died, and I had only a dead trunk.  I cut down the trunk, I'd killed my apple tree. It was gone.

But the next spring, a small shoot appeared where the dead trunk had been.  The tiny leaves looked a bit like my old apple trees leaves, so I tried to nurture it.  The next year the leaves came back again.  Over the next several years, I nurtured the small plant, and it grew to a small tree.  No blossoms, no apples, but I kept nurturing it anyway.  I wasn't sure if it was a tree or a big weed, but I kept it.

This year, my tenth anniversary cancer-free, my tree bloomed...and it has apples again!  I picked one, and it tasted GREAT!

My apple tree now reminds me that when all hope seems gone, just a small bit of hope can grow.  It can become whole, be fruitful.  That even after devastatingly hard times we can be reborn.

As a side note, I looked at my apple tree today, and many apples were gone, there were only three remaining. Balanced on my fence-top was a half-eaten apple. We have raccoons and squirrels in my yard, and they never cared about the apples before, but now my apple tree seems popular!!  But I don't mind.....I think hope is something to share.  As long as they leave me a few....

1 comment:

Adam said...

Nice story, thanks for sharing :-) The message of hope is most welcome!