Flood

This week, Spin Cycle over at Sprite’s Keeper is all about songs. During the summer of 1996, this song kept me afloat.

“What’s this?” I think. I’m lying on my bed in my apartment, left arm above my head, suddenly frozen in fear. I feel a plain difference in my left breast compared to my right.

There’s a ball-like formation that I can feel all the way around. It’s not attached to my chest, but is just floating there, in the middle of my breast. I push all suggestions that it’s a lump out of my mind.

Rain rain on my face
It hasn’t stopped raining for days
My world is a flood
Slowly I become one with the mud.

Three weeks later I think I have a yeast infection. I’ve never had one before, so I’m not sure. I make an appointment at the clinic in town. The doctor examines me, and says no infection, but there’s something else here. You need a mammogram, today. He takes me to radiology. After the mammogram, the radiologist looks at the films and says, you need to see a surgeon, today. No one shows me the films. I wait in an exam room, shivering. This whole afternoon is turning into a nightmare. When I finally see the surgeon, he says, I’m taking that lump out tomorrow morning.

I’m 27, alone. I walked into the clinic with a yeast infection. I walk out with breast cancer.

Down pour on my soul
Splashing in the ocean I’m losing control
Dark sky all around
I can’t feel my feet touching the ground.

I’m angry, so angry, that I was hustled from room to room, never asked if I wanted to call someone, never given a chance to breathe, never given any choices. For the next couple of years, I swallow tears every time I drive past the clinic–it’s a small town and that street is hard to avoid.

My parents tell me; beg me; come home. They don’t wait for me; they come and get me instead.

But if I can’t swim after forty days
And my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves
Lift me up so high that I can not fall
Lift me up

My new surgeon shows me the films. He points out a star pattern. It could be scar tissue, perhaps. Have I ever been hit really hard in the chest? No, not that I remember. If this is scar tissue, you’d remember, he replies. He gives me some options.

The lumpectomy confirms every one’s suspicions.

Lift me up–when I am falling
Lift me up–I’m weak and I’m dying
Lift me up–I need you to hold me
Lift me up–keep me from drowning again.
Jars of Clay

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7 Responses to Flood

  1. I have to say I agree that you need to write a book about this. I often wonder if this is a way for our pains to make us better people or to give us a passion or life purpose in helping others….I was a single mom for 11 years, My real mom died when I was 5, and although I did not go through your adversity, I have a horrible skin condition that no doctor can cure after five years and five doctors…no I shalll never give up hope… There has to be a solution ..and now my face has 16 scars, that need surgery – so – I wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are to all of us and for my friends whom have been through cancer as well… ~Jackie from http://thebloggingvalley.wordpress.com

  2. Wow. Just wow. The song is perfect for the story, but the story is so powerful by itself. You write this so well, I have chills just reading it. Beautiful writing, Ginny Marie! You're linked!Recent blog post: The Randomness of Being

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