Life, a magic carpet ride full of wonder, adventure and excitement. Minor instability offset by laughter and new discovery, until major turbulence throws us off the magic carpet and we are falling, terrified, separated and searching for a safe landing. There is no safe landing: below us is a volcano, its fatal interior exploding and bubbling, sending hot ribbons of destruction to cover the mountain. We are no longer casual observers; we have been dropped into the confusion. It is difficult to see clearly, it is impossible to think clearly. Amidst the chaos I realize our family has been separated, there are only 3 of us when there should be 4. Who is missing? I feel the tiny trembling hands in mine and know that our two precious sons are with me, which means their father, my husband, is missing. We stumble blindly, tripping and falling, desperate to find safety. The rumblings are constant, hot deadly lava spills out over the top towards me and the ones I love. There are moments of quiet, usually too brief, before another wave of deadly redness oozes towards us. Others are on this lethal mountain, some have a clear trail with only trickles of lava in their path, narrow enough to step across, or perhaps a little more of a leap is required and they are free to run to safety. Some are equipped with safety gear and can negotiate through the molten liquid. Some have nothing but their determined spirit. Defiant in the face of adversity. Some are closer to the rim, unable to avoid the bubbling, spitting volcanic emission and yet screaming ‘bring it on’ – issuing the ultimate challenge. Their courage is admirable. I am suffocating. I want to breathe. I need to breathe but the air is toxic. I can’t fill my lungs with the clean air they are longing for. I am paralysed with fear but I have to move. I have to move to save my precious children. They need me. I need them. We are all scared. We are all at the mercy of this untamed mountain. Hoping to gain some control of what is uncontrollable. The volcano will erupt. It is only a matter of time. How much time? When will this fear be replaced with a sense of calm? Where is the path to safety? I am edging slowly, carefully, twisting and turning, always searching for the safest route. Holding tightly to those I love, summonsing all my strength and wisdom to negotiate through the deadly redness. Some we must leave behind, they are trapped, they know their fate. It is oozing towards them, painfully slowly. We will not escape untouched, there will be burns, some on the surface and some much deeper. With professional care and much love and support we will survive.
11 Comments
Contributor
I feel like cancer is a volcano, it can lay dormant for years or may just bubble away merrily on its own. The 'experts' tell us an eruption is imminent, we watch, we try to prepare and we wait. Trying to live as normal,when nothing is normal and living is in fear.
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Contributor
I am speechless, so well said and beautiful. Thank you
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Regular Contributor
Hi, Many months ago I was seaching for the metaphor to describe cancer. You found it and so beautifully described all of the aspects that this disease brings to those of us who endure it and those, like yourself, who have to watch on. Like Vinouche, this has really touchedme. Speechless. Take care of yourself and your family. S
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Occasional Contributor
You have captured the true fear and uncertainty of this evil disease through this wondrous piece of writing. Sadly, I never realised what cancer sufferers and their loved ones have to deal with until now. For that I feel remorse, for the compassion that is needed should be endless! And you have my complete empathy as now I too understand!
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Not applicable
Hi there, i agree.............how absolutely true that cancer is a volcano & the worst part is it may lay dormant for years but we have to try and go on with life not knowing if or when it will erupt again. Nothing is ever the way it was & there is no getting back to "normal".....we now have a new type of "normal!" Mez 😉
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Contributor
Volcanoes and cancer both bring about devastation followed by a different landscape, the difference between the two is that a volcanic eruption is beautiful in itself whereas cancer is ugly in everyway. s
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Contributor
Hi Jill there is nothing i can say that will easy your pain. please know that i am thinking of you all. Linda
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Occasional Contributor
Hi Jill. You are often in my thoughts.I will come back and re read this another day when I have more time. Need to go to hairdressers as today is our wedding day. Take care and try to enjoy some moments with family and friends. love Gail xxx
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Contributor
Hi Jill. Wanted you to know that my prayers and thoughts are with you and your 2 precious children. You were the first person to chat to me on this wonderful site and now I can't offer you any words of advice except to take care of yourself and those precious kids. xoChris
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Contributor
You have described cancer and all its ups and downs - scars physical and emotional so well. The metaphor of a volcano is so accurate encompassing and describes the journey we all travel so well. Thinking of you, Cyber Hugs, Nicole xoxoxo
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New Contributor
Yes, cancer is a volcano and sometimes we don't know we are living on one. Then one day an earthquake hits us and we then realise what is seeping beneath the surface of our lives.
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