The 'C' Word | Teen Ink

The 'C' Word

March 6, 2014
By sarahgage BRONZE, X, Colorado
sarahgage BRONZE, X, Colorado
4 articles 2 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground." - Wilferd Peterson

March 4, 2012
I went to my doctor today about my headaches. They've been getting worse lately...much worse. Sometimes my focus is so off that I can't even read. Literally. It's as if I've reverted back to being four and learning what sound the letter 'A' makes It scares me. They said I just have migraines, though, and prescribed me some medications to take. Mom's calling me for dinner, write later.
Xoxo, Katherine

March 7, 2012
I've been taking the medicine, but it hasn't helped much. It dulled my headaches, but didn't prevent them. I've been able to go back to school, though, and my grades haven't sucked so much. HA.
xoxo, Katherine

March 16, 2012
Sorry I haven't written in awhile. It's been harder to concentrate lately. If I focus on one thing for too long, my vision gets all weird and I get that same pain in the back of my head. I told Mom and she scheduled another appointment for me in a few days to get it checked out. Wish me luck!
xoxo, Katherine

March 20, 2012
I've only really been to the doctor for check ups and for the one time I broke my arm in third grade. Doctors always made me nervous. This time, they did some blood work and a CT scan and MRI. I couldn't eat for the rest of the day after we left the hospital because of nerves. What if something is wrong with me? I'm scared...
xoxo, Katherine

March 25, 2012
The results from my tests came in. The doctor called my mom this morning, and when I heard her crying, I knew something was wrong. Terribly, badly wrong. Turns out they found something from the scan. They want me to come back in to make sure it's not...I don't want to even write that word. The dreaded 'C' word. I don't think I've stopped crying since Mom told me.
xoxo, Katherine

April 3, 2012
I don't even know how to describe how I feel right now. They want to start treatment this week. Mom and Dad have pulled me out of school for now. A few of my friends have asked me where I've been, but I haven't told anyone yet about the 'C' word. I don't want to be ostracized. I'm also scared about how everyone will react. I don't want to be the center of Filmore High's gossip.
xoxo, Katherine

April 9, 2012
I feel like utter crap. These meds they have me on make me sick to my stomach. I hate being sick to my stomach more than anything else. I'm tired too. Mom lets me sleep longer now, though, which is nice.The doctors haven't done much else for me, though. Just loaded on the meds. I'm going to try to eat something. That is, if my stomach lets me this time.
Xoxo, Katherine

April 15, 2012
They decided to put me on even more meds, then try more treatment. I'm heading to the hospital now for another appointment to determine what that treatment will be. I guess kids with brain tumors are tricky patients, and they don't want to end up doing more harm. To be honest, though, I'm more scared for Mom and Dad than myself. I mean, I could die if things don't go right, or whatever. Anyway, we just pulled into the parking lot. Adios for now.
xoxo, Katherine

April 15, 2012 (later)
They decided on intensity-modulated radiotherapy.
xoxo, Katherine

April 25, 2012
I had my first round of IMRT today. They're making me stay at the hospital to keep an eye on me. To make sure I don't get worse, I guess. Mom is super worried, so I may not write a lot. She's always looking over my shoulder, and I don't like sharing what I write with anyone. Anyway, that's to say I may not have very many entries while I'm here.
xoxo, Katherine

May 1, 2012
I met some of the other kids here at Mercy. Most of them are younger than me, which just makes it worse. I mean, I don't look so bad compared to them. A lot of them lost their hair and are super pale. I feel almost embarrassed that I still have my long, dark locks and a flushed face. Heck, I can even breath on my own. I hate it here. I need more pain meds, so bye for now.
xoxo, Katherine

May 25, 2012
I know it's been awhile since I've written. I'd apologize, but I'm not sorry. I'd rather spare as many people (though you aren't really a person) of the details of my sickness. Here's what's been happening. So I have this disease called Astrocytoma and it's the most popular kind of brain tumor that kids can get, supposedly. Throughout the radiation, I also have therapy and lots of meds to take throughout the day. I have an Antineoplastic Agent that is supposed to help slow the growth of the tumor, and a Corticosteroid as well as steroid treatments and stuff. Unlike a lot of the Astrocytoma cases at Mercy, I don't have to take meds for seizures. Thank God for that. I just have to deal with lots of nausea and vomiting and headaches and whatever. It pretty much sucks, and they're afraid that since the medication isn't working that they should do more scans. To make sure the tumor hasn't grown, I guess. Here comes my doctor, so anyway...
xo, Kat

June 5, 2012
It's bigger. Much, much bigger. I mean, I guess I've felt it, but I just didn't realize that's what it was. I thought maybe it was just my body adjusting to the meds or side affects of treatment or something. They want to operate, but we (being Mom and Dad) haven't decided about that. I guess there can be some nasty side effects if things go wrong. You know, like dying. Heck, the idea of brain surgery sounds great to me if it means that it is successful, and I can eat and hold down a full meal!
xo, Kat

June 17, 2012
The doctor keeps using strings of crazy long words and stuff when he comes to talk to me or my parents (who haven't given me a moment alone since this whole 'C' word thing started, not that I'm complaining). I feel like doctor's only do that because it makes them feel smart. They know that anyone who doesn't have a medical degree wouldn't understand a word they're saying. Whatever, though. Today he told us that they were going to operate. My tumor has spread to another section of my brain, or something, and I guess it's like my center for memory or whatever, so it's “vital”, as the doctor said.
xo, Kat

June 19, 2012
I go into surgery soon. Wish me luck.
xo, Kat

August 9, 2012
I was told surgery went well, but I've been super tired and stuff and it's been a crazy couple months. At first, the tumor was supposedly gone, but like a quarter in a magic trick, it came back. They showed us my scans when I took them last month. It was bad. Really bad. It's everywhere now.

August 16, 2012
I'm on oxygen now. The little nubs in my cannula are annoying and my nose is always dry. God, I hate this. I've only been home a few times since I was put in this god-forsaken place, and right now I want nothing more than to be in my own stupid bed, listening to my stupid music, cuddling with my stupid stuffed elephant like a stupid little kid without my stupid oxygen tank or stupid IV or this STUPID CANCER.

August 30, 2012
I never thought I'd be so thankful for such small things. Like having hair. Or weighing a decent number. Heck, I wouldn't mind weighing 300 pounds if it meant I was out of Mercy. My rings don't fit anymore, either. And I hate that because I ALWAYS wear my rings. Marissa came to visit me, but I've stopped responding to my “friends”. All they do is pity me or send flowers that smell awful because of the crap they spray on them, or cards they bought downstairs for $3. I don't want to sound selfish, or like I don't need my friends or anything, but it'd be nice to get a call or a visit once in awhile. I just have my parents who hang on me and say the same three sentences all day. “How are you feeling?” “Do you need more meds?” “You're so strong, honey.” I'm sick of it (literally, ha!). Oh, and by the way, I feel like utter CRAP. That tends to happen to people who are dying, Mom. However, I would LOVE more meds if that meant I would sleep or feel no pain at all, but we all know that is impossible. Finally, I am not strong. I am so tired of people telling me that. Sick kids are not strong. If we were, we wouldn't be sick or occupying a hospital bed, now would we? Saying all of this, though, I wouldn't trade my parents for anything. They're the strong ones, not me.

September 18, 2012
I've been doing better lately. I mean, I'm not better, but still. I've been sleeping longer, and Mom got this cool patterned tape that we wrapped around the bottom part my cannula tube. I have to say, I probably have the most fashionable breathing tube in Mercy (not to brag or anything). Anyway, I've got a nurse coming in soon, so ta-ta for now!

October 1, 2012
Back to ICU for me. Weee!

October 22, 2012
I'm getting even worse (if that was possible).

November 5, 2012
Mom spends her days now holding my hand, sleeping in a chair in the corner of my room, reading, reading to me, sleeping some more, drinking coffee, and some more hand holding. I spend my day sleeping, getting drugs injected into my arm, faking smiles, saying '8' when the nurse asks about my pain level from 1-10, and trying to ignore the incessant aching. Fun, eh? Life is such a slut sometimes. She just likes to screw lots of people.

November 22, 2012
I heard the doctor telling Mom and Dad that he doesn't think I'll make it to Christmas.

December 1, 2012
I don't think I'll make it to Christmas, either. I'm just so tired...

December 8, 2012
I'm ready to be done with this. With everything. Today's one of those days I just pray that I will die. I'm scared, though.

December 13, 2012
I can't hold down any meals now. They've had to put in another tube for that. And I have a more heavy duty one for breathing too. I call it Clark. Like Clark Kent, since he's keeping me alive. You know, because Superman saves people, or whatever. Anyway, I'm tired...

December 15, 2012
Excuse my handwriting. I find it hard to hold a pen now. I find it hard to do much of anything, actually.

December 17, 2012
Mom cries a lot, but she doesn't realize that I'm awake when she does. I think that hurts as much as being sick.

December 20, 2012
I feel like I'm holding on just to prove to the doctor that I can hang out until Christmas. I'm beginning to doubt it though. I feel so sick.

December 23, 2012
Getting dying or Christmas, I'm not quite sure. They are both close. I can feel it.

December 25, 2012
I made it.

December 29, 2012
I don't think I'll be able to write much anymore. It's too hard.

January 2, 2013
This past year has been so hard...Mom's writing for me now, since I can barely hold a pen, which doesn't do me any good since I can't write anyway. I thought running the mile in gym class was hard, but it's nothing compared to the 'C' word. Cancer. I've forgotten what's it like not to have tubes throughout my whole body or beeping noising or the whirring of my oxygen tank. It's like I'm living a whole different life. I like my first one better. Anyway, I'm tired, so I'm going to rest or whatever.
xoxo, Katherine Marie Gordon

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