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I looked down at the black and blue splotch on my arm. It was the third one that week. Pain shot through every nerve in my body as I carefully poked each one of the bruises. My teachers were becoming more skeptical with each day about where these markings were coming from, but I could never tell them. The truth was, not even I knew where they were coming from. When I got home from school that day, I finally decided to show my mom.
“Hmm, well I think I’ll make an appointment with the doctor, I’m getting a little worried about this,” my mom said with a concerned face. I went back to watching T.V. but soon nodding off into a peaceful dream.
“Wake up honey, I finally got an appointment with the doctor to get your arm checked out, we have to leave in about ten minutes.” My mom kissed my cheek and left the room. I slowly sat up from the couch. The room was spinning as I tried to focus my tired eyes on the clock. It was already four o’ clock and the last thing I wanted to do was have a doctor peer into every hole I had, looking for something wrong.
“Alright open wide and say ‘ahhhh.’” The doctor grinned a cheesy smile at me before plunging a wooden Popsicle stick down my throat.
“Ahhh.” I gagged as my eyes filled with tears.
“Interesting.” The doctor leaned back in his rolling chair and rested his hands on his plump stomach. “I am going to have to take a blood test, this could be serious.”
“A blood test? Is that really necessary? I mean she’s just a kid, she plays and gets hurt sometimes, she is a kid!” I looked at my mom who had a worried look on her face, and then at the doctor who looked down at his clip board with my file on it,
“What do you suggest we do then, because I don’t know what’s causing these bruises, but a blood test can tell us.” With that he left, only to return with a tray full of needles and tubes. The next thing I knew I was filling up small tubes of blood. I was scared at what was going on, I didn’t know exactly what was happening but I knew from my mom’s faint but reassuring smile she gave me, that it was bad.
A day later the doctor called me and mom back to his office to see what is really wrong. I was getting impatient; I mean did I really have to go back to the doctors for him to tell me I have a cold or a slight case of the flu? I plopped down into a leather chair, looking at all the golf awards and college degrees my doctor had gotten over the years. The doctor started in as my mom sat down in the identical chair next to me.
“From the blood tests, we have discovered something very shocking. Usually ten year old girls aren’t diagnosed with this, but I suppose anything is possible…”
“What are you getting at?” My mom swallowed hard and stared at the doctor awaiting the answer.
“I am terribly sorry, but she has type four leukemia.” My mom covered her mouth with her hand as she leaned in to hold me close. I didn’t know what the doctor meant by what he said, I didn’t know why I had never seen my mom this way, I didn’t know what the doctor kept saying after he had broken the news, something about two months, all I knew was that I wanted to get out of there and be at my home so I didn’t have to face this.
That night my mom tucked me in my bed and asked if I had any questions about what the doctor had said earlier.
“What’s wrong with me?” I didn’t want to know the answer. My mom smoothed down my chocolate brown hair as she answered.
“Do you know what cancer is, have you ever heard of that word before?” I thought back to second grade when my class had to have a substitute teacher because our regular teacher had cancer. I didn’t know what it meant so I shook my head no.
“It is a bad thing that is living in your blood. But we can fight it, it just might be hard to sometimes. Your doctor thinks chemotherapy is the best thing to do for the next two months and see how that goes.”
“What happens after two months though?” Her bottom lip quivered and her eyes glistened in the light. My mom kissed my forehead.
“You don’t have to worry about that.” She shut off my light and left me alone with my question that was left unanswered.
For the next month I had chemo every week, and every week I was too tired to do anything but throw up. I had lost about 15 pounds within the first two weeks, and lost all my hair within three weeks. I lay in my bed for a month looking at my ceiling waiting for when my last set of chemo would be. But that day never came.
About a month and three weeks in, I had no purpose to live. I was sick of being in pain. I was sick of being poked with needles. I was sick of being bald. I was sick of my mom crying whenever I went to the doctors’. I was sick of the doctors telling me lies about how I could live. I was sick of being sick. One night after my chemo, my stomach heaved and cramped trying to get the medicine out. Liquid fell from my mouth and into the toilet. I rested my heavy head on the cool tile floor in my bathroom before dragging myself back into bed. Cars caught my attention on the busy road as they drove by my window, the headlights blinding me. For the rest of the night, I watched as life went on. Just when the sun was about to rise, I closed my eyes and I was finally at peace.
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