Ten years after she left the oncology ward, my daughter Christine wrote about her memories of her days there.
What did I do wrong? Why does my life always get f**d over? Why is it that all my dreams always fall to pieces? ....All these thoughts ran rapidly through my head as the glass bottle containing my special dried flowers crashed to the floor of my bedroom.
Memories can be good things, and sometimes when it's over they are all you have left. I was blessed with an extremely vivid memory which I am grateful for, but every time the glass shatters I remember what I lost over 10 years ago, all the times the glass has shattered and all the struggles of faith that the sun will shine again for me. I get angry because all I can seem to think of are the times I had everything, but was too blind to see it, and how it was taken from me, and now at times I feel I have nothing.
This clearly is a bad angry day. There are a lot of these when you are in my situation.
When I was about three my summer and childhood was cut short when I was diagnosed with Leukemia. I can’t remember all the details or even how I got to the hospital but I was with my grandma and she noticed the lack of color in my face, and just like that I went from normal little girl to a small body in a hospital bed with lines and tubes running through my body.
I had no idea then just how much this would impact my life.
I remember the day before I was brought into the hospital I was at my old cottage, my favorite place to be as a young carefree little girl. I remember we were at my favorite beach, I was wearing my favorite pink top, that was of course weather inappropriate, but I was a very independent little girl, I had perfect, curly, golden blond hair, but I never let my mom or dad do my hair or dress me. Even in our family photo I woke my big brother and insisted on wearing my christening dress. I was as wild as my hair which I hated being brushed, yet seemed to keep its radiance even in the wind of our common boat rides and open hooded car rides in out old Firebird convertible. I was just an untamable and happy kid.
My childhood …well what I got from the first three years, apart from being punished for my random acts of boldness; was the best time of my life. I always look back and think about the life I had and could have had. I thought nothing could stop me …boy was I wrong!
Although I was happy and content being in the hospital, it is not every kids dream to be diagnosed with cancer and told “you may not live”. There were times I lied restless in my bed, tired of being tired and tired of being weak. After a point in time I was allowed in the playroom with another little girl suffering from the same illness, her name was Sarah. We became friends almost instantly since we were both not allowed around the other kids. The people at the hospital still made us feel special, they let us in the kitchen to make pizza and our parents took us on visits to see each other since we were only two rooms apart. Of course things were still hard for both of us and I always had to fight the doctors to take my most despised enemy at the time; prednisone.
Sarah was such a gift to me, I had never had someone who understood so much and shared all the physical and emotional pain of the countless needles, spinal taps and loss of freedom knowing you have an IV connected to your chest 24/7. I think although so young we needed each other. When Sarah passed, part of me went with her and part of her stayed with me. Although I was unable to attend the funeral, I still think about her all the time. I believe that she died so that I could live and because of that I never gave up. All through my life she has given me the strength to hold on. This is her short story - Sarah's StoryRead the entire story at Childhood-Cancer-Survivor.com