One more day

February 16, 2009
By Cathryn Gowen BRONZE, Livermore, California
Cathryn Gowen BRONZE, Livermore, California
2 articles 2 photos 0 comments

September 16

Dear diary

I know there’s no excuse, I should have written sooner. But, better three weeks later, than never…

After getting back from camp, two weeks ago, instead of finding our household relaxing, I find my family quite preoccupied.

Whitney, my sister was having headaches all day long, her body aching. Although her diet was unchanging her weight dropped significantly in two weeks. I hardly recognized her. Yesterday, she was hospitalized.

My parents, who are usually involved with the beginning of my school year, don’t have any spare time. It seems my parents are overreacting; it will all come to nothing. I’ve signed up for drama at school.

My drama teacher hasn’t decided which play we will be performing this year. Last year, we performed ‘A Little Princess’. Hopefully, this year we will have more boys; though I can hardly think of many boys in high school who would enjoy acting. I relish the thought of playing a large role this year. Last year, I had four lines and Mrs. Rico said I shall have a larger part this year.


September 19

My parents have been going to the hospital every day. The doctors have finished a battery of tests. We will have the results, in a day or two. I hope everything will be resolved quickly.

September 20

No news on Whitney. The silence keeps ringing in my ears, where is the laughter in our house?

September 22

The doctors informed my parents, Whitney has leukemia. I can’t believe mom actually brought me early from school and we went to the hospital. I walked into her room, dad was sitting beside her.

“Hi Whitney.”

She didn’t respond, and I was overwhelmed by the situation, I left the room hastily. I don’t know what to think but I have the whole weekend before school starts.


September 23

My parents have been going to the hospital every day. After seeing her white emotionless face on the pillow, I haven’t wanted to see her.

September 25


We’ve been receiving cards, calls and e-mails every day. All of them have the same words, “with our sympathy”: but nothing comforting.


September 26

I almost wish the world had forgotten about me, diary! Yesterday, I didn’t go to school. But today, dad insisted. Everyone acts so weird. They stare at me, as if I were the one with leukemia.

I found out that the principal called a school assembly, and told everyone. Whitney was…is a very popular girl. She is outgoing and always willing to lend a hand. Being a junior, she is well known at our high school.

Lizzie and Abigail, her close friends talked to me today. They asked how she was, and told me they were sure she’d get better. I didn’t answer.


P.S. Mrs. Rico announced what play we will be doing: Antigone. We have eight boys, and only six girls. This will be an amazing production!

September 28

Dearest Diary,

Six cards: Two bouquets of roses, and a box of chocolate. Everyone loves Whitney. But Brooke Carver is forgotten. Well, almost…

My friend, Cassie, called me today. She moved to Ohio, when we were thirteen. That was two years ago. We’ve kept in a touch a bit but mostly over e-mail. We talked about school but I don’t know why she called. Maybe she thought I needed a friend. I know I don’t.


September 29


Mrs. Rico announced the parts today. I landed the largest female part! I am so proud! I am to play Antigone! She is the brave older sister who stands up against a King by disobeying his unjust law. We shall perform December 17.

I told dad. I knew he would be more excited than mom. All my mother does, is rocks herself in her chair or sits besides Whitney at the hospital. My dad gave me a weak smile.

I stared beyond my father’s non emotional response. He didn’t hear what I said. He didn’t understand what this meant to me. Nothing mattered anymore, nothing but Whitney.


I am resolved diary, that I must do something to gain my parents attention. It will not happen right away but I must change.

I know the only thing that would get their attention will have to do with my drama interests. I must intend to improve my skills so much I will excel my troupe.

September 31


What an exciting turn of events! Whitney is doing better than expected. The doctors will start her on chemotherapy. But she is in excellent shape: she has even gained four pounds!

Drama club has been progressing well. Mrs. Rico is very pleased. I have an abundance of time which I constantly pour of my lines.

I feel everything is falling into place!


October 4


Everything has been falling into place for the most part. Drama is excellent, and school is faring well. So far, chemotherapy has been affecting Whitney the way it should. She barely could talk, her throat is too sore, and her hands are dried up but the doctors say, she will make a full recovery. She might even be home.

Mom smiled for the first time in weeks: she looked…hopeful. I haven’t visited Whitney since we took her to the hospital. Today, mom said I should. I felt good about it. She smiled when she saw me.

I told her about school: how her friends and teachers asked about her. She told me about the different nurses, doctors, and treatments in the hospital. She said she wished she were home, where the food was better, and where dad and mom wouldn’t have to worry about her.

“I miss everyone,” she squeaked.

“Everyone asks about you.”

“I’m sorry to put you through this.”

“It’s nothing,”

“That’s not true. You have to answer everyone’s questions about me. I bet you’re feeling neglected.”

“Not at all,”

What a lie. I shouldn’t have made her talk that much.


October 7,

Whitney is home! She’s not back at school though.

I hope she is well enough to have our annual camp out in the backyard. It would be a shame, if she and I couldn’t do it this year because of her leukemia. That night is always so special. We always share our fears, and secrets with each other. That time is special; and nothing should be able to interfere with that.

October 8,


Whitney has decided to go to school tomorrow. She wants everything to be normal again; but it won’t be.


P.S. Antigone is going really well!)

October 9,

Dear Diary,

School was very different for me today. Mom wanted me to make sure Whitney would be fine, so I spent most of the day with her. From the moment we arrived on campus, to when we left, Whitney was surrounded. I noticed how different both of our entries to school were. If I had arrived by myself, some people would notice my arrival. When Whitney came, it was as if a Hollywood star appeared suddenly.

Antigone was my only escape. Mrs. Rico was extremely impressed by my sudden change in acting. She said Antigone was good; still, she gave me exercises to practice. I will strive forward and make this the most excellent performance this high school has seen.

~Yours Truly

October 12,


Whitney had her annual checkup. The doctors are worried though, she hasn’t been responding to the chemotherapy. Her situation has not improved. She still goes to school, and even went to a party last night, though only for an hour.

She wants to do more, anyone can see that. She asked if she could help me cook dinner. This task usually was hers. We haven’t done much as a family, as we usually do. We use to go to plays, ice-skating, and do so many things as a family.

Now, mom talks to Whitney a little, and watches TV. My dad works, and I do homework. I thought sickness was supposed to bring families together, not tear them apart.

~Brooke C.

October 16


Though I fear I cannot write much, I know I must tell you. Whitney went to her check up today. Although I didn’t get the full story, I know something was wrong. The doctors made her stay at the hospital.


October 19,

Dearest Diary,

I am sorry to wet your pages so. I got home from school, an hour ago. Dad was in the living room waiting for me.


“Hi dad: Sorry, I’m a bit late; drama went longer than usual.”

“That’s fine honey. Sit down, next to me.”

“Why? I should start dinner, and I have homework.”

“It’s your sister.”

His tone changed my mind. “What is it?” My voice cracked. I noticed his uncombed hair, and traces of tears on his face. What was wrong? My dad never got emotional.

“The chemotherapy has not been working for Whitney’s leukemia. Yesterday, and last night, the doctors, tried to find alternative forms of recovery for her.”


“They couldn’t find any.”


“There’s nothing they can do. We have forty eight hours,”

I couldn’t see my dad anymore. Everything was too blurry. I felt someone hold me, and whisper. Why was this happening? Why to Whitney? Why not me?

I’ve been crying quietly in my room. My dad is sleeping. I didn’t know he had been at the hospital all night, and came home before I was awake. I must go and try to finish homework.


October 21,

It’s all over. I spent October 20 with my parents at the hospital. Whitney was sleeping an awful lot, so we could only speak to her occasionally. Finally it was my turn; I asked to be alone.

“Brooke,” Whitney said, barely above a whisper.

I hugged her gently, already crying. “Hello,”

“How’s drama?”

Quietly, and slowly I told her about Antigone. She sat smiling occasionally, enjoying the sound of my voice. “I’ve missed you, while I’ve been in here.”

“I’ve missed you too.”

“Take care of mom and dad for me.”


“I’m sorry I’ve ruined so much,”

“That’s not true,”

“I think, I might have wanted to go camping, one last time with you.”

“Don’t talk like that.”

“Be brave. Don’t be the five year old, who couldn’t stay in the dark alone, remember?”

I actually smiled through my tears. I had been frightened by so many things as a child. “I remember.”

“Don’t give it up,” by now Whitney was struggling to talk. “Don’t stop because I’m not there with you.”

“I won’t, I promise.” I clutched her hand desperately. Whitney was smiling at me. “I love you,” she whispered. Then her eyes closed.

At first, I thought she was dead. But then I relaxed hearing her light breaths, she had fallen asleep. The next day I went back to school but during third period, the principal asked me to his office. My mom was on the phone,

“She’s gone.” She said sobbingly.

My dad picked me up, and drove me to the hospital. They had left her as she was, so I could see. She was peaceful, a faint smile on her lips, her hands folded: like in a movie. I touched her cold cheek, and began to cry on my dad’s shoulder. Couldn't she have had at least one more day, just one.

I am now home, waiting for this awful nightmare to end.


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