Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Madeline. Madeline lived with her mom, dad, and 2 older brothers Mark and Jacob. She had 2 kittens and 1 goldfish. Every night before she went to bed, she would thank god for all the joy in her life, and not a single day went by where Madeline didn’t tell her family home much she loved them. Madeline lived a very happy life where she got to do things like play soccer, play dress up, and go to school. Madeline was also very special. Not only was she one of the smartest 8 year olds in her class, but she was also the most empathetic. She was always compassionate. She always shared with people and put their needs first. But one day, as Madeline was braiding her long soft golden hair, she experienced a sharp pain in her stomach. The only thing she could do was scream, and moments later her mom had to take her to the hospital. Kids usually are scared of the doctors, but not Madeline. She doesn’t see them as people who want to hurt you, but she sees them as Angels; as people who save your lives. Even with all the pain poor little Madeline was feeling, never did she complain about going to the hospital. As soon as she got to the hospital, Dr. Aaronson noticed something unusual in the girls stomach, several blotches of purple and stiffness in her mid area. Mrs. Withers, Madeline’s mother, started crying as the doctor told her she needed to see an oncologist. Madeline had no idea what the doctor was saying and why her mother was crying but she remained calm. She knew she had to be strong for both of them. As Madeline and her mother followed Dr. Aaronson to the oncology section of the hospital, Madeline’s father and two brothers appeared. Madeline had to have a MRI and wait for the results. As her parents were forced out of the room, Madeline prayed to god; but she didn’t pray about herself, she prayed for her family so that no matter what happened, she would never want to see them cry. As Madeline’s family waited for the results, Madeline asked for a paper and pencil from the nurse. The nurse who was confused brought it to her anyway. Madeline knew what she had to do, incase anything were to happen, she had to let her family know how much they meant to her. Everyday she would write a favorite memory with them until she could write no more. As the results came in, all Madeline could hear was a scream coming from her mother inside Dr. Pinski’s office, the oncologist. Madeline’s father also was crying, and her brothers, too. Madeline knew this meant bad news but she all she could care about was to make her family feel better. Madeline knew she was strong enough to get through this, but she wanted her family to be strong for her, too. Madeline wanted to know what was wrong with her but her mother wouldn’t tell her. Her mother didn’t want to upset her; she thought that if she didn’t say it out loud, then it wouldn’t be real. But Madeline heard one of the nurses saying she was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer; there was very little chance of her surviving. Madeline was old enough to know what that meant. This meant that she now had a new home, the hospital. She now had a second family, the nurses. She now had a new life, a life where the only goal is to survive. Not once did Madeline blame this on anyone, she still kept praying to God asking that her family never becomes sad. As the days went by, Madeline had to get chemotherapy. She hated chemotherapy, it hurt, but she knew she had to do it, not only for herself, but for everyone who loved her. Her mom tried telling her that what she had was just a bad stomach flu, but Madeline knew. She didn’t want her mom to know though so she had to act like she wasn’t sad. She had to make herself happy. Day after day, more beautiful hair fell from Madeline’s head. Even though Madeline loved to play with her hair, she felt more free this way. She felt more natural. Madeline loved the way her bald head felt, and her mom would constantly massage her scalp. Madeline had to hide that paper where she wrote all the things she loved about her family so nobody would take it away. She wanted to save it for a special day. Some days she felt sick and some days she felt fine, but she never felt alone. She had so much support from everyone around. There were even kids her age who had the same disease and she managed to make friends with them. Even though she was more sick than most of the kids there, she still found a way to cheer them up. When she saw one of the kids smile, that made her smile. Even though all of her hair fell off, she was still the most beautiful girl ever. All the little boys in the hospital had a crush on her. Instead of her mom comforting her, it was the other way around. She was the most mature 8 year old ever. As her 9th birthday was coming up, all she wanted was to make the kids around her happy. She wanted them to feel better, even if she didn’t. She knew she would get better because her family needed her. Living was the only option and she knew that if she cried all day, that wouldn’t help anyone. So Madeline did the only thing she could, she laughed. She laughed at cancer because cancer wasn’t going to take her life away, it would only make her stronger. Each day her cancer was getting weaker and she kept feeling better. After fighting cancer for 6 months, the doctor came back with news. His facial expression was unreadable. Her mom stopped breathing for a second but as the doctor’s face broke out into a smile, her mom started crying with tears of joy. Madeline was finally cancer free. The doctor didn’t know how this could happen with stage 3 pancreatic cancer but it did and she was expected to live a very long and healthy life. Madeline could only let out a smile, and said, “I think I scared the cancer away.” Madeline’s mother was shocked that her daughter knew she had cancer but smiled because she knew she was truly blessed with a special girl. Madeline knew why her cancer left. She didn’t let cancer get into her head and scare her. Instead she faced it head on and made it leave. Her happiness drove the cancer away. Cancer wants people to be scared but when you’re happy like Madeline, cancer sees no point in staying because it knows you’re not scared. The key is happiness, one thing cancer can’t take away. Madeline came home to a surprise party that afternoon where everyone in her third grade class attended. Not only did they all bring her presents, but all the girls had their heads shaved to show Madeline that hair was nothing but lots of strings. Madeline had a reason to be home, she had to spread her love.
Madeline, the girl who wasn't scared of cancer
July 31, 2012