February 13, 2017

It happened again. The voices are getting louder and louder, “Doc, is she going to be okay?” I hear my mom frantically ask. I can feel her warm hands in my grasp, shaking slightly as the doctor speaks quietly, “Mrs. Thompson, the leukemia has returned, and this time it will be harder for her to recover.” I can hear my mom start crying as I lay there on the hospital bed unable to move. My eyelids are so heavy they won’t open. Why won’t they open? “Your daughter should wake up shortly.” I hear the doctor say. “ Thank you for everything, Doc” my mom replies.
“Mom? MOM? Where are you? Why is it so dark? Why can’t I see you?” I’m screaming in my head, but the words won’t come out. Why won’t the words come out? Oh ,God. Please, no! Please not again.
“Baby, it’s Moma. Wake up, sweetie. Come on, baby, please wake up for me.” I can hear her pleading.
“I hear it, Mom. I hear it all.”
“Oh, baby, thank God! How do you feel, baby?” She implores.
“Well, Mom, at the moment I feel like a sixteen year old girl with a term paper due on Friday and a huge knot on my forehead that coincidentally has a very resilient case of leukemia.” I can’t help it. I really shouldn’t be a butt to her, but I know she’s going to give me the “it’s going to be alright and we’re going to beat this together” speech. Yes, mom, we’re gonna beat it…again.
“Oh, honey, don’t worry about that. I’ll talk to your teachers. They understand your situation.” she says.
“My “situation”? Is that what we are calling it now, Mom? My “situation.” I have to say that I like it a lot better than my “disease” or my “illness”. That’s what you called it the first couple of times. At least “situation” sounds like it’s something I have a choice about.”
“Oh, honey, please don’t.”
“No, Mom, you don’t. Repeat after me, it’s leukemia--the same thing that’s been trying to kill me since I was seven years old. Apparently, it’s not done yet,”
“Zaelyn, don’t please. I hate it when you talk like that.”
“I’m sorry, Mom. I just get discouraged. Where’s Robert?”
“I guess he’s still at work. I didn’t have time to call anyone. The school nurse called and said you had passed out in the cafeteria and hit your head so they had called an ambulance. I just grabbed my purse and came straight here.”
“ You should probably call him. He’ll be wondering where you are because I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I’m not going home today.”
“Ok sweetie, then I’m going to step outside for a bit.  Will you be ok?”  “Yeah, I’ll be okay.” I reply as my mom leaves to call Robert. All I can hear is the beeping of the heart monitor beside me. Is leukemia going to kill me this time? Am I ever going to go back to school again? I bet all my friends have forgotten about me. How long has it been? Three, maybe four years? I’ve been homeschooled for basically all of my life. The slight creak of the door wakes me from my thoughts,
“Zaelyn, are you awake?” my nurse Alice walks in to give me medicine.
“This will only hurt a little.” Alice says as she prepares the needle. I can feel the medicine spreading through my veins  It doesn’t hurt as bad as it did when I was seven. “All done!” Alice says cheerfully. She looks at me with worry in her eyes, “I’m sorry Zaelyn, but this time we will definitely get rid of your leukemia.” All I can do is smile at her as she leaves the room, I know she is trying to not make me worry but I know that one of these days I will die from this terrible hell called leukemia. 

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