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Well I guess I should start by telling you a little about myself. They call me Lea, but my real name is Muireann, which is Irish for sea- fair, which no one can seem to say so that’s why they call me Lea. Come to think about its’ really funny because when I got sick I was on a ship. I am very sick; the doctors tell me that I have 6 months left. How can this be I am only 17! I have my whole life ahead of me, but life is not fair. This is what they tell me I have to live with, but how I am I going to live with a time limit on hanging over my head. This is my story.
Have you ever had one of those days where can’t remember who, where and how you got to this moment in time? Well I am having one of these days. I woke up and here I am! How I got here and where here is news to me. The last thing I remember is being outside when the storm started. They tell me this is when I blocked everything out. You see I have been in the hospital for three weeks and when I got here it was a stormy April morning.
At first all they wanted to do was run some tests, but what they found will one day kill me. I am a cancer patient and I am dying. The treatment started to work. I was feeling better, all I wanted was to go home and sleep in my own bed. Mom tried to make my hospital room feel like home, but the walls still make me feel sick. The floors are always cold.
Does anyone ever really remember you after you die? I mean all we do is get put into the ground and then turn into worm food. Please don’t tell my parents any of this. They worry about me enough. I would never tell them that I don’t think that God exists anymore. If God really loved us and existed then why does he put people that believed in him through this stuff? Everyone should just get over the fact that “god” is going to come and save them, Please, get over yourselves! Live life how u want and in your standards, because you never know when it’s going to get taken away.
So, well this is what I do every day and to be honest I think it is a waste of time. I get up and the nurses and doctors poke me with about 20 needles, which is on a good day, as I get ready to have my blood filtered because my kidneys are shutting down. This takes about two hours then after that my body is about to give up to the point where I just sleep for hours. Here we go again with some chemotherapy, which of course, more needles. I do give the doctors credit, they are trying hard but nothing is working. I wish they would just give up like I did.
You would have thought by now my parents would just give up and let me be a kid with what little time I have left. I have come to terms with the simple truth that I am dying. No one can do anything about it. I really want to be able to feel the sun on my face, and not through a window. “Because, you know we can’t go outside you’ll get sick!” Please all I want is just a nice long nap, where I don’t have to wake up.
Nothing is making me better! Everything I do makes me ache all over. All the medication makes me sick. Some days I wish they would just let my die here alone. Everyone has stopped coming to see me. I don’t understand! Didn’t anyone but my family love me enough before this? I tried to be a good friend, student and daughter. Why is this all happening to me? LIFE IS JUST NOT FAIR!
Maybe Jess will come over and visit, just maybe. Here they come; I have come to notice the sounds that their shoes make on the hard floors. Mom was in her favorite pair of black heels and dad is of course in his slippers. He says the floor hurts his feet to much to wear his work shoes. I am sure that the minute she walks into this she is going to cry, just like every other time. She tries to stay away but she always comes in at least twice a day. You know that some people believe that when people die that sometimes their souls can stay trapped. Well now I am a believer. Little did I know my life was about to change!
One night I was crying, which in itself is an amazing feat, a small voice spoke to me. As my mother, unknown to me, sat praying in the waiting room. Singing softly in words I still do not understand. I am sure all we needed was each other. She sang to me till my eyes slowly shut, and away to sleep I went. Wondering if I would awake in the morning and if I did what it was going to bring. That night I went to bed knowing that someone real was watching over me. More importantly someone that understood what I was going though.
In the morning the nurses came to wake me up and start the whole routine over again, but instead I got the doctor in my room making my wish come true. No more treatment. The only thing was I could not go home. What an amazing feeling, no more unneeded pain, needles or anything else that was unwanted. For some unknown reason I wasn’t happy.
That night that same sweet voice started singing again. I wanted to know where this was coming form, but what I saw I would never thought I would see. This girl about my age was sitting on the edge on my bed. But the thing was she wasn’t really there. I know you don’t believe me, but this is my story. All she did was look at me and started singing again. This went on for hours. Just as I was about to drift off, she told me her name, Autumn.
Autumn was a patient here, but she died 5 years before this moment. She would tell me about how sick she was, cancer, took her life away from her just as it is taking mine. Nothing they could do would help her either. She was like my mirror image. It was ironic that she would show up in a time like this. Autumn had become the sister that I never had, and my best friend that understood.
Every night she would visit. We talk about everything. One night, I wanted to know why she was here. She told me that God had sent her to save me. I told her that God didn’t exist and if he does I hate him. Autumn cried “Please believe, Lea he will make u better, strong enough to go home, please.”
“If he existed why did he make me sick? What did I do wrong?”
“Nothing Muireann, he knows you are strong enough to handle it. He is watching you, He saw you needed help and sent me”
I just started to cry. How can God be so hateful, then send Autumn to me? She came to me, wrapped her arms around me and prayed. She spoke in a tongue I still do not understand. I really wish I knew what she said. Right then and there God came into my room, filled with light and warmth. “Come my Child” reaching his hand out to touch mine. “I will protect you, my lamb. Come take my hand and I will heal you.”
I cried and held his hand. For the first time I felt free. The light blinded me, as it diminished, Autumn sang slow and sweet in the lullaby, I have come to think of my own. Sleeping and dreaming about God touching me and the warmth of the light. The next morning I woke up feeling refreshed and whole. Reaching over to grab a drink of water a bible was lying on the table. In the over it read, “To my lamb may your light shine forever, never forget me.”I opened up and started praying to go home, and that my mom could come and see me without crying.
Later that same day Jess came and visited. She told me that she had been trying to but the doctors and nurses would not let her. No one but her parents could come in because I was to sick. They just lifted the ban today. Jess talked about normal teenage stuff. Prom was in a few weeks, spring fling was the week before, and how that Jason, the hottest guy in our grade was trying to come see me. Mom and Dad came; they stayed for hours, not a single tear shed. We talked about Jess coming to visit, prom and stuff a 17 year old would talk to her parents about.
Everything was great. A week later, my blood work was amazing. My white blood cells had fallen within normal range, and kidney toxic levels were down. People were coming to see me more and more; even Jason brought me flowers and a book. The only thing that was missing was going home. Autumn had stopped singing and I missed her, but I think someone else needed her more. God was doing amazing things. The next day we had a meeting with my doctor. I had prayed I would get to go home. I knew I was strong and well enough. Dr. Marsh told me I had made a miracle happen, he had never seen anything like this before. I was going to get to go home the next day.
That night I was having trouble sleeping, I was so excited. That same little girl that changed everything for me, Autumn, was sitting on the foot of my bed singing that same lullaby. I slowly fell asleep, singing along and saying my thanks. Praying to God that he would be keep her safe, protected and helping others like me.
In the morning Autumn was gone. I was leaving the hospital forever. Mom and Jess came to help me pack. I didn’t think I had that much with me, the bible and the book Jason gave me went into my backpack along with all my important things. I filled two suitcases with clothes and other things. I was sent home with 3 different medications, and a never come back card from all my nurses. I was going home! As I walked out the door, I took a deep breath, letting the cool air fill my lungs, as the suns warmth spilled out onto my face.