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Cancer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I’m looking in the mirror I’ve put right above the computer so I can see myself when I want to be inspired. My reflection is not like most teenagers.

Before the change, I wasn’t like any of the popular girls anyway. My hair was black, not bleach blond, and my eyes were gold, not green or blue. I wasn’t athletic; I was weak in the legs. But none of that matters now. If I can get up to go the bathroom without help, that’s good. My hair isn’t black anymore; it’s gone. My eyes aren’t gold anymore; they’re faded and pale. As for my legs, well, they aren’t just weak - I almost can’t use them anymore.

Why did my life go this way? I’d been having headaches for a year and they were getting worse. The painkillers weren’t working anymore and I was scheduled to have a CAT scan. I wasn’t scared, thinking it was just routine.

I was wrong. A few days later I had more tests that confirmed I had a brain tumor. At first I was in shock, like everyone else. Then I realized this could kill me. I was frantic, searching for any and all information about my condition. At last I realized that I had to be strong to beat it, which I had never been.

When they started the chemotherapy, I was sure I was going to die. I had already thought about who would get my possessions. The chemotherapy felt like it was killing me; when my hair began falling out, my aunt shaved it all off, and I was even more sure that the chemo was just killing me faster. I had no strength; I had nothing.

The best news of my life was learning that the tumor was no longer malignant. I wasn’t going to die. I reacted in the same exact way I had to my diagnosis: shock, then panic that they were lying, then the greatest happiness that my frail body would allow. I remember saying over and over, “I’m not going to die. I’m not going to die.”

I am still weak, but I’m feeling better with each breath, with each beat of my heart, because now I know that I’m alive and nothing can ever make me doubt myself again.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own!

kynedikatelynn25 said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm:
This is a really beautiful free verse poem. Its a heart felt one as well! Keep up your work & keep touching others hearts as well!
 
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BrielleM said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm:

That was very beautiful. Congratulations!

This really helped me, though I don't have cancer, because I'm writing a novel in the perspective of a girl with leukemia, so this helps with that! (:

Really, really good writing!

 
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teeninkwriter said...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm:
Great story. I am so very happy for you. A close family member had reouccering cancer about four times it came back.....she went thro chemo and radiation. she is finally in recovery and is getting stronger everyday. i am soo happy. I wish you only the best and hope a cure for cancer will be found in coming years.
 
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Dragonscribe said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm:
I am so happy for you and think you should speak to others in your situation because they could really use your help. My aunt had lung cancer and lost her hair during chemo, but she died. I know this is the case for a lot of cancer patients and wish there was a cure with all my heart. Perhaps that's a long way off, but you're a good enough cure for now. You survived, you have a life ahead of you, and that's a blessing and a ray of hope for everyone with cancer. God bless you.
 
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firey_brunette1991 said...
Dec. 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm:
This is very nice and really spoke to me Toni. You're a very good writer please keep it up I hope to see more from you soon
 
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that_one_kid said...
Jul. 17, 2009 at 12:40 am:
Wow. That's beautiful
 
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