Test on Thursday This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     It was December 20, 2001, only eleven days until my sixteenth birthday. On that day the students at my high school were all taking their semester finals before Christmas break. I, on the other hand, was taking the biggest test ever, a test that could determine the rest of my life. Except my test was different, and not one an ordinary person takes on a daily basis.

The test, called a bone marrow aspiration (or biopsy), is a painful procedure where a needle goes into your hip bone to extract marrow (where the blood cells are produced). In my unfortunate situation there were things being produced in my marrow other than the typical blood cells and platelets.

That day I hit the biggest brick wall ever. A few hours after the biopsy, my results showed that almost half of my marrow was blasts. Blasts are cancer cells in the blood and, when your body produces them, it means you have leukemia. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia which means that the type of cancer cells in my marrow were all baby cells that reproduced rapidly. To my advantage, it was detected early.

Since then I have gone through six bone marrow aspirations and more than two years of chemotherapy. I have experienced many changes in my life and body during my treatment. One of the most difficult was losing my hair. Not everyone reacts the same to chemotherapy, having different side effects, so not everyone loses their hair, but I did twice. I don't wear wigs, since I don't mind if others have a problem with my bald head. I wear hats when it is cold but other than that, I do what I feel comfortable with.

If I've learned anything from my cancer, it's that you must live for yourself and no one else because you need to make sure your life is happy, which nobody else can do that for you. Also, you never know when your time will be cut short, so I am here to tell everyone to live each day to its fullest since you never know when it may be your last.

If all goes well and as planned, which it has so far, I only have one more of those big tests to take the rest of my life.

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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PinkSecret said...
Apr. 1, 2014 at 11:34 am
Wow,i loved this little article.It inspirers me even if i have never gone throught anything like this to be grateful.I am happy for you and keep staying strong.
 
ThisLitIsBananas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 9, 2010 at 9:57 am
Good article, and good job fighting your disease! Keep on keeping on! You can do it :)
 
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