Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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

Unknown
   Every summer I go to a special camp for children who have (or havehad) cancer. The final night, we all pick a pine cone and dedicate itto someone or something we want to remember. When I hear a frienddedicate a pine cone to someone who has died, I thank God I wasstrong enough to make it through that horrible year. I remembereverything I managed and how I adapted to stay healthy emotionallyeven though my body was sick.

During seventh grade, I developed a tumor that caused me to limpfrom class to class. Not knowing the cause, I decided it was justgrowing pains. One night, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticedmy left leg was swollen and discolored. This can't be good, Ithought. I limped in to show my dad. I had never seen my father lookso concerned. It scared me.

When I went to the doctor, the x-rays showed something in my leg andthe doctor did a biopsy. I awoke from the surgery in even morediscomfort. After I recovered, the doctor, with a somber look, toldmy mom and me. His words still echo in my ears. "I'm sorry, butthere appears to be a cancerous tumor in your leg." How could Ihave cancer? My mother and I walked out of the hospital in silence.She hugged me, told me it was going to be all right and began to cry.I was in shock. My mother, who I had always depended on forstrength, had broken down.

I suddenly realized what I had to do. If I were weak, then the cancerwould beat me for sure. I had to be strong. The next day, my familyand I went to Children's Hospital to meet with the doctors who wouldtreat me. The clinic was filled with sick children, some no more thana year old. If they can do it, then so can I, I thought.

Nervously, I walked into the conference room, having no idea what toexpect.

"Hello, Asher. I am Dr. Singer and I will be your oncologist.Next Monday you will start chemotherapy for about twelvemonths." The word chemotherapy hit me and a million thoughtsfilled my mind. I remembered stories about how sick it makes people.But then something else hit me. I would have to hold myself together.I didn't know if I could, but I had no choice. I was determined tolive.

During those twelve months, I was forced to look at life in a way Inever had before. While taking a test at school I played a prank onmy teacher. I exclaimed, "I can't take the stress!" andripped two handfuls of hair out of my head. Everyone in class,including my teacher, turned and gaped at me in surprise and shock. Ifigured that if my hair was going to come out anyway, then I shouldhave a humorous attitude about it. Humor can get me through anything.I could have decided to take my loss of hair as a sign of how sick Iwas, but then I probably never would have made it through.

Even though I was exhausted and sick, I decided to go to schoolwhenever I had enough energy. When I walked into class for the firsttime in weeks, my friends gathered around to see how I was doing andrub my pale, smooth, bald head for good luck. I went to lunch and agroup of people surrounded me. One kid said, "Hey, what's withthe head?" Another kid exclaimed, "You look likePowder!" From that point on, everyone called me Powder. I wasmade fun of a lot, but I survived by using their gibing material formy jokes. I bought a pair of round, wire-framed, dark shades and worea leather jacket everywhere so I actually looked like Powder. Isuppose you could say that in a sea of troubles and anxiety, humorwas my life preserver. I became a more straightforward and ardentperson.

I have been in remission for over a year. Cancer did cause me a lotof anxiety and pain, but it gave me something useful, also. I am alot more confident, outgoing and have a greater respect for life. Iwas once told that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Inever really believed that until now.




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




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback