The Day My Life Changed

December 27, 2007
By Megan O'Neil, Lexington, MA

One day in September my family and I were hiking in New Hampshire, For some reason I felt really tired. I got out of breath really easily, and my hands felt ice cold. Since it seemed like i was having a harder time as time wore of we turned back and headed back to the car. Later that week my mom brought me to the doctars to see what was wrong. They did some blood tests and they found out that I was anemic. For about a onth I took iron supplements and then went back for some follow up tests. Since I was going to have to have a check up soon, my doctar thought might as well do it now. When he hecked my breathing, he thought it sounded off, so he sent me to go get and X-ray. Once that was done they said they saw some sort of mass in my chest cavity. The word 'cancer' instantly popped into my head. To be on the safe side I was sent to have a CAT scan to see if they find anything else out. Once that was over with they said they saw the mass, and there was some sort of liquid surrounding my lung. I was sent the Childrens; Hospital for observation over night. The next few days the doctars and Childrens' did several tests. Then on November 9 2006 I was finally diagnosed. I was told I had Hodgkins Lynphoma, a type of cancer that is common to find in teenagers and young adults, I was only 15 years old.
The first thought I had was "I'm going to loose my hair," the second was "I'm going to die." I thought back to when I was nine, my father died of lung cancer. i feared that would happen to me. They then told me that Hodgkins had a very high curability rate, so the chances of me dieing from it were slim to none. After two weeks on the hospital, I was released on Thanksgiving day. I had to go through 3 months of weekly chemothreapy, and roght 3 weeks of daily radiation treatments. During those months I got to do things that I would never have the chance to do. I went to a Spring Trainging game wih the Jimmy Fund Clinic, sit in suite seats, and meet some Red Sox players! Then in the summer I got to go to a trip to Detroit, so see the game there. Once again we sat in the suite seats, and met some of the Red Sox players again. To me the Jimmy Fund Clinic is like a second home, and the other patients there are like a second family to me. We understand each other. It's like we all share this specail bond. Usually when people hear the word 'cancer' they almost always think of death. When people hear that someone has cancer the think they will die, or they have no chance of suviving. Well, that may be true some of the time, but not all the time. Me, and many of my 'brothers' and 'sisters' from the Jimmy Fund are living proof of that. People may treat us differently, just because we were 'sick', but that doesn't mean that we aren't people too. Maybe someday people will understand that. Sometimes I still feel like kids at school still think of me differently because of what happened to me. That just shows that during times like this you find out who your true friends are.

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