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Overflowing With Joy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     My mother is the bravest woman I know. She has been struggling with bladder cancer for nearly six years and has had 12 operations that were extremely painful, and even though each successfully removed a tumor, the cancer always reappeared.

After surgery, she'd be in bed for two weeks in intense pain. We couldn't stand to see her like this, but there was nothing we could do to alleviate her agony except bring her meals and help her when she tried to walk. Through it all, my mother never complained.

This past November would have marked a year and a half of being free of cancer, but when she went for her check-up, the doctor found yet another tumor.

When she came home to tell us the sad news, she said she would be having the operation differently this time. She explained her hypothesis: the anesthesia was what made her to feel so awful for so long after surgery. We were a little skeptical, to say the least, but believed that she knew her own body.

My mother is a composer and a firm believer in the power of music. She wanted to have surgery without anesthesia and in its place have a violist and a singer. The plan was for the violist to play long notes while the singer chanted, and my mother would join the chanting. She said the music would put her in a trance-like state, and that she would be able to separate herself from the pain. Surprisingly, when she proposed this idea to her surgeon, he was fine with it. She made arrangements and started practicing chanting.

The day of the operation soon arrived. After wishing her luck, I went to school. I was nervous all day, thinking I would hear my name called over the intercom because of problems. You can imagine my relief when the final bell rang.

The bus ride home was unbearably long, but once there, I found my mother napping. She awoke with a smile. The surgery had gone without a hitch! And she was feeling great - she could walk and move almost as though nothing had happened. She told me that during the surgery she felt as though she were above her body, looking down. She said she hardly felt any pain. Then she informed me that she was going to be in the newspaper and on the six o'clock news.

It was a day for celebration! My mother was positively radiating happiness. I've never been so proud of her. We received calls from all my relatives who were overflowing with joy and couldn't wait to talk to her about her experience. It felt like our house was shining with happiness, as though we lit up the whole street! We all went to sleep with a smile that night.

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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