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Surviving Age Two
Have you ever wondered why some things happen to you and not someone else? Why your life could suck so badly and someone Else's could seem to you to be the best life in the world? Sometimes I ask myself these questions, but mostly when I'm putting my ribbon on to bag and even when I call my mom, "mom". I suppose I should give you some history on me, but really all you need to know is two things about me. I'm a 14-year cancer survivor and I was adopted all on the same night. No, I'm not going write on about how my life was terrible when I had cancer or how unfortunate I was to be adopted , I want to tell you how even being 2 years old you learn to be strong.
It's hard to believe a few bad nightmares, a couple high temperatures, and one phone call would change my life drastically for the next two years. The horrible two years kicked off with a phone call from the doctor. It was odd because it was around seven and doctors only call that late if something is extremely wrong. When he answered the phone doctor said "He needed to speak to Tina (my mom)" My dad said "OK, I'll give her a call and I'll have her call you right back." My dad immediately called my mom. When he hung up the phone he seemed perfectly fine. My mom when she got home was fine too.
When she called the doctor, she seemed fine then too, until she hung the phone up the phone. My brother said "He couldn't quiet read the expression on her face, she was in so much shock." I remember bits and pieces of mom saying in a horrified look that they have to take me to Children's Mercy. The night air cut like a knife on that February night. It was also pouring icy rain. Which made making the drive to Kansas City very dangerous. We made the drive as fast as lightening, we were flying like bat out of a cave. The next step was the in processing.
When we got off the elevator, it was like a blink of an eye the Ono/hemo doctor was ready to assist us, they ran test. One test was a simple CBC count (blood test) and the other involved a big long needle stuck in my back which is called a bone marrow. The minute those test scores came back they told my mom that I had leukemia. Just as they told my mom, dad and big brother found out without skipping a beat comes my crack-whore of a biological mom saying "Can you guys please just adopt her because I can't handle this!" My mom was overly pissed about the situation. My mom started shouting at her. Saying things, I won't mention. She got the papers signed and on she was off to party, not to care about her child who was just diagnosed with leukemia.
My mom didn't let that get in train of thought of where she was, I know my mom was happy because she told me "We took care of you for so long, there was no way we were going to give you up" That was the best thing I think my mom told me when I was a little kid. Anyway, after they diagnosed me I was in the surgery room like a bullet being fired out of a gun. Then when the surgery was done and my mom and dad got to sleep, the morning came really early.
The second day of a three week stay kicked off with a dose of chemo. The memory that's kind of fuzzy is my dad leaving the hospital floor because I was screaming so bad from them sticking the chemo in my port. For only being two years old, I remember being really hateful because the nurses and doctors would come in and disturbed me while I was sleeping and then all of them giving me tons of medicines. My least favorite was prednisone ( medicine to make you eat and also makes you fat). I also couldn't go and play like normal two year old, I was isolated for one week with nothing but my parents and I.
On the thirteenth day we found out that I was in remission, but I would still need to receive treatment. So for the next month, five days a week I was driven to Children's Mercy to take my chemo treatment in the hemo clinic. Often times I had to be given leg shots, instead of driving to KC everyday to receive my treatment. This took my mom and Aunt Shirley to hold me down and give them to me. When I wasn't given leg shots I was brought home on a antibiotic pump that gave me medicine to help me keep my immune system up.
Keep a child in isolation had it's ups and downs. The good thing about it is that I adapted to adults really well, however the bad thing is when I went to pre-k, I didn't know how to act. So that was a little hard to overcome but I beat cancer, so I guess it wasn't that hard. The only thing I thing I struggled with was when my Grandma would get mad at my mom for not letting her come see me, but now I can see my mom was in the right.
After having to go through cancer my mom had to deal with me have staff infection. I almost lost my hand and arm because someone drawled fluid out of my finger and then stuck that dirty needle back in my hand. Luckily they rushed me into emergency surgery and saved my arm and hand. Yet again I had to be sent home one a antibiotic pump.
After going through chemo and staff I still had to have blood transfusions, bone marrows and spinal taps. These procedures are important because if they detect you need to have a bone marrow transplant through a spinal tap then that's very life threatening because if you don't find a perfect match the cancer will take over. Blood transfusions are important because they have to take the bad blood out, because that's just what leukemia is, is blood cancer. Some long terms affects I could had from these is from being placed under Anastasia so many times, but I guess I'm fine.
I have talked about Chemo a lot and it's because I remember what is did to me a lot. Some things were that I lost all my hair and didn't get it all back until I was in kindergarten. I wouldn't eat for days and they had to give me medicine. ( The funniest thing I think I remember is me waking my mom up in the middle of the night just have her fix me spaghetti Os, but by the time she had them done I would already be fast asleep.) It was hard going to pre-k because everyone thought I was a boy, because of my no hair, but with my mom's help I got through it.
The happiest day for my family and I was when the doctor told me "I reached my 10 year marker I only had to come back every two years and then when I was fourteen I was discharged and told only come back if you want to visit." This is a big deal to every cancer survivor because once you reach that mile marker it's less likely to come back
Now, 14 years later, I'm healthy and happy and with a good family. So after all I guess my life didn't suck as bad as I seemed. That's why I chose this memory because it really impacted me by helping me learn to cope, heal, be strong, determination and to give back. I thank God everyday because I know without him and my family, doctors and very else I wouldn't be who I am today.