A 2% Chance

October 8, 2017
By 5jsveen21 BRONZE, Stratham, New Hampshire
5jsveen21 BRONZE, Stratham, New Hampshire
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

A 2% chance is still a chance.

The last four days of school dragged on and on at an excruciatingly slow pace. My family’s vacation to Charleston was in near sight and the 90 degree days wasted inside a middle school was the current destination. I was dying to get outside, or just away from any place with the word “school” involved in it. My eighth grade year was coming to a close.

One day my dad noticed that his neck had swelled up an almost unnoticeable amount. He had just gotten over his pneumonia and had a theory on how it could’ve just been swollen glands. A mere after-effect of his sickness. Each doctor’s visit just added to the confusion, until one didn’t.

There it was.

A tumor the size as a golf ball, and probably as painful as getting struck by one.

Unfortunately for my dad, he spent many of those same 90 degree days trapped inside a place much worse than a middle school, a hospital. The doctors had said how it was benign in the beginning, a non-cancerous tumor. There was only a 2% chance that it would be cancerous. As ridiculous a statistic as 2%, there was still a chance.

A chance that would later become reality.

One afternoon after coming home from school my parents seemed more closed-off than their usual charismatic and curious selves. The overwhelming presence of my thoughts yelled, “there’s something wrong!!”. Choosing to ignore said thoughts, my parents called me over to talk.  Although I could sense there was tension present in the room, I went into the conversation open-minded.


My dad wasted no time. “I have cancer,” he uttered. The words instantly spilled out of his mouth in an never ending waterfall. 

We hit a substantial, and very somber pit stop. No more Charleston, no more freedom, no more spending, no more oblivious, happy summer days. More days spent in sorrow, and shock. More loneliness, more suffering, more confusion. Optimism spilled out of my eyes. No metaphor could truly express how I felt in that exact moment. My parent’s reassuring words were anything but comforting to me. 2% of me believed what was happening, the other 98% believed it was some kind of sick joke. Out of all people, why my dad?


The doctors said he was born with it, the cancer inside him. The disease silently lurking there in the shadows until it was time to come out, to show its true identity.

A 2% chance is still a chance.

The author's comments:

Anything can happen. This piece was really difficult for me to write because it's so personal. I knew as I was writing it, it would be very detailed because along with terrible experiences comes very vivid memories. My dad is now currently cancer-free, I hope his journey can teach others how to be prepared for anything. You never know when something so earth-shattering can hit you and your family.

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