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Archive for April, 2009

In Her Own Words

My daughter, 14, is in an advance drama class in school.  One of her assignments is to give a dramatic monologue.  Her topic of course moved me.  I am very proud of her and wanted to share it.  It is always interesting to get a child’s perspective on things like suffering and death.  Please keep in mind as you are reading that this is her rough draft, so there are errors.  It’s titled Cancerous.  Enjoy! 

 

 

Cancerous

In my life, there’s one word that has impacted me more than I ever thought a simple word could. Cancer, a word no one wants to hear, but a word that changes lives every day. It was also a word I’d never given any thought to, until October of 2003. While visiting my grandma, they pulled me and my two younger brothers in to a room and delivered the news no seven year old wants to hear. “Mommy has cancer”. At first I didn’t believe it. How could she, she didn’t look sick. But sure enough, my mom had Breast cancer. After a surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding lymph nodes, she started treatment. For six months, two Wednesdays a month, she had chemotherapy. Then after the chemo, radiation. It was funny when she finally decided to shave her head. My poor little brother didn’t like it very much, he was only three.

It’s been five and a half years almost and my mom is officially considered cured. But there are still times when I think of what would’ve happened if things hadn’t gone so well. And that’s when it feels more like a dream than a reality.

So my mom was cured. Isaiah Rodriguez wasn’t so lucky. Izzy, as we called him was one of my brothers best friends. I’d just started the sixth grade, my first year of middle school. It was supposed to be great, but in September of 2006, we got a call from Isaiah’s dad saying he was in the hospital after fainting while on a walk. We all waited with bated breath for his diagnosis. And then we got it.. Izzy had a form of leukemia most rarely found in children. The new shattered not only my family’s world, but the world of our small church. We were scared, mad, sad and anything else associated with finding out that a nine year old boy had a rare cancer.

As was expected, he started treatments. Chemo and radiation. After a while he was bald, not that he let that get to him. Little Isaiah was as alive as ever, even with doctors telling him he might not make it. After a year of praying and hoping, we got the news we’d been waiting for, it looked like the cancer was going into remission. We couldn’t have been happier, and just in time for summer.

But the happiness was short lived, only two months after the wonderful news, we go dreadful news. The cancer was back, full force. And this time his chances were very slim. Doctors said he could only have months left. But that wasn’t going to damper Izzy’s spirit. He fought with everything he had. And to the astonishment of everyone, he made it through the summer with signs of improvement.

However, the cancer had other ideas. Isaiah fought infections and illness. The chemo didn’t help since it only made is immune system weaker. But even that couldn’t stop this now 10 year old. He was determined to stay alive. In honor of his fight, our church through a barbaque call “burgers and Buddies”, where very happy, but a still sick, Isaiah played air soft, hung out with buddies and we all enjoyed our time with the little warrior.

Then things took a turn for the worst. Isaiah was hospitalized with pneumonia and we were told he probably wouldn’t make it through the night. And yet again, Izzy amazed us all with pulling through against all the odds. One week, two weeks, he was determined to prove the doctors wrong. Finally he could go home, but he still needed a mask to help him breathe at night. We all had faith in God and the little man to pull through.

Just a couple weeks after being home however, things took a turn for the worst and we knew it was the end. Though trying to stay hopeful, the reality started to sink in.

Then on the morning of July 3, 2008, we got a call with the worst news we could have gotten. Isaiah had died that night. He was only 11. Our small community mourned the loss of an amazing little boy.

His funeral was held later that month in San Diego, California, where he was buried next to his grandfather.

Yet, even throughout the whole ordeal, we always had hope. And out of the pain and misery, a new dream was born. The dream that one day, kids with leukemia would have a cure. And even to this day, The Overcome organization brings home to families fighting this horrible disease. Overcome was started by Isaiah’s father and is will keep Izzy’s story, his hope and his fight in our hearts.

Now I’ve reached the most current time when cancer has impacted my life. Just a few months ago, grandfather was diagnosed with blood cancer.

So that’s how cancer has impacted my life. And I know that the future could always have more in store for me. But I’ve learned that if I have faith, hope and good friends and a strong family around me, I can get Through anything.

 

 

The End

 

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