I’ve Seen It All, So Back Up!!

October 20, 2007

This is the journey that I went through at the age of twelve. It lasted for a good four to five years. Over the course of three and a half months my body started to break down on me. I was weak; I couldn’t do anything I felt that my social life was over.
January 16th, 2003:
I came home one day from school and my body was sore; my arms, legs, back, and neck.
My whole body ached. I went to sleep and woke up crying.
I asked my sister to lay down with me around 9:10 pm but she didn’t. She went to her room and left me there to fall asleep by myself. I woke up at 12:15 am crying my eyes out. I couldn’t move, my leg was shaking and I had a sharp pain all throughout my body. I picked up enough strength to get up and crawled downstairs. I got downstairs and found mom in the bathroom. I went in and sat on the toilet seat to tell her what was wrong with me. She went into the living room and told my uncle to start the car. This would be the beginning of my journey.
January 17th 2003:
2:08 am
I was at Virginia Mason hospital with IVs all in my arm waiting for the doctor to come back. About a half an hour later they took blood test and that’s when everything went down hill. As I waited my uncle and I were talking and he was telling me that I was faking and that I had to go to school in the morning.
The doctor came in the room asking me if I knew where my mother was and I told him no, so he left the room to go and look for her. When my mom came back in the room she was crying. I asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t tell me. My step-dad came in the room and I asked him what was wrong with my mom, but he wouldn’t tell me. I was asking and asking but nobody told me anything, and I wanted to know. Finally my mom told me that the doctors thought I had sickocell. I didn’t know what it was so I really didn’t pay any attention to it. (Not a smart move)
The doctors at my hospital really didn’t know what to do so they sent me to Redmond’s Group Health Hospital. We didn’t leave until 4:00am in the morning. While I slept the doctors did all kinds of tests on me. When I woke up there was a lot of people surrounding me, they tried to talk to me but I didn’t want to hear anything unless my mom was around. When my mom finally walked through the door and came to my bed, the doctor told her that I had leukemia. My mom broke in tears. I asked the doctor what it was and if I was going to die. He told me that leukemia was a cancer that flows through the blood and he didn’t know where it came from. By the look on the doctor’s face you could tell he was shocked when I asked him if I was going to die. He told me that if I would’ve waited another three to four days that I would’ve died. When my mom heard that she broke down again. She felt that death was under my nose and nobody knew it.
She was scared that she was going to lose her youngest daughter. At the hospital, the doctors went straight to work setting up my chemo dates and my surgery dates.
January 20th 2003:
I couldn’t eat for 24 hours; I had to get ready for my surgery. I was getting a tube placed in my chest so that I could receive my chemo. My sister was there, my grandmother, and my mom. Everybody was sad and crying but I had to keep my spirits high to let them know I was fine (for the time being). But once I saw that my time was up, I cried like a baby getting ready to go under the needle. It was my time at 7:18 pm. I was scared. When I woke up at 9:24 pm I was happy that I made it out alive; all I wanted to see was my mommy.
January 21st 2003:
My first shower in five days, the water hurt my body but I went through it. An hour later I would have my spinal tap and bone marrow, my second time under the needle. As the days went by things were on a time schedule a routine.
Wake up
Check up
Wake Up
Watch TV
More TV
Then back to sleep.
Once I woke up it was time to do everything all over again. On a surgery day I’d eat, then my surgery then everything else.
February 12th 2003
The day I was released from the hospital. I was so happy, it was the first time I saw my house in weeks. I had a welcome home dinner and it was nice, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that just because I got to go back home, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to see that hospital any more. I was going back every week.
April 14th 2003
April 14th 2003 was one of the happiest days of my life. I got to go on a shopping spree with two thousand dollars. April 14th is also my mom’s birthday, and nobody gave her a better present than me. I was back home to stay.
My hair has always been long as a young child and all my hair fell out I was bald. As a young girl I loved to do my hair, I’ve always taken care of my hair and for it to fall out when it just started to grow was very sad. Also on top of that I had to take all kinds of pills, nothing nice.
Even though I was home sometimes it felt like the hospital, it wasn’t too bad because I was in my house. One thing that I really noticed after going through everything is that you will figure out who will be there for you, and you will really see your loved ones true colors. For an example my family members that I truly thought were going to be there for me weren’t. Believe it or not they said Haley’s on her deathbed I’m coo.
February 2004
I went back to the Group Health Hospital and they transferred to me Children’s Hospital. I was getting all kinds of blood transfusions because I wasn’t doing so well. Things went from bad to worse when I was getting a blood transfusion and I ended up getting bad blood so I had to be admitted to the I.C.U.
March 2004
I was In the I.C.U. for a good two weeks. I went through my surgery because of the bad blood. I had to get my tube taken out of my chest and to this day I still have the scar. For the next year or so I pretty much went through the same things over and over again, back and forth to the hospital. It’s something that you have to get used to, a new life. You will do what you have to do to stay alive. Wake up at four in the morning if that’s what it takes. Life is a very precious thing, never take it for granted. You never know what will happen next. Your life could be taken from you. Like mine almost was in damn near a blink of an eye.
April 10th 2004
I promise you this is the happiest day of my life. It’s like there is no higher joy that this day, none at all. My doctor called my family down to the back room and he looked me dead in my eye and said “You are CANCER FREE.” There’s nothing I could do but smile to myself and say” Girl, we made it.”
Looking back on all the things I have been through I am happy that I can. Instead of my family having a big cloud of sorrow on a day where I done passed away and I am happy that they don’t have to go through that pain. Going through all of this I can say that I have matured a lot; I have learned tons of things in a short period of time and at a young age.
I had learned to stay strong for my family. I felt that I had to be the rock in my family even though I was the one going through chemo. I felt that I had to keep them strong by keeping my spirits high and showing them that I am still me, so they wouldn’t be in a hospital bed laid up next to me over a break down.
I look at life so differently now than I used to. I’ve seen death too many times to be afraid to die, but I treasure my life. It’s amazing to me on how I went from a dark morning in a hospital, to now going to school looking back on the bad and forward to my future. I see it as nobody can hold me back from me doing what I go to do. I’ve seen it all, so BACK UP!