I could tell you of the most hopeful time in my life. The moment, where everything changed, when I was born anew. It was a Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, March was the month; 2005 the year. I was laying in bed, flipping through the channels on the television on the other side of the room. It wasn’t my bed, though. I wasn’t in my comfort zone or even in my home. I was on the fifth floor of UCSF’s Children Hospital. I was fifteen years old and convinced that I was not a child, but a young adult. I had all the grief in the world on my shoulders and I knew what despair felt like, down to the bone. This day was only the first of five days that I would be strapped into this bed, anchored to the floor of this room by a machine I was connected to constantly.

Since this was only the first day, I was not as gloomy as pessimistic as I was going to get within the next few days. The first day was usually easy, I would still be awake for most of the day and in a somewhat decent mood. The following days would get increasingly bad and I would always let the whole world know it. I fell victim to exhaustion and nausea. I would only leave the bed to crawl over to the restroom. Sometimes I would shower during my stay, usually not; I never had any energy to. This day was very different than the other occasions, though. I was waiting for the news; the news that the end to this battle was nearing. A few times before I felt this same optimism, before the doctors would come in and tell me that what my body was doing wasn’t good enough. That the cancer cells were still there, invading my body and claiming it there own. You see, when I first started this battles the numbers dropped at such an alarming pace, but the closer I got to the bottom, the slower it would become to rid of what was killing my own body. Still, for the first couple of hours during that day, I had not heard any bad news yet, so I kept my chin up.

Finally, there was a knock on the door. I was alone in the room at the time and told whoever was behind it to come in. The doctor walked in with the ones that worked underneath her and she asked where my family was. I insisted that we didn’t need to wait for anyone to return so she sat on the foot of the bed with a solemn look on her face. That is one thing I hated about my doctors, they always sounded hopefully when they shouldn’t, and they always tended to scare me when there was no reason to. This was probably the first time she scared me, when she was about to tell me the news that I had been looking forward to for months. This is it. This is the last time I will have to spend five days in this room, in this hospital, taking in these deadly drugs. The battle was coming to a close and finally, she smiled at me.

My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest that day. My optimism didn’t go away with the coming days, no matter how exhausted and fragile I felt. I knew that this would be the last time I laid in bed for so long, this would be the last time I had to have this tube connected to my chest, sticking out like a sore thumb. This became a day I would never forget, a day that gave me life and allowed me to finally open my eyes as wide as they could get for the first time. This moment was what brought me back to life.

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