cancer sucks

‘Are you pregnant? On drugs?!’ I abandoned my customer service post and collapsed into a chair. The edges of my vision darkened. I felt like I was drowning on dry land.’

“My high-school sweetheart cheated on me, then dumped me. My friends couldn’t cope with my ‘new normal’ and turned away. I didn’t want to be different. My body was thin, my face swollen. I looked like an alien. Minutes later, he pointed to a black hole of goo where my lungs should’ve been. I frantically tried to make it to the break room but blacked out.”

‘My principal told me, ‘Some kids just like to be bullied.’ She stared squarely at my parents. ‘Unless it involves blood, don’t call me.’ I felt so alone.’

“All of my materials were stolen and vandalized. I would barter with my bullies. ‘If you’ll be nice to me for one lunch hour or recess, I’ll give you my lunch.’ I literally gave them everything I had, but everything wasn’t enough. There wasn’t a single morning I didn’t beg my mother to not make me go.”

‘I was asked if I had any questions. All I could manage to mumble was, ‘Will I lose my hair?’ I was 16. I was in high school. I was a girl. I couldn’t be bald. I just couldn’t.’

“Three words. That’s all it took. Three simple words. Everything was happening too fast. I just sat there, staring at the wall, trying not cry. When homecoming came, I had this beautiful red dress. I put on heels, makeup. Then I looked in the mirror and crumbled to the ground. What was I thinking? I looked ridiculous. I looked sick.”

‘I turned the key, and he clapped. Yep, CLAPPED, yelling out a ‘yeehaw!’ I had a hard time focusing over his hootin’ and hollerin’. He also lived in an RV park. Yippee ki yay.’

“This guy LOVED his truck. He insisted I drive the dang thing. Now, look, I am 5-feet-tall and the door to this monster was 6 feet in the air. But, I’m a sport. I threw my long, blonde hair into a ponytail, tossed my Dolce Gabbana purse onto the seat, steadied my stiletto on the step, and yanked myself in like I was getting on a horse. I prayed we weren’t about to reenact a scene from ‘Deliverance.’”

‘Come feel this,’ the doctor said. I put my hand on her belly. My heart sank.’ Mom recalls daughter’s rare cancer diagnosis after thinking it was just an ‘umbilical cord hernia’

“I snapped the traditional well-check picture of my daughter sitting on the exam table, bragging about our healthy girl. We were about to walk out with a good bill of health when the doctor asked me if I had any concerns. That’s when I remembered her large tummy. He laid her down on the exam table, and his face quickly changed to reflect my concern.”

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