Hi, it’s Melinda again. When I returned to school after treatment ended, it was rough.
Another event happened at school, although this one was less than fortunate. People were mean. Several run-ins with students began to affect me, scar me. One kid in my Biology class upset me so greatly that I cried the whole way home. From previous inquiries about my absences he knew that I had fought cancer.
One day, when I returned after missing multiple classes, he questioned me. “Where have you been? Sick?”
“Man! I wish I could just go home all the time!
Those words ignited a fire inside of me. I was furious.
“No you don’t,” I said, remaining calm despite my anger.
“Yeah, I do; that must be nice,” he shot back.
I remained stubborn. “Trust me, you don’t,” I insisted before turning a cold shoulder to him.
Words screamed in my head.
“You @#*&! If only you knew how much I suffered, and how much I would love to be able to make it through even one day without feeling like crud! And don’t you think for one second that I use my illness to get out of school! I would kill to be able to come to school! I’m sitting here right now, feeling like %#@*! Maybe if I puke in your face you’ll believe that I am sick! You stay home with a cold! A cold! I had cancer . . . . *#@ cancer! You get to feel good! You get to be healthy! I would give anything, anything, to feel that way for one millisecond. I would pour my guts out on this table right now, just to know what it feels like. I don’t even *&#@ remember what it feels like!”
Tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t focus, and my rage blurred every word that Mr. Ritchie spoke. I just wanted people to believe me . . . that’s all. (Copyright Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery)
“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” —Maya Angelou
Please believe me when I say I would pour my guts out on the table before you, if it meant you would shine your light on childhood cancer. Awareness=Funding=Research=Cure!