A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

Grace – Hair Excerpt

     Shortly after I arrived home, I received a visit from my Gramma, Grandpa, Great-Aunt Ruth, and Great-Uncle Wen. I could see a strange look on their faces as they rounded the sharp corner into the room. I almost felt embarrassed for being in the state that I was and thought that a “You Get What You See” sign would be appropriate. Watching them come closer, I pictured one of those cheesy soap operas. You know, one where the sick person lies in the bed, practically dead, while people come to see them one last time. It all seemed like a soap opera, depressing, and way too dramatic for my comedic flair. I was afraid that I would not be treated like “Melinda” anymore, that things would be different between myself and those who I knew. But I realized quickly that it was the same people I love dearly, and that they had come to share their love with me.

     My Great-Uncle Wen and I have an ongoing joke where I tell him, “I like your hair!” I gently pat him on the head, while a deep, low chuckle emerges from his smiling lips.

     He then turns to me, repeats the same hair-frizzing motion, and says, “I like your hair!”  We end up laughing together, each rubbing each other’s heads.

      So this time, when he announced the famous line, I joked, “Enjoy it while you can!”  

     Laughs erupted from everyone in the room. It made me happy.

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace

 

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Grace – First Chemo Day Excerpt

“Are we done?” I mumbled indistinguishably.

I opened my eyes as much as I could, the towel over my head obstructing my view. I saw faint, blue blobs, nurses masked by an un-clearable blur. I tried to say a few other things to them, but my mouth was not capable of producing words. It was as if the cable connecting my brain and mouth had been severed, and it became frustrating. I then realized the intense pain in my left arm which radiated all the way up to my shoulder. I saw a strange contraption hooked on at the bend in my elbow, and when someone adjusted it, I grimaced in pain. I wondered where my parents were.  We were done, right? Right?

Suddenly, I heard Dr. Dan’s voice as he reentered. Several nurses flipped me on my left side and began to scrub my lower back, practically my rear end. It hit me. It was not over…I had awakened right in the middle of it. Panicking, I shut my eyes, thinking that I could make myself return to unconsciousness. But when I slammed my eyelids closed, I witnessed something just as scary, I was hallucinating. Just about every possible color flew around in a whirl, making me the dizziest I have ever been. It was a dizziness that, if it was possible to die from dizziness, would have killed me. Also, for an instant, I saw the image of my mom, and I remember crying out to her in my head.

Thinking she was all too real, I screamed, “Mom! Mom! Come back! No, I need you!”

Her loving face was sucked into the spiral of flying colors like a dust mite up into a vacuum. My heart couldn’t take it, I opened my eyes once again, but terror gripped me. It was either the nightmare of all nightmares, or I was a spectator of my own surgery. I thought it was the end, I was almost positive that this was what it felt like to die. I was going insane, and nobody had a clue. Just when I thought I had nothing left, I remembered something. It was a Bible verse that my mom had taught me. She had said it to herself as she was in labor and gave birth to my brothers and I. Not knowing where else to turn, I turned to God.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” I whispered internally. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” I repeated.

And that was it. I knew that no matter how painful or frightening it got, I could do it. I was in awe by how it spoke to me. I told myself that if we can do anything with the Lord’s help, then we should not be afraid of anything. Pain is just pain, and God went through so much more of it for us than I can even imagine. God can do this, it is easy for him, and he lives within me. Therefore, I can do this, no, I will do this. Just as the Spirit of the Lord empowered my soul, the big, long needle pierced my pelvis. The pain was so intense that I let out a bloody yet silent cry inside my head. It was like nothing I had ever experienced…or hope to experience again. And as Dr. Dan harvested my marrow, I talked to myself.

“The Lord is good. He is here with me,” I remember saying.

I pictured Jesus, my savior, taking all of the suffering from me, bearing it all himself. I knew that He would do this for me, and just the thought of it seemed to numb some of the discomfort. I am not sure if I finally returned to sleep or passed out from the pain but, after that, I have no recollection of anything. Maybe even the Lord, with his heavenly, pure anesthesia, heard my prayers.

copyright by Melinda Marchiano, author of Grace

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