I was 8 months into treatment the day I met a little girl with dark chocolate eyes that mimicked her mothers striking Greek features. There were no beds available, so the little girl and I were having chemo on the small couches by the nurses station.
When I asked the little girl’s long, thick hair, her mother exhaled their story like the rush of a waterfall. Awash with their journey, I was gifted one thing: hope.
As it turned out, the little girl had the same cancer I had, it had returned, and she was still alive.
She had been back at treatment for months.
Our conversation was interrupted by a scream that rang out from across the room. Immediately, the nurses moved with a swift stillness that demonstrated true mastery of their work. When the doctors ran over with a crash cart, everyone stopped.
The stark silence was punctuated only by the murmurs of nurses and the sporadic ping of monitors and alarms.
I could almost hear the unspoken whimpers of the mother and father standing a few feet from the cart. Their arms intertwined, as if one was going to fall down a ravine if the other let go.
When the cart was wheeled away, the mother fell to the floor weeping into her hands. The father gently stroked her head, his eyes staring out into the void.
“Mom, you’re holding me too tight.” I looked over at the little girl who had so recently became my light. Her mother released the little girls arm, a silent tear streamed down her cheek.
I honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I am posting about my experiences as an adult patient of a pediatric cancer.