My Pride Out the Window

Okay…. so I’m new at this… all of this.  This is kind of long, I realize, so sorry to whoever takes the time to read it. This is my first time using any kind of thing like this, and it’s also my first time admitting these weaknesses, so bear with me.

I’m Adrian, I’m 17, and I was diagnosed with AML about 2 months ago. My parents are divorced, and my dad is really rich. He supports me and my mom financially, but he’s not really in either of our lives anymore. This seems irrelevant but it helps the rest make sense.

So here’s the story. When I was 16 (before I got cancer) I moved out of my mom’s house, and into my own apartment, paid in full by my dad. I homeschooled myself, I did everything for myself. I used my free time to do whatever I wanted… and I admit that I did some bad things… but I was living the good life.

I live in a town where everyone knows me. Even when I didn’t go to public high school, everyone knew me and hung out with me.  I was popular. I was the one with all the money, the one who showed up to and threw the best parties. And the girls weren’t exactly shy around me either.

And then cancer hit me.

It started with getting really tired, then nose bleeds and a fever. My mom took me to a doctor, and after various tests, blood counts, and a bone marrow aspiration… etc. I was told I had AML.

The news pretty much destroyed my mom. It didn’t bother me as much as it should have. I figured I’d just adapt.

And the strange thing is… the one thing that did bother me, was that I had to move back in with my mom basically because I wasn’t able to take care of myself anymore.

About three weeks after my diagnosis was my 17th birthday. It passed without event, since I was too tired and too sick from my first few chemo treatments to really do anything.

I went from being the most popular person my age, to being helpless, sick, and not to mention, bald. I went from being independent to needing my mom to take care of me when I’m sick. Throw all my pride out the window. No one saw me as popular or cool anymore. They saw me as the guy with cancer.

My whole life I’ve been the kind of guy who isn’t bothered by anything. I’ve always been tough, and I never showed any weakness. I’m always impassive.  I feel like now that I have cancer, I am weak. And I hate it.

I admit that there are people who have been great at making me feel better. I have a caring mother and my amazing girlfriend, Sara, and they’re so supportive.  But niether of them quite… get it. They tell me all the time how I shouldn’t feel bad for needing help, but I can’t shake the feeling still. At the moment, I just feel like I’m about five years old. I hate it.

Anyway… sorry for practically writing a novel. I’m not necessarily looking for advice or anything. But I feel like I need to know that I’m not crazy for feeling this way. Do I have any right to even have any pride anymore, now that I’m sick?

August 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Community, Coping with Cancer

  • Nakisha

    Hi, I’m nakisha and I’m 16 :)

    i was diagnosed at 15 with osteosarcoma, bone cancer… being the complete opposite then you!! I was not extremely popular, I lived with my mom, and went to public school… I also was not the guys fist choice in girlfriend. Hahaha. But.. I was extremely idependent for the most part. I did a lot on my own and even helped raise my brother. When I was diagnosed, pride didn’t matter. what mattered was staying alive so that i could get better and stronger and learn as much as I possibly could from this expierence. I was proud of myself everyday for every little thing i did. I did at first resist everybody’s help, but I soon learned that my number one priority was to return back to my healthy self.. especially after I had my left leg amputated…

    Your pride? It’s self esteem. And..yeah, sometimes you’ll feel like crap… but you know what? you just keep reminding yourself you’re doing something that many people have never or never will do. And if you don’t find pride in that you won’t find pride in a lot of this..

    The close friends you have only want their friend to get better. they still know and remember the cool, popular you. Just because you’re weak doesn’t mean your vulnerable. :)

  • Rachel Reimer

    Hey, my name is Rachel Reimer. I am 16. Although I don’t have cancer I have numerous medical problems. The main one is tietze sydrome. I would love to hear back from you. email me at

  • Karen


    I just wanted to tell you that I unfortunately am NOT new to this but your story has inspired me. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 19 in 2004 just before going into my sophomore year of college. I am now 26 and still asking myself many of the same questions that you are. I was supposed to enjoy my twenties…not wish them away.

    I will say that recognizing the obstacles that you are facing will always be challeging and some may never go away. I am at the point where I am dealing with the “long-term” side-effects of treatment and it’s just as hard as sitting there hearing the diagnosis for the first time.

    I always considered myself a very independant and mature person but even years later I still stuggle with the same fears and facing reality that you are. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing is that I proved everyone wrong and I finished school and continued to work during treatment…it was all I had.

    Just remember, the people who are there to help and support you like your mom and your girlfriend…you need them, even though you feel you don’t, you do. and more importantly…they need you.

    Good luck and God bless, remember…there will be good days and bad days forever but cancer does not have to be the excuse, let it be the driving force. As anyone who has had poison put into their bodies knows the fight never dies.

  • Kaitlynn Hartline

    Hi Adrian, I’m currently living with colon cancer. It hasnt gotten to the point of needing treatment, but ive known i’d have it all my life. I constantly worry about my pride as well. Youre definitely not crazy. I often ask myself why i’d even consider the process of chemo, etc because i’ll lose all my independence, and i hate the thought of it. But then i remember that its my life i’m talking about, and no amount of helplessness is worth losing it. I know you’re not looking for advice or anything, i think you just needed to vent to people who get it. Stay strong, if you ever need to talk, you can find me on facebook.
    All the best <3

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