My Name is Leighton
My name is Leighton, I am 14 years old and when I was two I was diagnosed with Leukemia which I fought for 5 years and when I was 7 I finally beat it. I lived a happy life, finally breathing fresh non-hospitalized air, and started making friends who I could depend on not dieing on me (I made 3 very close friends during the course of my leukemia, 2 of which died) and I was back in school living a normal life. I let my hair grow out long again. I gained back weight, (I was 45-48 pounds on a 4’6 frame) and I no longer needed stupid radiation or chemo. I could walk again and be free again. But two weeks ago that all changed. I was used to my mom always being on guard with me. Any little bruise on my body that stayed for longer than a week she would take me in. And if I ever seemed tired she would give me the third degree and question me because she was so afraid it was something cancer related. She was a single mom raising me at the time and so my entire life all the family I had ever known was her. I never knew my dad or his family so they were out of the picture. My mom was 18 when she had me and her family was never in the picture or there for her. Although they live in southern NJ and we only live in Manhattan, they never took the time to come and see me while I was sick. My mom was all I had while I was sick and in treatment. She’s my knight in shining armor. She was my crazy-b*tch mother fighting for my life, fighting for me just to make sure I was okay and everything was okay. So now that I’ve gotten passed my mother and what she’s like, you might understand why for nearly two weeks (about a month ago) I had been hiding blotchy dark purple bruises around the center of my spine. I thought they were dumb, perhaps the result of messing up in my gymnastics, falling wrong, hurting myself. But by week two i began to get worried. I was going to tell her what was going on by week 2 but I was in a sort of denial because she had always made me so aware of the cancer and the possibility of it coming back so in a way i was very afraid of the fact that it could actually have come back.
I was at a party in Brooklyn with my cousin and about 5 of her closest friends to celebrate her 15th birthday at a pool in this hotel. We were all messing around laughing and just having a good time, and somewhere along the way I got elbowed in the nose. It didn’t hurt too bad, nothign much really, but I ended up getting a nose bleed. So I sat at the side of the pool holding a kleenex to my nose, my head tipped back hoping it would stop.
But it wouldn’t.
My mom got called, she came to pick me up and once again i was hauled to the hospital to get tested again.
It was back.
It is back : (
I’ve been in treatment for about a week and a half now. I reach up and touch a bald head where my chest nut hair used to sit hanging to my butt.
I want to say how I feel but i just don’t know what to say. Everywhere i go people stop and stare. Waitresses and teachers are nicer than every with fake smiles planted on their faces when really I know theyre only being nice incase i die.
I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do.
I wish I ccould be brave and be a trooper but the truth is is that I can’t and I’m so afraid to die. I just started middle school in the fall last year and I don’t want to give up anything to this cancer.
I just don’t know what to do anymore.
All I know is that I have to stay strong. Youre never going to want to be in battle with cancer but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
This is for all of you newly diagnosed out there. I know youre afraid and i know how you feel. But please listen to these words: BE STRONG.
Because sometimes that’s the only thing that can save you.