A fight for life

Megan - Sierra Madre, California
Entered on February 18, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

A Fight for Life

It was a Wednesday; I was 12. My mom picked me up early and said to me, “Megan, Jessie has cancer.” I felt like my legs were pulled out from under me; I couldn’t breathe. Jessie was and still is one of my best friends. When I found this out I felt astonished, confused, and numb. I thought how could this sweet, innocent girl get one of the worst diseases man-kind has ever known.

About two weeks later my mom scheduled a time for me to go see her at City of Hope. I won’t lie, I was afraid to see her; I was afraid to see the look in her eyes and to see her if she had already given up hope. But as I was walking to her room, I looked through the glass, and saw her smiling and laughing. Spending that day with her has changed me so much. I believe that no one should ever give up, no matter what the circumstances are.

The entire day we played board games, guitar hero, and watched movies. When we ran out of things to talk about, I asked her, “So how are you?” She said, “I have never been better in my life.” I looked at her with a puzzled visage, and she said, “I know what you are thinking. I have cancer, so how in the world can I have never been better. But I’m not going to let this disease win.”

About nine months later, now, I know what she meant, and I believe her 100 percent. She is almost finished with all her rounds of chemotherapy, and she has only gotten sick once. She went through an experimental surgery, and it worked perfectly. Part of her hip bone, where the cancer was, has gotten shaved off, and she had to be in a half body cast. She was supposed to go from being in a cast to a wheel chair, to using a walker, to crutches, and then a cane. But being Jessie, she skipped the walker and completed the recovery process two years ahead of schedule. Naturally, everyone is flabbergasted. Every time I see her, she gives me this “I told you so” look, and I just smile.

Everywhere she goes, she radiates happiness and joy. When people see her, she gives off a vibe that says “Yeah I have cancer. So what? It’s not like its winning; it’s losing.” She has shown me that I should never give up, no matter what the circumstances are, and even if its fighting to stay alive against a life-threatening disease.

The opportunity to test the belief Jessie taught me didn’t take very long to occur. In November I pulled my achilles tendon. For a week I couldn’t walk on my foot so I had to use crutches. That weekend I had an extremely big tournament. By the time the tournament began, my ankle was still as swollen as a softball, but I pushed through the pain and ended up assisting half the goals and scoring some of them. I never gave up, and my team ended up winning the tournament.