“City Of Hope”

Chase - Santa Maria, California
Entered on July 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“I’m sorry chase, your Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has relapsed and you will have to stay in the City of Hope for about forty days, and receive the most intense type of chemo and, at the end of all that, receive a stem cell transplant in which you will be isolated in your room for about 18 days unable to leave your bed.” Talk about one moment you are just sitting in the Oncologists’ office waiting to say your tests were fine and about two minutes later your whole life flipped and turned around like a gymnasts off a spring board. Tears filled the room with everyone crying. Everyone but me, see I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma October 7, 2006, and I always had this warrior mentality that I was going to be strong and get through this experience with flying colors. Sometimes though, no matter how strong I think I was a little something, such as cancer, that is much strong than my ability to handle.

The day after school got out I went to Vegas to be with my family one last time before I entered the gates of hell. The trip was too short and the next thing I know I am outside the “City Of Hope” staring death in the face. Walking around what I would call home for the next two months, I began to realize that I am going got beat this. Room 9702 in the Children’s Department is where I stayed. I preferred to stay where I thought it would not seem as intense, so being with little kids seemed to be the most reasonable. As soon as I got comfortable where I was staying, I was already in my first surgery getting my Hickman put in. From that point on I would be attached to a machine until the day I left. I felt like a puppet with all the cords connected to me, and the Puppet master could just lift me up and use each cord for different limb to control my movements.

That next day my battle with this monster began. Thirteen hours of chemo a day, for two weeks and constant medication was what I was dealt with. For that whole time it felt like I was being defeated, constantly having diarrhea, not eating for nearly three weeks, and being fed through a tube just so I wouldn’t starve. It seemed liked I may not be able to win this time. The day came where my body was renewed, after the transplant I had testing, and there were no signs of cancer. Since then I have been clean of cancer. It feels nice to know that I could defeat this two headed monster that seeks to take my life, but I knew with a little hope I had the victory in the bag.