“Why do we have to come all the way up here?” I turned my head slightly as the question fell from my lips. My mother didn’t answer, one hand on the steering wheel and the other clutched onto my father’s hand. Pursing my lips, I shifted closer to the car door, feeling my body’s energy go down. This happens a lot now. My dad turned to reach over. He pushed at my shoulder. “Alex, stay up. Were almost there.” Blinking my eyes, I turned to the window, seeing the rolling green hills that we sped past. With my sickness, every little thing was beautiful, from the soft grassy hills to the small brown birds that tweeted in the trees. I don’t know how much longer I have to go though it’s not advanced. Every moment counts. My little sister Abby always says I don’t look like I’m sick, but I am. My bones ached on most days. I barely keep any of my food down. I pulled my jeans up on my narrow waist. The nosebleeds are the worst, random and spontaneous. I carry tissues wherever I can put them. My mother squinted, the dark circles stuck out under her eyes. She hasn’t been sleeping well. She walked around like a zombie. On her best days you can catch a small hint of a smile on her face. The day we found out, she fainted. Sometimes I can hear the thud she made hitting the floor. I winced at the memory; reaching up I checked to make sure my nose was dry. I saw my father grimacing as my mother continued to grip his hand. “Honey, can you ease up a bit?” He managed to choke out as we turned into the driveway. Putting her other hand against the wheel, my mom parked the car behind an ugly green mini-van on the bumper. It had one of those “my child got in ___” stickers. I rolled my eyes before unbuckling my seat belt (insisted on by dad) and opened the door. Taking my father’s hand, he helped me to jump down from the Jeep. I saw the shadow of my mother walking ahead of us. My dad gently guided me onto the porch. “Mom, do I really need to be here? I’m fine!” trying to please reasonable sanity into this unreasonable insanity. Hoping my mom would changer her mind. She didn’t say anything, not that I expected her to. She rang the bell. We waited for a minute before a woman stepped onto the porch. She smiled down at me. Her hair was in a messy bun. The polka-dotted nurse’s uniform clashed with everything surrounding her. I didn’t understand how she could be happy working in a uniform that a clown typically wore.
“Hello dear. Go on in and make a right.” She waved me in. Of course my mom didn’t move. My dad leaned into my ear. “We’ll be back after sushi. Just try please.” I hugged him, reaching out to my mom, but she stayed still. The pan of hurt hadn’t lessened today. Turning away, I moved deeper into the small office. Going down the hallway, I noticed how quiet it was. You could hear the crickets outside, the small murmuring of voices reached my ears before I turned the corner, reaching the hallway end. I took a deep breath before turning the corner. I saw a wooden door. How could I possibly have any more fear left? I shouldn’t be afraid of this. Opening the door a group of people sat in a circle. All of their heads turned to me. “Hello.” a woman said. She wore a purple tracksuit with a red bandanna on her head. I winced as I remember that would be one of the things to happen to me as well. Moving I sat in an empty seat near a boy who looked like he was torn between crying and coughing. “Well, we have a new…” before the women could continue, the little boy jumped to his feet clutching his nose. “I’m sorry,” he cried. The woman stood as well. “Daniel, it’s ok” She went to soothe him. Reaching into my pockets, I pulled out a tissue. I handed it to him. He thanked me. Behind his hand, I smiled slightly. He sat back down, looking less shaken. The woman went to her seat as well. “Now as I was saying, we have a newcomer.” She gestured to me. Would you like to speak, dear?” I shifted nervously in my chair. I blinked before saying “Hi, my name is Alex, and I have cancer.”