Written by Kasie Bloss of Quakertown, “Hey Cancer, Why Grandma?” was the first place winner in our 2014 Essay Contest’s middle school division. Kasie (center) is pictured with her parents Rhonda and Robert.
For a lack of better words, Cancer is a major bully! Only a bully would attack someone as amazing and awesome as my Grandma. Not only once, not only twice, but this is the THIRD time she has Cancer. First she had Breast Cancer, then Colon Cancer on her liver, and now she has Cancer on her liver again. It is not fair that my Grandma is being beaten up by this bully!
I remember how scared I was when my mom told me that my Grandma had Cancer for the first time. Thoughts like, “What happened?” and “Is she okay?” flew through my mind. This is the first time Cancer has come into my world. Scary things have happened in my life, like when my Pappy had a heart attack, but Cancer struck me as being so very terrifying. I hated feeling like someone I love was going through something so awful. Learning more about what would heal my Grandma really helped ease my fears.
Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment facts made me really uncomfortable. How was my Grandma supposed to get better, when the Chemotherapy was attacking her good cells, not just her bad? Some days I was not allowed to go see her, because it was a day that she needed a lot of rest. I remember how careful she had to be around sick people, she did not want to catch what they had. I was glad that the Chemotherapy was attacking Grandma`s Cancer, but why did it have to attack Grandma, too?
Just like the three times that Grandma had Cancer treatment were all very different, the side effects she had each time were very different, too. When she had Breast Cancer, she had to get an awesome wig because of all her hair loss. When she had Colon Cancer, she did not lose her hair, but she had extreme sensitivity to cold. It hurt her to feel cold air or touch something cold. My brother would go shopping with her so she did not have to touch anything. The side effect that she is experiencing with her Cancer right now is the most uncomfortable so far. Unfortunately, she is very allergic to the medicine that she has to take. Her skin broke out in an itchy, bumpy rash that she is not allowed to scratch. I would go crazy if I had that rash. I think about her all the time and I can’t wait until she feels better. Though the side effects all had differences, the nausea she experienced was nasty all three times.
One of the most challenging things my family and I have gone through with Grandma`s Cancers was waiting for her to come out of her surgeries. The worst one by far was when she had half her liver removed. The surgery took nine hours! I could not wait to hear that she was okay, and that the surgery was successful. My thoughts were on Grandma the entire day. I don’t even remember what happened in school that day! Soon she will be having surgery on her liver again. I am looking forward to her being Cancer free, but I am not looking forward to her going through another surgery.
Hearing the words, “you have Cancer” must be the worst thing in the world. I can not believe that my Grandma had to hear these words three times. The battle with Cancer is never easy, and my Grandma `s was no different. Right now, I am only twelve years old, but my Grandma told me to be very aware of my genetics. Both of my Grandmothers have been through Cancer now. This means that I could also have Cancer some day. It doesn’t mean that I definitely will, but I need to pay attention to signs of it.
I am so proud of Grandma because no matter how bad the news is, she always keeps pushing forward to be Cancer free. Her strength and her bravery have made a big impact on me. I look forward to hearing that she has beaten Cancer forever and is healthy again. I know she soon will be. She is my inspiration to be a fighter through any challenge.