I was asked to go to a building I had never been before. Inside the extremely large, white building people seemed so busy. It scared me to see people hurrying about so quickly. I felt a sense of urgency as we entered a large room where people looked worried, sad or depressed. Life seemed to stand still here. No one was talking at all in this room. My parents looked worried as well. There were several TV’s on but everyone seemed to be staring off into space, not watching the TV’s, including us. This made me even more scared. Why was I here? My parents said something about tests being done. I didn’t know what that meant. The only test I knew was done is school. This was not school, that was for sure.
One by one I saw the worried people called up by someone in pajamas and they walked through a door. I never saw them again. After waiting forever, one of the pajama people called my name; we went with her through the same door. I was worried we would not return either. Where were we going? They put my parents and I into a small room with a bed and I waited some more. At least it had a TV I could change to whatever station I wanted. I nervously watched, not really paying attention. There was this tension in the room that I had never felt before.
I waited some more. My heart jumped at an unexpected knock at the door. What was going on? The nice, friendly lady said they had to take some blood. I was so nervous; I barely felt the poke in my arm, then more waiting and staring at the TV, just like those people in the first room. Another knock at the door made my heart leap. They told me they wanted to take some pictures. That sounded okay. We went into a room with a big machine. It didn’t look anything like a camera. What was this thing? They said it was a cat scan. I’m sure they knew I wasn’t a cat.
What were they looking for? I went through this tube thing, back and forth several times, and was told to lie still. I wondered if they noticed me shaking. I hoped they didn’t. Then back to my room with the TV and more waiting. I don’t really remember all the other tests, but I was no longer startled each time they knocked at the door.
Then a pajama person and two people in white coats came into my TV room. There is something inside of your body, they told me, that is not supposed to be there and we are not sure how it got there. In my mind, I thought in the middle of the night, some evil person had placed a bomb in my body and now they were just finding it.
I actually dreamed about this a few nights ago. I dreamed that two people in military outfits came to me with robots searching for a bomb inside my body. I was so scared it was going to explode inside me. I saw them looking at a TV screen, when suddenly someone said, “30 seconds.” Everyone then left the room, and a guy came in my room with a big space suit like outfit. All I remember is waiting… waiting… waiting for the bomb to go off. It is almost as if this dream were coming true. “Do I have a bomb inside me?” I felt that same panicked feeling I had in my dream. Why would someone put a bomb in me?
Another knock at the door brought me back to reality. It was kind of fun to be wheeled in a bed upstairs to another room with a bed and a TV. I was told they were going to make me better. I did not understand what needed to be fixed. My parents told me they were going to do an operation to take a piece of a mass out of me so they could look at it under a microscope. I wasn’t sure what a mass was but my parents pretended like they were okay, but I could tell they weren’t. What was inside me that would draw this much attention? A few days later I heard them say the word, “cancer.”
I was not sure what cancer was, but I knew it was not good. I realized that one of my uncles died from cancer. Was I going to die? I did not want to ask this question to anyone for fear of the answer. I just sat and worried about it everyday. I wish someone would ask me if I worried about dying. I wanted to talk about it but I was so scared.