I am pleased to introduce to you my friend, Erin. Erin and I first “met” 10 years ago in an online discussion forum created for adoption triad members. Erin happens to live near me, and we have since met. She is a person that I consider a dear friend, and I am so thankful for her presence in my life. She is also a childhood cancer survivor. Erin is my next guest blogger in my Childhood Cancer Awareness Month series of guest blogs. These are her”snapshot” memories of cancer.
Erin at 5 3/4 years old.
I was 5 ¾ (that ¾ being important to my 5-year-old self) when I was diagnosed with cancer. My memories are like snapshots throughout my treatment.
The snapshot of laying down in the backseat of the car and watching the lights go by as we drove the two hours to the hospital that would do my surgery and treatment.
The snapshot of wanting to be able to take my blanket back with me to surgery and not being allowed to have it.
The snapshot of waking in the hospital to a pastor praying over me, wondering if I had died.
The snapshot of an envelope full of hand drawn cards from my kindergarten class.
The snapshot of getting my stitches out in the hospital before being discharged and how painful it was.
The snapshot of looking down at my belly and seeing all these strips of white surrounded by the lingering yellow from the iodine.
The snapshot of my grandparents bringing my sisters to visit while we stayed with my aunt near the hospital to start treatments and my baby sister not wanting to go to my mom after being left with my grandparents during my hospital stay, remembering the look on my mom’s face.
The snapshot of going into my doctor’s office and the nurse having to do finger pokes on most of my fingers to get enough blood for counts.
The snapshot of when a different doctor gave me my chemo and burned the wall of vein leaving a chemical burn on my arm.
The snapshot of walking along the river in a park in our town and having to stop to throw up because I hated the anti-nausea suppository so much that I begged my mom not to use it.
The snapshot of having to sit inside at recess when I did go to school because I was too weak to play.
The snapshot of getting up really early and riding in the car with my dad to my clinic appointments.
The snapshot of getting to go to Chuck E Cheese post-chemo and playing skee ball (I still love skee ball).
Erin with her radiation techs celebrating her last radiation.
All those snapshots of a small brown-haired, brown-eyed little girl with big glasses who fought cancer and won are what I carry with me now, 33 years later.