Tough Love By: Sophia Sohigian

In the dark cold hospital room, machines beeped and nurses came running in and out. There was never peace and quiet. Today, the lightning hit the ground hard and the thunder rolled loud and heavy.

The trees rattled as the wind’s speed picked up. I could hear the doctors running up and down the hallways and I could sense their fear. It was five degrees outside but my blankets were shielding me from the cold.

I, Cassidy was not doing much on this normal February day except I was allowed to watch the Bachelor. I was relaxing on my bed trying to see who gets engaged. My parents, Maurice and Joe were currently outside talking to my tall, handsome, doctor named Tim about my condition.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with melanoma. I was in fifth grade. I was complaining about my skin being really itchy and I was beginning to see pimples that were turning bright red and bursting wherever I touched them. My mom and dad took me to the pediatrician. Turns out it was more than just itchy skin. There were multiple tumors found in my skin all over.

They rushed me to John A. Hospital where I had an MRI. More tumors were found and I had a life expectancy of two months. Well, here I am now still fighting the battle I started years ago.

As I finished my episode of the Bachelor my parents walked in with Doctor Tim. My parents stated, "Hunny, I think it would be best for you maybe to share a room with someone. Then you could have someone your age to talk to."

"No no no no no."

"Honey I think it will be good for you."

"Well did you just hear what I said?"

"Yes, but I am your parent. I want what's best for you."

"Fine, I will try it but just for one night."

"Okay."

As a couple of nurses rolled me out of my room into the hall I saw all the sick little kids, like me. They took me to the 5th floor and walked a couple feet out and to the right. They opened room number 56 and I saw a girl sitting with all her machines hooked up. She stared at me then said, "Hi! I am Brook! I am in seventh grade. What grade are you in?"

"I am Cassidy. I am in seventh grade too."

The nurse put my bed next to hers and left the room to give me and her some time to talk. I looked at her, she had a breathing tube and a feeding tube hooked up.

I politely asked, “What disease do you have?’

There was a moment of silence in the room then she took a deep breath and said,

“When I was in sixth grade I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was short of breathing and they would a ginormous tumor in my lung. I was told I would only live for a year.”

“Ohh I am so sorry” I replied.

We sat there and stared at each other. The blinders on the window where rattling back and forth. The door was completely shut and we could hear our parents talking outside. After what felt like forever Brook grabbed the remote and turned the tv on. Then our parents walked in.

By the end of the week Brook and I were getting closer and closer. We never slept because we talked the whole time. We supported each other. And by far we loved each other's company. Right as we finished our deep conversation about love, Brook’s doctor walked in abruptly.

“Brook we have to take you in for some surgery. We are gonna try to pull out the tumor before it takes over your lungs. We will have your nurse come in, in a couple minutes and the surgery should only be about a couple hours.”

I could see from Brooks facial expression that she was petrified.

“Thanks doctor.” she frantically replied.

About two minutes later the nurse came walking in. She made sure Brook was calm and ready. This was not Brooks first rodeo. As she wheeled Brook away we hugged and I made sure to say good luck. Pg15 I was left there in the room all alone. I had forgotten how it felt to be alone. As I was in my head, Doctor Tim, and my parents stepped in.

“Cassidy they are gonna give you another MRI.” my mother stated.

“Okay” I said. I was use to these. I had about once every week. I was sort of getting tired of all this treatment and time spent in the hospital, I thought to myself. I wanted more than anything but to go back to school. But I could not let Brook down. She was pushing me to keep fighting and not to lose my hope. I thought, as I continued to mope.

A few hours later I was rolled back to room 56 and was surprised not to see Brook there yet. Her surgery should have only taken a couple of hours. It had been 10 hours since she left. She should be back. My head started to spin thinking about what could happen. After ten minutes of me asking my parents nonstop questions, Brooks parents came in.

“Where's Brook.” I quickly questioned.

Suddenly there faces dropped and turned expressionless. The slowly walked over the her bed, and sat done. I knew something was wrong.

“Cassidy something…” her mom paused and started to sob. I walked over and gave her a hug knowing what was coming next.

Brooks mom then made a slight smile and the bursts into tears. I sat next to her, starting to sob to. We didn't need to speak we both new. We felt each other's comfort. Tears both running down our faces. We sat there together for who knows how long. Finally after we got ourselves together I helped Brook's mom take everything in her room down to the elevator. I had to go back to my room because I needed to rest but we hugged and said our unspoken goodbyes.

I slowly crawled into bed. My head was spinning. Why? Just why? I questioned myself. She was the only person who I could talk to who understood me. I took one last look at her bed before the nurses came in and wheeled it away. She gave me hope. We loved each other's company. I slowly laid down and began to fall asleep listening to the sound of my tears running down my cheek.

Not much later, my dad came in. He sat down on my bed and hugged me.

“I am sorry.” is all he said. And then I sobbed some more. I could feel the comfort of my dad and our connection getting better. But that only lasted a few minutes as Doctor Tim walked in.

“Cassidy you will need emergency surgery.” And down the hall I went.

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