I had the most excruciating migraine I had ever had. It felt like knives digging into my skull one by one, ripping my nerves apart. I sat with my head in my hands near the school bus stop, waiting for my mum to pick me up from school early because of my thundering headache. As she pulled into the school driveway, I could tell that something wasn’t right. Her face was a pale white and she had bags under her eyes from what looked like crying. Her eyelids were red and puffy. When I got into the car and saw her up close, she looked even worse. The car was littered with wet tissues.
“Mum, are you alright?” I asked anxiously?
“Umm,” Mum replied.
I’ve rarely seen mum cry, so I was extremely worried for her. Maybe something has happened to Grandad or Grandma I thought. It was a quiet trip home, nothing but silence. Not even a ‘hey Dylan, how was your day,’ only silence. By this stage, I was getting a little shaky. To see my mum in this way just rips me to shreds. We pulled into the driveway of our house. For some reason there were more cars parked on the street than usual. Maybe our next-door neighbour was having a part? I rushed through the home and made my way to my bedroom.
On the way, I passed the living room and to my surprise everyone was in there. My Dad, Sister, Grandma, Grandpa. They all looked in the same state as mum was, heartbroken and distraught. One by one they all turned their heads to face me. My Dad came up and gave me a giant hug. Right now, I was getting really worried. More worried than ever before.
My mum asked me to sit down and join the family. My palms were getting sweaty. I could hardly walk because my legs were shaking so much.
“Dylan please sit down, we need to tell you something,”
“Okay,” I said nervously.
“What’s wrong? Is everyone okay?”
“As you know, you’ve been so unwell lately and for such a long time, so remember we went to the doctors to get some bloods tests done!”
“Well, we have some devastating news!”
“They think you may have a certain cancer and the Doctor wants you to book you in tomorrow for some more tests!”
As soon as those few words left mums mouth, I felt faint, dropped to my knees and I tuned out of every word that was being said. I felt cold shivers run up and down my spine. My body turned into a block, I couldn’t move anything, I was to weak. I could still physically move, but mentally, my body stopped me. I was too weak to even process what was going on. My family started sobbing loudly, their tears were thick. We all used three boxes of tissues that day.
“I’m... I’m so sorry this is how it has to be Dylan,” said Grandma
“Be strong, never give up, you can overcome this!”
That night I woke up shivering, my mum took my temperature and panicked when she saw that it was 39°C. I still had my exploding headache. My mum immediately knew something was wrong and we left immediately for the hospital. I don’t remember much from the drive because I was falling in and out of consciousness. I felt so sorry for my mum because she just had to sit there and keep on driving, not being able to help me. I remember stumbling into a wheelchair and my mum pushing me to the oncology ward where I was immediately met with four nurses and a Doctor surrounding me. My vision was blurring, and my hearing was impaired....
The next thing I remember, I’m in a bed with blinding lights in my eyes with a crowd of doctors and nurses around me and machines beeping and buzzing.
I tightly gripped my mums’ hand whilst every now and again hearing my Mum murmuring “I love/you Dylan, everything is going to be okay.” I was so powerless I couldn’t even see my mum and tell her I love you back. Black, everything was black, that was the only thing I could see, there was no light at the end of a tunnel, there was no white void, just black. I wondered if this was it, was I dead, is this all there is? I refused to believe it. I was scared I didn’t want to lose my family; my wonderful life had only just started and I still had so much I wanted to do in life. I wanted to grow up and travel the world, get a degree at university. I vowed to myself that I would do everything I could to stay alive. I was going to fight this!
Two days later I woke up in the late afternoon. I became aware of someone sniffing and turned my head to see my Mum crying. She jumped for joy and it was the happiest I’ve ever seen her. She smothered me with hugs and kisses, and I could feel the tears on her cheeks. All I could say was I'm so sorry Mum and I love you.
“Mum, what’s going on, what happened to me?”
“I’m so sorry Dylan but whilst you were unconscious the doctors ran some more tests and told me you .... you have a brain tumour!”
“WHAT! How did I survive that?”
“Well you were on the edge, you’re a very lucky boy Dylan!”
“Am I going to die Mum?” I quietly and hesitantly asked.
“Dylan, you are going to survive this! The doctors are optimistic and are going to give you chemotherapy, six weeks of radiotherapy and possibly surgery if needed!”
“But Dylan you do have to understand that this is going to be a long hard road ahead of you and sometimes you will feel like giving up, but you have to keep on going, I need you in my life, you are the sunshine in my world!”
“This treatment will make you extremely tired and sick but just keep persevering and you’ll make it through this!”
Ever since that day, I have persisted to make my parents proud, persisted with going to school each day that I’m well enough. I vowed to enjoy my youth that was so nearly taken away, I strive to be happy and healthy every day because we really don’t know when our time is up. From this day on I promised myself that I will grow up and become a registered nurse to give back the love and care they gave to me.
I had grown and won this battle with my cancer, life was great!
“See you tomorrow boys!”
I swung my bag over my shoulder and raced off as I saw Mums car approaching. I stopped in my tracks when I saw that Mum was a pale white and her eyes were pink and puffy. My bag slid off my back and fell to the floor...