General Non-Fiction posted April 24, 2019


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Going through a bad patch

My Girl

by Maria Jose Garcia


When my daughter, Iris, was about to turn four, she was diagnosed with leukemia.

The way children experience cancer is very different from the way adults do, probably because they don't know what's going on. In fact, they have fewer side effects.

Iris only felt unwell during chemo once and later we discovered it was because her Hickman line had a leak.

Being in hospital is extremely boring. That's why we did everything we could to entertain ourselves.

Television was one of our favourite pastimes. Iris loved watching shampoo commercials (Loleal was the one she liked best), but they made me extremely sad as she had already lost her hair.

I read Pollyanna for the umpteenth time as I find it to be quite a comforting book.

We also played cards. It was always a Little Mermaid game that she adored and that put me to sleep. The person with the highest number kept the two cards. And so on. And so forth. It went on for hours sometimes...

We also loved going to the chapel to light candles. As it was quite a posh hospital, the candle machine had a sign that said 'Euro coins only.' But we took all our cents with us and spent the longest time putting them in the slot one by one. 'In your face!', as my daughter would say.

When we were transferred to another hospital with a long balcony that wrapped around our floor, we went out for some fresh air every day. Iris would ride her drip as if it was a skateboard. One day, she tripped and fell... and the drip broke. The nun in charge was not very happy with us, but I'm sure we were not the first to crash a drip, as all the kids did the same.

It was a tough time. The toughest in my life, I'd say, but as you can see, I also have some fun memories.

And more importantly, twenty years have passed and Iris is healthy, active and as beautiful and sweet as she's always been.


Share Your Story contest entry

Recognized


The photo shows my daughter rowing a boat in Stratford, England.
I say she's healthy in the text, but that's not a hundred per cent true as she's got fibromyalgia. All the same, she lives life to the full.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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© Copyright 2019. Maria Jose Garcia All rights reserved.
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