new outlook on this situation and her visits create such comfort in my life, needed now more than ever.
I was fooling myself when I thought it was almost over.
I received a phone call at 8:13 p.m. on Oct. 6 from my oncologist. “That biopsy we did shows that your cancer has spread,” he said. Initially, my treatment consisted of four sessions of chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy. Instead, I now have to do 12 sessions.
My head began to spin and I immediately dropped to my knees and began to pray. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my burning face. The thoughts of how I felt the first time I did one of the sessions ran through my head.
I recalled how horrible it made me feel and how sick I was and to imagine that I would have to do this 11 more times. The horrible feeling of waking up in the middle of the night, draining my body into a bucket by the side of my bed and feeling too weak to even get up and wash my face is not something I want to look forward to again.
After I prayed and dried my eyes, I called my family I told them the news. They all prayed for me. I allowed myself two days to dry my tears.
Crying and feeling sorry for myself would not help me get better any faster. If anything, I would make myself even sicker.
I realized that not only will I not be able to continue school for this semester, but I won’t be able to start back until next fall.
My next chemo session was set for Oct. 8. I sat in the chair next to the blood pressure machine and the nurse came to draw my blood. Usually when I get my blood drawn, the nurse asks me if I’m ready.
Instead, she just came in, stuck me with the needle, drew my blood and told me to sit in the waiting area. From then on, I knew things were not going to go as planned today.
I tried to put that thought out of my mind as I heard my doctor call my name.
I walked into the doctor’s office, mentally prepared because I knew what to expect. We discussed my extended treatment, among other things.
During our conversation, the nurse walked in with my blood test results. My doctor read them over then looked up at me. He said that my white blood cells were entirely too low to do a chemo session today. If they did, I would be extremely sick because of my weak immune system.
I went home and just lay in my bed and stared at the ceiling thinking to myself. I turned on my radio, put in my Tonya Stephens CD, took a deep breath and stared blankly at the ceiling.
My mind was racing with new facts, my life literally racing ahead in front of me. I knew that when this was all over, I would never be the same. I jumped out of my bed, reached into my drawer and grabbed a pair of scissors.
I stood in front of the mirror and a single tear slid down my face.
A new me is approaching and I want to be in control of some of these changes. I grabbed about six locs and held them to shoulder length.
Snip. I am more than my hair.
Slice. I will be cured and I will start a new life.
When I finally looked up, my locs were gone.
I felt a sense of relief and sadness at the same time. What have I done?
My beautiful locs, 11 years in the making, were strewn carelessly on the tiled floor.
I picked them up and placed them in my dresser drawer. Later on in life, if I ever decide that I want them back, they will be there waiting for me.
Right now, I just want to live and not just be that girl with long locs.
I spent the next three days in the house combing out the rest of my hair so now I still have at least shoulder length hair. I know that this journey is just beginning but I’m willing to keep fighting, because at the end of the day, this is still my life. I will continue to have faith and believe that my blessing is coming soon.
I will delete these thoughts of giving up and these tears of pain. No more will I break down because I am stronger than this. Smile and greet me with joy when you see me, don’t feel sorry for me. I am OK and I will be fine. Thank you for your support and I love you all for believing in me and helping me through this.
This column is Part Two of a bi-weekly column chronicling Tineisha’s battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For more coverage, including footage from doctor visits, visit the www.thefamuanonline.com.