Meet Phoenix Walker
So, what does survivorship mean to me? It is invaluable. Through my solitude I learned more about myself, and my limits, my strengths and weaknesses.
Through the course of my treatment, I plummeted into depression. I couldn’t do anything to ease my suffering and I felt like a worthless burden. Barely anyone ever came to visit me, and I think that’s what hurt the most. I had friends, but none of them came to see me more than once. Crying and spiraling into hysteria became a norm for me in and out of that lonely hospital room. I only had my parents, but turns out they were all I needed. They weren’t perfect but they were always there for me, encouraging me at every turn. I wish more people had done as they did for me, but being bitter won’t help me now.
Once school began, l was still in treatment. I was only two months in at that point. It was my freshman year of high school, and I was so excited for it. I was told from the get-go that I didn’t have to try and go through with schooling while being treated, but I was determined. Driven. I could only go to the school about two days every month or so because of my weakened immune system. Regardless, with a tube in my nose and bag in my hand, I went through with a four period schedule starting at nine a.m.
I only lasted until winter break that same year, and I tried. Oh, boy, did I try. I’ve been told by my mom that she knew it was time to pull out after this one event with my math homework. I was really struggling, I just didn’t understand it. I asked my mom for help, and she did. However, once I moved on to the next problem, I had completely forgotten everything. I didn’t want to stop trying. I wanted to essentially run myself into the ground until I was caught up with my classmates. This only ended in tears. Many tears that coupled with severe nausea and pain. I was defeated.
Although I often couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I knew it was there. The thought that this all will be over soon is what stopped me from giving up. I don’t look back on this time fondly, especially since I don’t remember most of it, but the things I learned from it are invaluable. I faced death with a courage I never knew I had, and learned how precious life is.
How time is short and anyone’s life can be brought to an abrupt end, even a child’s. Ever since then, I’ve been riding this roller coaster of life with my eyes open, savoring and experiencing every moment to the fullest. Now I look to the horizon as I begin my ascent towards college.
So, what does survivorship mean to me? It is invaluable. Through my solitude I learned more about myself, and my limits, my strengths and weaknesses. How I should live for myself, and be who I want to be Instead of getting by and faking it. I learned the value of my family’s love, and how no matter what they will always be there for me. I want to share what I have to offer, because it almost got taken away. I may not end up being a doctor or a nurse, but my heart lies in that hospital with those kids I don’t really know. The nameless heroes who are the only ones who understand what it’s like. If my passions path ever has the slightest chance of crossing that of a fellow person with a child or was/is a child with cancer then I will do everything within my power to serve them.