Can You Get To The End Of This Story?
Sometimes We Just Don't Know!
Sometimes between the moment we’re born and the moment we pass away we witness something that can't possibly be real. It can't possibly be happening yet it is. Sometimes what’s witnessed is seen by several people at once, sometimes by hundred's but usually by just one of us. Such experiences are not limited to a certain age of a person or geographic location.
Men, women and children have seen things that have been classified into categories based upon one's religious or spiritual beliefs. For example, if one were to say they believe they had seen a ufo, obviously the government is going to state that "It was a weather balloon." Some folks may say it was a hoax or a prank. Some may accuse you of being drunk or on drugs.
Some may it was the work of the devil while other's still may say it was a sign from God. In certain parts of the country, some may say it was witchcraft or part of the paranormal. There are those who believe that this dimension, the world as we perceive it is just one of several. Then there are those who based on all known facts assert that what they encountered could not have been from this earthly world.
And so this is where my story begins and it is left to you, the reader to decide if you believe in the impossible or the possible. My name is Emily and I was just an ordinary divorced, single mother raising my only daughter, Amanda age six on the Kansas farm my father willed to me when he passed away on February 18th, 2005. Daddy and I had always been close.
Amanda was too small to be affected in the way that older children could from the loss of her grandfather and I was glad for that. Now the year was 2007 and Amanda had just turned seven and was not only was she a bright and outgoing child, but she was talkative too. Yet in a way as much as the country life shielded us from pollution and crime like big cities it had its loneliness too.
Not just for me but for my daughter too. So we made sure each and every day that we set aside time for us to listen, to ponder, to learn and to laugh. Little did I know that Amanda would develop a Cancer tumor rare in children and very rare at Amanda's age called Osteogenic Sarcoma. It’s a form of Cancer that develops in or near the plates connecting joints to each other like arms and legs.
In Amanda's case it began just above her right knee. She was prone to falling down a lot as most children do her age when they’re running and playing. It was on May 11, 2006 when she came in the back door crying, telling me that her knee hurt. Like any other mother, I knelt down and hugged her and tried to tell her she was a big girl and that she'd be fine as I gave her one of my hot out of oven oatmeal cookies that had cooled.
But Amanda wasn't fine. In fact, in a few short weeks, I sensed she had changed. As the pain in her knee increased, I saw the sparkle in her eyes dim. I saw her favor the left knee as she began limping. She appeared to get fatigued way too quickly than before. She had fevers and I noticed a swelling just above her right knee. At first, I just wrote it off that she had fallen a bit too hard on her knee.
As a precaution I took her in to see her doctor and x-rays of her leg were taken as well as a physical which all came back normal. His diagnosis was that Amanda may have irritated the bone underneath the knee cap and that it would just take time to heal. He gave me a prescription of medicine for Amanda’s pain and we both went back home.
Two weeks hadn't even gone by when I noticed the small bulge forming just above Amanda's knee and I took her to Emergency room this time. It felt like hours since I had sat down in the waiting room waiting, reading, pacing back and forth as patient after patient came and went. What was taking so long, I impatiently said to myself?
Finally the same nurse who took Amanda out of my arms, returned and when I saw the look in her eyes, I knew something was very wrong. At that moment my heart was racing. I began crying and pleading to know where my daughter was as she tried to calm me down. I was led down a hall to an examination room where a doctor and nurse were keeping Amanda entertained.
When we saw each other we both cried and held our arms out to each other and I ran to her. When I turned around with Amanda in my arms, I looked into sad and concerned eyes. Dr. Blakely informed me that one of the nurses was going to take Amanda to a play area for children nearby while we talked. At first I panicked but in the end, I relented and let Amanda out of my arms.
As Doctor Blakely spoke to me there was kindness and compassion in his voice. He explained to me what he had discovered was bothering Amanda's knee. That was when the Doctor told me Amanda had a child form of Cancer called Osteogenic Sarcoma, a type of bone Cancer rare in children, especially for Amanda age. At that moment I felt my whole world collapsing around me.
How can any parent possibly hold up composure when they learn their child has Cancer? "No, I pleaded with him that there must be a mistake." I cried out but he shook his head no. He stood and held up one x-ray to the light screen on the wall that clearly showed the growing tumor. Between anguished tears, I stuttered the words, "She's going to die isn't she?"
There was a pause, a long pause as I burst out crying "No!" He did his best to reassure me that though this was a Cancer, it didn't necessarily mean Amanda would die. "Can you help save her life?" was all I could form the words to speak. “This is a rare form of Cancer Emily, one for which few, if any hospitals have knowledge or training to treat your daughter.
There’s a Children's Hospital in Texas that specializes in children's Cancers. I believe they’re the best option for you. It’s called the MD Anderson Children's Hospital, located in Houston, Texas." Amanda’s doctor said. As he handed me some pamphlets and some computer print outs of names and phone numbers of the children’s hospital in Texas, I asked the worst scenario question. "What happens if the tumor continues to grow?"
There was a deadly silence at first before I heard his words sound like a far away distant whisper. "Left untreated, her condition will continue and deteriorate. The tumor can “Metastasize” meaning a part of the tumor can break off and can be carried to another part of her body for example, other bones, kidneys, adrenal gland, brain or her heart.
The tumor will interfere with her ability to walk and she’ll begin to lose weight. Her muscles in her right leg will become smaller. While amputation is possible, medically we try not to take the leg of any child. The information I had printed out for you explain treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and a brand new vaccine they’re trying out for this form of Cancer, but not in our county.
You should take her as soon as possible to the Children’s Cancer center in Houston Emily" he told me. I was numb. Unbelievably numb. No one in my entire family had ever had Cancer! I gathered up the papers and put them in my purse hurriedly. "Can I get my daughter and go home Dr. Blakely?" I asked. He gave his best smile under the circumstances and said “Yes” as he picked up the phone.
In a few moments Amanda and her nurse came in the examination room and she held out her arms to me laughing as I knelt down and took her in my arms. I was grateful she wasn't crying or frightened and at that moment I was scared to death to find the words to explain to her what was wrong with her leg. Somehow the doctor must have read my mind.
Just as we were about to leave he touched my arm and whispered, "The folks down in Texas will explain everything to you and Amanda wonderfully and she can handle it I’m sure of that Emily." he told me. All the way home I could feel myself trembling and fighting back tears. I expected at some point that I’d have to bring up the word Cancer to Amanda sooner or later but I was wrong.
It was Amanda who spoke first. "Momma will they make my Cancer go away?” she ask in a worried voice. Those words stunned me as we sat one evening watching a Shirley Temple movie together in my rocking chair. The subject was open now and I did my best to explain to a child so young what was wrong with her leg and what we were going to do to make it better. I asked her if she was afraid.
What she told me was something I had never expected her to say. "I'm not afraid momma, I just want the pain to go away so I can run and play again." she said it with such an innocent voice that I burst out crying. It wasn’t a week later that I had all of Amanda’s medical records and x-rays forwarded to Houston Children’s Hospital. Then I packed up all of our belongings, sold my SUV and relocated us to Houston.
Like any loving parent I would and was going to do everything within my power to save my daughter’s life. Before leaving town, I signed all the necessary papers for a real estate agent to handle the sale of the farm daddy had passed on to me. I knew he would have approved my decision to sell the farm even though it made me feel guilty.
Through the help of an ombudsman at the children’s hospital, a small furnished two bedroom apartment was obtained close to the hospital. The first scheduled appointment at the MD Anderson Children's Hospital was with Dr. Sara Montgomery, an expert in the field of Osteogenic Sarcoma. It was a time of compassion, education and hugs at that moment.
Dr. Montgomery found it very unusual for a child of Amanda’s age to be diagnosed with her particular type of Cancer. She couldn’t tell me if it was hereditary or if Amanda had repeatedly fell on that knee, perhaps triggering the malignancy near the growth plate. Whatever the reason, I was determined to save my daughter’s life. At the hospital they provide an area where all those with Cancer can play together when possible.
I was told they try very hard to help the children not only cope with their conditions but also with the side effects of their treatments. When I asked Amanda if she would like to meet some other children that were also at this hospital, she was ecstatic to introduce herself. A nurse became our guide through the hallways of lefts and rights that would make any normal person feel lost.
But the long blonde haired nurse, who was to be my first friend, told me a secret. “Don’t let this hospital make you feel like you’ll get lost. Look at the floor.” she said with laughter. As I looked down, I saw three stripes each with a different color. “Because our patients and their families must travel to specific parts of the hospital, we’ve made that journey easier. Red will always lead you to X-rays.
Yellow will lead you to Chemo and other treatment options, and Green will lead every child to where they will find their friends.” she said. The kindness in her voice touched me so deeply I began to cry. But I wiped my tears away quickly and Amanda and I followed Mary. When we reached a door covered with drawings of balloons, bears and rainbows, I read the plaque on the door that said, “Let’s Be Friends!”
Through the door window I could see a room full of smiles and laughter. I saw children with bald heads, bandages, wheel chairs, and even two children with I-V bottles in their arms but they all had smiles. In this room they could leave their fears, pain and sadness behind and have fun. As Mary opened the door, the laughter and giggles jumped into the hallway to greet us.
Amanda was the first to go inside followed by Mary and myself. For just three seconds it seemed like everyone had been frozen in time as everyone looked in our direction and then it was just like we had never entered. I had never really thought much about children getting Cancer. There were 17 children in the room with ages ranging from 3 to maybe 14 I guessed.
There were eight tables with activities to participate in as well as coloring boards and four nursing assistants monitoring everyone. While I was introduced to each one and told what a normal day consisted of in the activity room, I was surprised to learn that the activity room was open 24 hours a day.
I was told due to the illnesses and treatments for each child, often times they were unable to sleep or were in pain. Rather than confine them to their bed, when possible they were allowed to come here. It was good therapy for children and provided each child with friendship and companionship. I hadn’t noticed the little green eyed girl who now was holding Amanda’s hand as they walked around the room as she introduced Amanda to the other children.
“Tina appointed herself the one who welcomes every new child into this room. She’s been at this hospital the longest and her Cancer has been in remission long enough we hope we can let her go back home to be monitored.” Mary told me. Her voice sounded relieved that she one day would get to leave the hospital. “The doctor’s and the treatments we offer children who come to us are state of the art and new discoveries or advancements never cease to amaze me.” she told me.
Then she suddenly stopped talking and she took a deep breath and continued. “But…” and I saw tears form in her eyes, “We can’t always save them and God calls them home. Emily, I know you’re worried, maybe scared to death but I mean it when I tell you we’ll do everything we can to make Amanda Cancer free.” she said as she turned and hugged me. As she gave me a hug, I know she felt my tears fall upon her shoulder. “It’s okay to cry Emily; there will be many times when you’ll cry.
For all of us who care and come to love each of these children as if they are our very own, we will cry too. Just keep in mind that our success and survival rate for your daughter’s particular Cancer is very high.” she told me with optimism. That first day at the hospital was the first of three long and oh so tiring days of what’s called “Orientation.”
A time for being handed piles of forms and material to read, accompanied with smiles and handshakes. By the end of the day I was dead on my feet. Amanda was asleep in my arms as I turned the key in the lock and sat down in what was our new home. What a difference there was between the home we left behind and this small two bedroom apartment.
Boxes were piled everywhere by the moving van men. The walls were bare. But oh, how good it felt to sit down on my couch and later rock my baby in my rocking chair as she slept. Amanda was scheduled to be admitted into the hospital within 48 hours. I was to use that time to talk with Amanda and explain to her where she would be sleeping each night and why.
I also wanted to use that time to reassure her that I would spend as much time as I could with her each day. I told her when she felt like talking on the phone that there was a phone beside her bed. I also told her that there would be a couch in her room where I would be allowed to sleep over when possible. I think that under any other circumstances Amanda might not have adjusted to the big changes coming into her life.
First Cancer, then up and moving and now having to stay in the hospital. But the children in that activity room were the ones who said so much in so little time. They shared little parts of their illness and treatments while at the hospital with her. In their few words they sort of showed her that the road ahead of her was gonna make her cry, make her angry and make her want her momma to hold her all night long.
But they also passed on to her that they were getting better and that they understood that it was gonna hurt to make the bad things in them go away. I brought what I could of Amanda’s to her hospital room. Starting with day 1, Amanda had x-rays taken, bone scans and what they call Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI for short!
She also had a blood count, a cat scan and a biopsy of her tumor. These were all necessary Dr. Montgomery told me because they needed a baseline of where Amanda was with her Cancer. From that point they would consult with other experts in the field, look at past patients with similar conditions and what they did to treat them and how affective those treatments were.
As months passed, Amanda had her eighth birthday and she celebrated it in the activity room with her many friends. To Amanda’s delight and mine, a special friendship bond was made between “Tina and Amanda.” They seemed drawn to each other and spent as much time as possible with each other. During those months I watched Amanda suffer and it broke heart.
Amanda’s Cancer was progressing rather aggressively as I was told that it might. If the Cancer spread through her body to other locations it would be harder to stop. There were many factor’s Dr. Montgomery explained to me that would decide what course of treatment was best for Amanda. One of the biggest factors was Amanda’s tolerance level for specific medications, procedures or therapies.
How far the Cancer traveled or progressed was equally important. Whether or not the tumor had metastasized would be a crossroads for treatment or therapy options. Some of the options explained to me were radiation, chemotherapy, amputation of her leg, surgery and antibiotics. Upon hearing those options I broke down and put my hands in my lap and cried until no more tears would flow.
I knew without asking Dr. Montgomery that even if everything went fine and her Cancer went into remission there was a chance of it coming back. I had read that in one of the information sheets they had handed me on the first day of orientation. But Dr. Montgomery knew of my pain, the pain in my heart and mind. Her own daughter had been diagnosed with Leukemia seven years earlier and her child passed away in this very hospital.
I also learned that children can suffer from many different types of Cancer. Some of those Cancers are Wilms Tumor which affects their kidneys, Neuroblastoma which is a tumor in the abdomen and Retinoblastoma which is an eye Cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft tissue Cancer, a Cancer affecting the central nervous system, Bone Cancer, Osteosarcoma and Ewing Sarcoma both of which are Bone Cancers, Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non Hodgkin Lymphoma which attacks the Lymphoid tissue.
Dr. Montgomery told me they treat all of those types of Cancers at this hospital and that each child and their Cancer are as unique as the treatment given to them. Over the months to follow at times I had to hold my daughter as she begged me with tear filled eyes to take her home. I admit there were moments when I felt like taking her out of the hospital to stop her from suffering through the gauntlet of never ending treatments.
There were times when I would be called to meet with the doctor to hear “Good news” and other times when I heard “Bad news.” Through it all I found myself both clinging to my Bible and prayers and “Shouting at God” for him letting my child suffer this way. What tugged at my heart and at my soul and gave me a tiny bit of hope was hearing news that a child’s Cancer had finally been put in remission.
Sometimes We Just Don't Know! Conclusion!
They were able to return home and lead as normal a life as possible with monitoring tests periodically of course. Then there would be that one child now and then who I didn’t see any longer playing in the activity room. Children knew when their friend had passed away. With tears in their eyes they would tell all the others in the room.
They’d cry, hug and tell each other things their friend did or said that made them laugh. I still am amazed at how strong these children are even knowing they have Cancer. Knowing that some of their friends have gone home and that some couldn’t get better. Today they were having a party in the activity room because Amanda has been in the hospital 1 year.
Where there once had been 17 children, there were now only eight. Surprisingly, I was called aside and asked by one of the nursing assistants to stop by Dr. Montgomery’s office. That seemed a bit unusual to me because if the doctor wanted to see me, she paged me, called me on my cell phone or sent me a letter. None the less I nodded, walked over to Amanda and told her “Momma will be back in a little while.” and off I went.
With each step I took down the hall, I felt this impending doom that what was awaiting me was more “Bad news.” I didn’t want bad news, not now, not ever. I wanted good news. When I reached the Doctor Montgomery’s office, I sat down and waited nervously and impatiently until the receptionist told me I could see the Doctor now. When I entered her office she stood up and smiled and asked me to sit down.
I saw a stack of papers on her desk which made me even more nervous. “I have some forms that I need you to sign Emily, before…” But before she could finish, I burst into tears as I stuttered, “When are the treatments going to make Amanda better? When are they gonna end?” I cried in frustration. That was when Dr. Montgomery stood up and hurriedly made it to the chair I was sitting in.
She knelt down and hugged me tight as we both cried together. “You don’t understand Emily, you didn’t let me finish. I was trying to tell you that Amanda’s Cancer has finally gone into remission! We feel we can send you both home and with a monthly follow up check-up. We hope Amanda’s Cancer will stay in remission.” she told me as we both cried. She lifted up my chin and whispered, “Let’s get these forms signed and tell Amanda the good news Emily.”
Amanda was asleep in her room when Dr. Montgomery and I opened her door. Gently I kissed her forehead and whispered, “Amanda sweetheart, its momma, time to wake up.” She sleepily opened her eyes and smiled up at me and then saw her doctor and waved hi to her. There were tears in her doctor’s eyes and tears in mine too as Amanda looked up at both of us and asked us why we were crying.
As we wiped our eyes, she could see our smiles and became even more confused. “Why are you both crying and smiling?” she asked. I looked at Dr. Montgomery and she looked at me and nodded her head. “Amanda, we’ve made your Cancer go away, hopefully forever and now it’s time to go home.” I told my daughter as I cried and leaned down and hugged her. Amanda was so excited she hugged me even tighter me as she cried and I could feel her trembling. “When can we go home momma?” she asked.
I told her that as soon as we could pack up all her things we could go home. Then I saw her smile turn into sadness and her face turned red as tears flowed down her cheeks like a river. “Momma, I can’t go home. I can’t go without saying goodbye to all my friends!” Amanda said anxiously. Those words practically ripped out my heart. The very next words out of Amanda’s mouth caught me by surprise as well.
“Momma, I can come back and see my friends, tell me I can come back and see them please?” she asked as she looked up at her doctor. I looked back at Dr. Montgomery because I didn’t know the answer. I saw doubt in her eyes and then a smile came across her face. “You’re welcome to drop by the activity room Amanda each month when we do a check up to see how you’re doing!” her doctor told her.
After a few moments Amanda did begin to smile, if only a small smile before she excitedly asked if she could go tell her friends goodbye. Dr. Montgomery shook her head yes and after she got dressed, she went down the hall bursting at the seams with good news. “Before you leave the hospital, my receptionist has a schedule of appointment dates for when we need Amanda to come back for testing that is of course unless you feel she’s having a medical problem.
Then bring her into the emergency room, okay Emily?” Amanda’s doctor asked me. I took a deep breath and said okay. Suddenly, I hugged her with all my heart and soul. It was as if a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I wished with all my heart that she too could have felt the same joy I now felt about my daughter being able to go home.
Even after I had picked up the appointment schedule for Amanda, I didn’t hurry to take Amanda out of the activity room. She had grown so close to all of these children and them to her. It wouldn’t be easy to go in that room and tell Amanda it was time to go. Every one of those children wanted to and deserved to go back home too but couldn’t. I hoped some would get better in time and I feared that some would never make it through their illness and treatments.
A body can only fight Cancer so long and fight against radiation, chemo and drugs meant to kill Cancer. Eventually by the third time Amanda glanced at the door and saw me waiting, she knew she had to brush her final tears away, share those last hugs, and say goodbye to her friend’s. When she came through that door I really expected her to cry all the way out of the hospital at least, but she had grown up fast in that hospital in that first year of battling her Cancer.
Now, hand in hand we were headed home. One of the first things I did when we got back home was to take a picture of Amanda. Those next 12 months I was told by Dr. Montgomery would be critical for monitoring Amanda and whether the 17 treatments of Chemotherapy and drugs would keep her Cancer tumor in remission or if it would return. As hopeful of success as I was, I was also warned that in some cases if a child’s Cancer comes back, it does so aggressively.
So each month we returned to the hospital and did x-rays, blood work and cat scans to monitor Amanda’s Cancer. Amanda was now ten and in fourth grade doing her best to lead a normal life. Yet even as I tried to start our lives over with the hopes of never hearing the word Cancer again, it was a topic Amanda brought up each month.
She had made many friends at the Cancer hospital and with each monthly visit Amanda made sure she could stop and see the children on the floor she for so long was a patient of. Only three children were there now that Amanda knew back then. Tabitha, Sherry and Sally. The other faces of those who were fighting for their lives were all new to her.
Tina her best friend was no longer there. She had been released as well. How wonderful it was to see Amanda’s smile brighten the eyes of those who still battled Cancer with their very lives. After that first year of monitoring, we were placed on a quarterly schedule. Things were looking good. For anyone who has Cancer in remission, the longer you go without hearing bad news the greater the chance of survival.
That “Bad news” came to us just after Amanda turned eleven. She knew something was wrong with her knee again. At first she hid it from me, I guess hoping she was wrong or that maybe I wouldn’t notice, but I did. It was a time of tears without an end as she pulled up her pajama leg and showed me the bulge growing on the side of her knee once more. We went back to the emergency room and they did x-rays, a bone scan, blood work and then came the waiting.
Within 48 hours I got the call from Dr. Montgomery’s secretary that we were scheduled to come in at 11 a.m. on the 23rd. Between the two of us, I think I was more frightened. I think Amanda’s mind was distracted by the thought of visiting old friends and new one’s at the children’s floor she once stayed at for so long. Finally Dr. Montgomery welcomed us in and I already knew my worst fears by the concern on her face.
“Sometimes Emily and Amanda, in spite of all we do to destroy Cancer it can return later. I once saw Cancer return on a little boy almost eight years after he left this hospital. I’ve reviewed the x-rays, blood work and bone scans of Amanda’s right leg. Her tumor has grown into now what we call an aggressive Cancer phase. It’s spread into the nerve tissue and is spreading to other parts of her body.” she told us.
All I could do was hug my daughter and cry as Amanda hugged me back and asked me not to cry. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t slow its spread or get it back into remission Amanda. It just means we have a lot of work ahead of us. I have the admission papers for you to fill out like you did before Emily and we’ll get Amanda admitted the doctor said.”
Amanda’s only question asked in the most excited tone possible was, “Will I get to go back to the same floor as I was on before?” Amanda’s voice was so comical, we couldn’t help but laugh all together as Dr. Montgomery nodded and said “Yes you can Amanda.” When all the paper work was completed, we took Amanda up to her floor.
She was speechless when she opened the door and saw “Tina” her best friend. Her Cancer was no longer in remission either. This time though, she looked like her Cancer had worsened. But in spite of her pain, her eyes still lit up when she saw my daughter. In all, there were nine children on this wing of the children’s Cancer ward.
All of a sudden all the old memories of watching Amanda suffer flooded my mind. Only this time I knew it was worse. Aggressive forms of Cancer are so difficult to fight. The dosages and frequency of the Chemo treatments were harder on Amanda’s body and it showed. Three months later, Tina passed away in her sleep and it crushed Amanda. They had become so close. I remember Amanda telling me that Tina had said over and over to her, “I don’t want you to suffer like me Amanda!”
Three days later they moved Amanda into the intensive care ward and I knew without being told that Amanda was dying. She had put up such a long and brave fight. She had become far stronger then I was or could have been and she faced her Cancer without fear. One evening I remember Amanda asking me, “When I pass away momma will I get to see Tina again?”
I wasn’t prepared for that question and I placed her hand inside both of mine. “I don’t know Amanda, momma doesn’t know, but I hope that you will.” I said in tears. I stepped out of her room to use the bathroom and as I was returning, I saw one of the nurses about to go in with some medicine for Amanda. Before she pulled the door open, she hesitated and asked me how Amanda was?
Our conversation lasted only a minute, maybe two before she pulled the door open. To our disbelief, we saw the spirit of Tina beside Amanda’s bed and they were holding each other’s hands. A colored drawing lay on top of Amanda’s bed sheet. When Tina and Amanda heard the door open, they both looked in our direction. With tears in their eyes, Tina waved her hand goodbye to us and vanished.
The nurse dropped the tray she had been holding. “Momma, momma did you see her, did you see Tina? She came back to tell me goodbye and to tell me that she didn’t want me to suffer the way she did with Cancer momma!” Amanda said with tears in her eyes and held it up for the nurse and I to see. It was a drawing of a hospital room with two small figures with smiles and the names “Tina and Amanda, best friends.”
All I could do was lean down and hug my daughter at that moment. As the nurse returned with a mop to clean up the medicine she spilled on the floor, Amanda asked me a question. “Momma, do you believe in ghosts?” I kissed her forehead as I whispered as tears flowed down my cheeks, “I do now sweetheart, I do now.” Then Amanda told me the most unbelievable thing a child could tell me.
“Momma, Tina told me that she didn’t want me to suffer the way she did before she died and she touched my knee momma, she touched my knee. She told me not to be afraid and that I’d never have to come back to this hospital again. Momma I know what she meant.” Amanda told me excitedly and with her left hand she slowly pulled back her blanket and bed sheet showing me her knee.
I felt my knees buckle from under me as the nurse helped keep me from falling to the floor. The tumor that had grown so rapidly on Amanda’s knee was totally gone. It looked as if the tumor had never been there. “Tina took my tumor away momma. She didn’t want me to die!” Amanda said as she burst into tears as we hugged each other. That afternoon a myriad of tests and x-rays were taken and it was a miracle.
There wasn’t a trace of Cancer in Amanda’s body. Dr. Montgomery had no scientific explanation for the absence of Cancer. On her desk sat the colored drawing Tina’s spirit had given Amanda in intensive care. The drawing was signed by Tina and the date was March 14, 2007. As Dr. Montgomery held the drawing with trembling hands and tear filled eyes, she did her best to tell me that it was indeed Tina’s handwriting and that she had passed away on March 11, 2007. She said it was impossible for Amanda’s Cancer tumor to be gone, yet it was.
She handed me the drawing to give to Amanda. “I know Tina meant for Amanda to have this drawing. I’ve never been one to witness miracles Emily and I would’ve given anything to see what you and the nurse have seen. I’m releasing Amanda and as a precaution scheduling a quarterly examination.” Amanda’s doctor told me. Amanda’s Cancer tumor never did return nor did she ever see the spirit of Tina again, though she wanted too.
She wanted so much to tell her thank you for saving her life. They were and will always be “Best friends.” A photo taken of Tina wearing her mother’s feathered hat in front of the hospital almost a year after her hair had grown back sits besides Amanda’s bed to this very day. It was taken a year before Tina passed away.
©2007 Raymond Cook (All rights reserved)