The Doctor

Excerpt from the Union County Tales

Prologue

There was a

Doctor, a most experienced and intelligent women,

Who from the day on which she first began,

She helped and worked among sick kids

But not once a day did she shut her eyelids

Curly brown hair cascaded down her face

A stethoscope around her neck as she paced

Worried and stressed she was

Although she’s extremely good at what she does

Tired blue eyes she used for care

Watching children in pain she could not bare

A long white coat slightly large

And the nurse is there, who is called Marge

A deathly sick child perched on the exam table

Counting on her to make them stable

Children all over the world came to her

She was the miracle, trusting her they were

Cancer invaded innocent small ones

She treated them as if they were her very own sons

Loved every child she absolutely did,

Curing, and healing, she gave many kids

Their favorite doctor who they loved

She played with them, not while rubber gloved

Toys she bought to give away

All she gave in a single day

The tale of Dr.Kristin and Jamie

While other children are texting on their iPhone's, and posting selfies on Instagram, Jamie spends almost all of his time at St.Jude's research hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Jamie was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was just six weeks old. His parents rushed him to the hospital when he began vomiting uncontrollably and crying non-stop. His eye also had begun swelling at an alarming rate. After the ambulance arrived, Jamie received a CT scan, revealing a tumor the size of an adult fist. He had no choice but to go into immediate surgery, which was extremely risky, and he wasn't likely to survive. Now eight years old, Jamie is still in and out of the hospital, and is still fighting the battle of cancer. Jamie goes in for chemo every Monday, and received radiation the first Thursday of every month. He tries to hang on, but he can’t help but notice his entire childhood has been spent in a hospital, and he longs to play outside and make friends.


Dr.Kristin’s brilliance has kept Jamie alive for the past eight years. From her kind smile, to her brown clogs, to her warm personality, she is the definition of an angel. She selflessly tends to all of her patients, and truly loves every minute of it. Dr.Kristin is by far Jamie’s favorite doctor. Since he has lost all of his hair, Dr.Kristin has given Jamie a wool hat, with his name embroidered on it, to keep his head warm. “Something about him is special” Dr.Kristin often said. “He is different, and he will beat this”.


It is a Monday, the sun has began to rise, and Jamie is, as usual, perched in his hospital bed, alert and awake. He is not a morning person by any means, but he was awake because he was about to have his routine chemotherapy treatment. Dr.Kristin and Ms.Marge, Jamie’s nurse, came into the room, and started the normal process of taking Jamie’s blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiration rate. Dr.Kristin then put the IV into Jamie’s arm and it began administering the medicine to Jamie’s body. In the meantime, she just talked to him, trying to get his mind off the pain. “Jamie” she said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Jamie looked at her, and smiled. “I want to be just like you” he whispered. “I want to help kids who are sick, I want to save their lives.” Dr.Kristin smiled back at him. “You can definitely do that Jamie” she told him. Grinning, Jamie dozed off.


Dr.Kristin loved Jamie as if he was her own son. Having lost her biological son during childbirth, he was very special to her. She wasn't sure how much longer he would make it, he had been holding on for eight years. However in his last half-dozen chemo results, his cancer cell count had not decreased at all, which meant the chemotherapy was not working the way it should. Dr.Kristin was worried, because she desperately wanted to cure Jamie of this deadly disease, and she was trying everything she knew, but it seemed nothing was working. Although he didn't realize it, she looked up to Jamie. Such a small, innocent, and sick child had every right to be angry at the world. He had every right to blame others and show hatred towards those who were not sick. But he wasn't. He had the most positive outlook on life Dr.Kristin had ever seen, and she strived to be as happy and joyful as he was.


The results for Jamie’s most recent chemotherapy arrived on Dr.Kristin’s computer Tuesday morning. She knew if his cell count had not decreased, he was most likely not going to live for much longer. Uneasily, Dr.Kristin logged on, and searched for Jamie’s file among the hundreds of patients she lovingly tended to. Scrolling down the screen, she saw the results. Miraculously, Jamie’s cell count had dramatically reduced. Overjoyed at this miracle, she restrained herself from jumping up and down and screaming. Sweet little Jamie was going to live. In excitement, she practically ran to Jamie’s room, and thrust open the door. When she told him he was going to be okay, his reaction was one to never forget. He jumped out of bed, despite extreme fatigue from the chemo he received the day before, and gave Dr.Kristin a big hug. “Thank you” he said. “You saved my life”. Dr.Kristin just smiled, and hugged him back. She absolutely loved when her job had happy endings. She knew she would never forget Jamie. The number of lives she has touched has astonishing, and you can tell that by the number of children who love her, which is too many to count.

Analysis:


I chose a pediatric oncologist as my character because childhood cancer is very close to my heart. Although I have not been personally impacted by childhood cancer, I have always been passionate about learning about it and it will continue to affect me on a deep level. I personally, am more drawn and affected by childhood cancer rather than cancer in adulthood, simply because I love children. It is absolutely devastating for me to even think about a child not having the chance and opportunity to live, and having to go through such pain to even have hope for a future. I am of course not saying cancer in adulthood is not awful as well, but I have always viewed it as adults have already lived a life, whereas children have only been around a few years and not had a chance to live. I have always loved working with kids, and children will definitely be a part of my future career, so a pediatric oncologist was more relatable for me to write about. The name “Kristin” is the name of the cancer doctor in my story, and is also the name of my personal doctor in real life. I chose to model the oncologist after my doctor because I really look up to her and how she chooses to live, deal with problems, and how she treats her patients. She is one of the sweetest and more intelligent people I know. Lastly I chose St.Jude’s for the hospital for Jamie to be treated because their foundation absolutely amazes me. They make sure every single patient is able to afford treatment, no matter what financial status they may have, and use almost every penny of the money donated toward childhood cancer research and treatment.


The moral of the story is “never take anything for granted” because despite Jamie’s condition, he still had a positive outlook on life and did not let his disease cripple his happiness. This moral definitely reflects modern day society and values because thousands upon thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and while these kids are struggling to live, other children are worrying about if they can go to the mall next weekend. My story shows anything can happen to anyone. We as humans are not indestructible, and our lives could end any minute. The value of never taking anything for granted should be enforced in our society, because the selfishness and self-centeredness of our youth is only going to increase. In the area of cancer, the value of life is the most important thing we should consider. What we don’t realize is that while we live life by the decades, cancer patients live life by the day and sometimes by the hour. In addition to the story reflecting the value of “never taking anything for granted”, it alters and changes the values we currently hold, because we often neglect to put any sort of value on our own lives. This story of valuing life, perseverance, and a positive attitude should make us more conscious of the fact our time could end at any moment, and should encourage us to cherish every second we are on earth. We don't know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory, and we don't know what we have until it's gone.

I modeled this real life brain tumor survivor after Jamie