Kacey.Kacey was 5 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. We just thought she was a little sick. She was losing her appetite and not eating, she was always weak and tired, and always ran a fever. When we took her to the hospital, they took tests. They told us she had leukemia.
Ever since that day, my life has been changed. I'm a year older than Kacey, and now I'm 15 and she's 14. Our life was now dedicated to doctor's visits, trips to the hospital when she got bad, and constant fear.
I once read in a book that depression isn't a side effect of cancer; it's a side effect of dying. I know that the intention of that line is for people with cancer, but what about the people who have someone they love with cancer?
My mom just tells me I'm being selfish because I'm depressed. I'm selfish because Kacey is sick so I should want to spend my nights in the hospital, I should want to give up my life for her. But sometimes, I just want to have something for myself. For as long as I can remember, my life has been about Kacey, Kacey, Kacey. But what about Mallory? Where's my say in how I spend my time?
I love Kacey, of course, but when do I get a say in my life?
Kacey and I are sitting in the waiting room of the children's hospital. Mom and Dad and talking to Dr. Mason, a tiny woman with a stern face. Mom and Dad like to talk to Dr. Mason alone about Kacey, but we already get the gist about it all.
Kacey just got another MRI, and Dr. Mason is telling Mom and Dad about the results.
Kacey has her eyes closed and her head against the wall. I look at her.
Kacey already looks dead; her skin is chalky pale, her lips are just slightly purple, and most of her hair is gone because of the chemo. But she's still the most beautiful girl I know. I adore her. She's strong and never complains about the cancer, while I spend my time selfishly wishing none of this would have happened.
Her blue eyes flutter open and she catches me staring at her. "What?" she asks self consciously. A pretty face like her's shouldn't be self conscious, but when all of you hair is gone, some girls tend to get a little insecure.
Her big blue eyes open wide. "Yeah, of course, Mal."
"Okay, good. You're a great sister," I say quietly.
"You too." She pauses. "For coming to all these appointments with me, I mean."
I feel a pang of guilt, because I fight with Mom constantly about her dragging me along to these.
My phone rings. It's Lexi, my best friend. I answer.
"Hey, Lex." I stand up and walk towards the rain splattered window.
"Where are you?" she asks. The question is rhetorical, because she launches into her story. "Because I'm sitting in my room, grounded. You know how I dated Jake?"
"For a week?" I laugh.
"Yeah, well my parents found out because they were going through my phone and now I'm SO grounded!"
"Mhm," I say, absent-minded.
"Why are you distracted?" she asks, upset that I'm not grieving with her over her 3 day grounding.
"We're at the hospital for Kacey's MRI." I bite my thumbnail, knowing Lexi won't really care.
"Oh," she says. "Did I tell you what Julia said to me?"
Mom and Dad walk out of Dr. Mason's office, wearing their expressionless faces.
"Hold that thought, Lex. I have to go," I hang up without waiting for an answer.
I rush over to the doctor.
"So?" I ask, waiting for results.
Dr. Mason looks at me, disappointed because I "spoke without being spoken to."
"The lymphocytes seem to be keeping the cancer in the blood cells, but we're sure it's not spreading any more. The chemo seems to be working, but we do still need to keep an eye on how her body reacts to it, since she didn't take the radiation therapy very well."
I sit beside Kacey, and she lies her almost-bald head on my shoulder. I sigh deeply, wishing this would all just end.