After my first hospitalization, I realized that things were not going to be the same any more. I was told to make several adjustments to help with my recovery. One of the immediate challenges was my education. Being immunosuppressed, I was easily susceptible to bacteria and not allowed to go back to school. Being in public spaces was no longer an option. I was a fifth grader who enjoyed the company of others so being isolated from my friends was something that was very discouraging and difficult. I had to be homeschooled for a year to keep me on track with my peers and spent nearly all my time between the oncology clinic and home.
My family was always there, comforting and vigilant to my ever evolving reactions to chemotherapy. I was fortunate to have some friends visit me whenever they could. They were careful to only visit when they were healthy. These were brief moments of escape from my isolation and the effects of chemotherapy. I looked forward to these moments with my friends when I could live out my childhood. Each day presented challenges but I was ever hopeful. These times with family and friends reinforced that hope and helped me during a very traumatizing and fragile time in my life. Hope can be a powerful motivator!