Bronwyn Cole

Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Copyright © 1999, Bronwyn Cole

Have you ever joked about dying in some tragic accident or about contracting a horrible disease as if you knew it couldn't happen to you? I have, many a time. I believe that it is only natural as most people are of the belief that it will never happen to them - they will live until they are a 103 and one day fall asleep never to awake. Well if you are one of these people who joked or thought the same as I did, think again, as it does happen.

Seven months ago I thought that my life could not get any better. My job, social life and sporting activities were going so well. What more could a young girl ask for? I am one of these people who can't keep still, always on thego, very particular with the way things are done and of course, impatient. This all changed with one simple blood test. No, they weren't checking to see if I was pregnant, they (meaning the doctors) were trying to find out why I was feeling so run down and they did. Within two hours of finding out my results I was seeing a specialist at as I had a very serious case of Leukemia and needed treatment ASAP.

Over these past months I have endured some horrendous procedures, including chemotherapy and of course, the side effects. I can't begin to try and explain how exactly it feels. I suppose you only know if you have gone through it personally like so many friends I have met and lost along the way. I know with my suffering both family and friends have suffered too. To see me go through what I did and feeling helpless, I can only being to understand how they felt but I know that without them I don't know how I could have kept going.

In my case I still have a long way to go. I am now in remission after having a bone marrow transplant kindly donated by my brother. The word "remission" doesn't mean much to me. Technically, it means they cannot find any detectable signs of the cancer yet I'm not cured. I'm not angry about getting cancer but grateful for a second chance. I know this time around I won't be taking life for granted but taking it for what it is and making the most of it. I'm going to have a long life ahead of me and live every minute.

There are many people who I owe a lot to for this second chance and I'm very lucky to have them in my life. It is funny how something like this can show you what is really important and I suppose if you don't have that - what do you have?

I don't think that anyone who has cancer whether still under treatment or 10 years down the track living a normal life can really explain and make people understand how it really is. We all may have experienced something totally different treatment wise but all endured the same thing - our own personal living hell. If I had one wish, I would wish that no one would have to go through this sort of suffering.


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