Untitled Cancer Story (Revised)

Part 1

by Zera
11/26/01

Notes: I wrote this to understand more about cancer and JO’s conduction. And to help me past the time. I got this idea after reading Lurlene McDaniel’s book, The Legacy: Making Wishes Come True .

Erika swore to herself, as she looked at her reflection through the door-length mirror as she climbed out of her shower. The bruises on her legs were getting darker and ugly to look at.

"Maybe you should get a new kind of work," she laughed. "This one isn’t doing much good for your body," she smiled to herself as she wrapped her body in her nightgown.

"Mommy, are you going to be in there all night?" Rusty asked as he knocked on the door.

"No, Rusty, I am not." Erika smiled as she took the towel to dry her hair; she walked out of the bathroom with a yawn. "Come on, sweetie, bedtime. Mommy’s tired."

"But it’s only 7:30!" Rusty told her as he followed Erika to her bedroom,

"Are you all right, Mommy? Should I call Dwayne?" Rusty noticed that his mother was looking pale and seemed very tired, though for the last while she always seemed tired. He had seen some of her bruises but never asked her about them. But he was a-scared of them.

"No, Rusty, I just seem very tired lately," Erika, explained as she pulled the blankets back on her bed. "Rusty, you can go to bed at 8:30, but I am going to sleep now. I love you, sweetie." She kissed Rusty’s head and hugged him.

"I love you, Mommy." Erika smiled as she climbed into bed; Rusty tucked Erika in as he kissed her cheek. "Get better soon, Mommy," he whispered as his mommy fell asleep, then he walked over to the wall and turned off the lights. As he walked back to his mommy, he blew out her scented candles, and then climbed into bed with her.

* * *

"Erika, why don’t you get some rest?" Dwayne asked, as he walked from her office door to her side.

"How long were you there for?" Erika asked, as she turned from her work.

"Long enough to find you half asleep," Dwayne told her as he kissed her cheek. "Long day, dear?"

"No, I am just tired." Erika smiled as she wrapped her arms around Dwayne’s neck, kissing him on the lips slowly but deeply, only to pull away when she could no longer breathe. "I missed you so much."

"Really? I missed you too," Dwayne told her as he sat on her table where tools and whatever she was working on laid. "So, what are you working on?"

"I was trying to work on my gadget that Donovan destroyed." Erika smiled weakly. "I swear, one day-"

"Oh, Doctor Slate, have you finished fixing it yet?" Dr. Donovan asked as he walked into her office, Jenny on his shoulder; she moved her tail a bit.

"No, it’s impossible to fix!" Erika said, looking up as she lifted the gadget and dropped it on the ground. It smashed into pieces as it fell on the ground.

"Dr. Slate, are you insane! That will cost you!" Donovan shouted at her.

"Dr. Donovan, you hurt Mommy!" Rusty said as he walked into the room before Dwayne reacted.

"Erika must not be in her right mind, sir. Give her the rest of the day off, please," Dwayne asked as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Fine," Dr. Donovan said as he walked out. "God, I hate women." Jenny slapped him as they walked out.

"All right, Doc, let's go to your apartment and get some rest. You must be overtired," he told her, helping her up.

As Erika stood up she began to feel dizzy and she fell into Dwayne’s arms. He decided to walk her slowly to her room. Rusty followed at Dwayne’s heel. As Dwayne got Erika to her apartment, he let Rusty open the door and told Rusty to get his mother some water. That would hopefully give him some time to get Erika into her nightgown.

As Dwayne set Erika onto her bed, he began to notice she was no longer with him, that she'd lost consciousness. "Erika? Erika? Are you with me?" No response from Erika. He began to feel ill. He looked around her room as he remembered that Erika told him she kept a phone by her bed. He grabbed the phone and called 911.

* * *

"Hello, Ms. Slate. You are Erika Slate, right?" A dark-haired woman walked into the room. "That's me," Erika said weakly as she held onto Dwayne’s hand.

"Good. I’m Doctor Noreen. Now I need you to answer some questions, ok?" The women smiled, as she sat on a chair near Erika’s bed. "How long have you been feeling ill, Erika?"

"I have been really tired for a while now. I also have been getting these bruise for no reason," Erika told the doctor.

The doctor nodded. "Anything else?"

"Well...." Erika looked at Dwayne for strength. "If I cut myself I seem to bleed for a long time. My gums bleed whenever I brush my teeth; my throat always seems to be sore."

The Doctor nodded as she looked at her papers, "All right. Well, we need to do some more testing-"

"Why?" Erika looked at Dwayne, as he patted her skin.

"When you came in, Erika, I had your blood tested. Your white blood count is very high and your blood test points to leukemia, but I will need to have your bone marrow tested to make sure."

"Cancer?" Erika whispered, as she held tighter onto Dwayne’s hand.

"You have been scheduled to be tested at two this afternoon. I’m having a room fixed up for you; it should be ready in an hour. Until then, you can to go home, pack up a few things to make your room more homelike." The doctor stood up. "Don’t worry; the rate of surviving cancer is great at this time. Your should be better and out of the hospital by Christmas."

Erika smiled even though she didn’t want to. The doctor was trying to help but it wasn’t helping. Christmas was only 6 months away.

"All right?" the Doctor smiled as she took Erika’s hand. "Go out, have a good lunch and I’ll see you back here around one?"

Erika nodded with a smile as she got up. "All right."

* * *

"Dwayne, how will I tell Rusty?" Erika asked over her sandwich. She didn’t have the stomach to eat it.

Dwayne ran his hand along her chin, lifting her face towards him, "You will be fine. We’ll have to tell him the truth, though. He will understand."

"He’s only a boy. Are you sure he can understand?" Erika looked at her lunch. "I can’t eat...."

"That’s all right; I am done," Dwayne told her as he waved down their young waitress. "Can I have the check, please"

The waitress smiled as she gave them the check. "You can pay at the front of the restaurant."

"Thank you," Erika told the young waitress.

"How much should we leave her?" Erika wondered as she got out her purse.

"Give her a ten. From where I’m standing she’s a soon-to-be mother." Dwayne pointed to the waitress as she was helping some other people.

"She looks 4 months, plus she was very nice to us."

"That’s fine with me." Erika put down the ten as they got up.

As Erika got settled into her new room at the hospital, she began to feel more and more worried about what the next couple months might bring.

"Should I bring Rusty in tonight?" Dwayne asked as he tried to help Erika settle in.

"I think I’m going to be sick," Erika whispered as the doctor walked into her room. Dwayne contorted to hold her hand as she lay on the bed.

"I know," the doctor told her, adding a smile. "We got your test back. You have Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia."

"No...." Erika shook her head.

"I am sorry. I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear. I am sorry."

"So what happens now?" Dwayne asked.

"Tonight we will start Erika on chemotherapy in a pill form to see how she reacts to it."

* * *

"Why does Dr. Slate have to stay at the hospital?" Rusty asked as he and Dwayne drove to the hospital to see Erika. Dwayne had just finished explaining to Rusty about Erika’s condition.

"Well, Rusty, when people have cancer they have to go though a lot of treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. The Doc, will have to be at the hospital so she won’t get an infection that can make her worse," Dwayne told the young boy. "Don’t worry. Your mother is in great hands. She can fight off the cancer and be home before Christmas."

Rusty tried to smile, but he was worried about his mother. He didn’t say another word for the rest of the car ride. He watched as Dwayne pulled in to the hospital parking lot.

Dwayne looked at Rusty as he shut the car off. "Would you rather talk to the Big Guy about what’s going on?"

"Can I?" Rusty asked, as he got out of the car.

"Sure you can." Dwayne smiled as he locked his car. "Now, you want to see Mommy?"

Rusty nodded as Dwayne walked him to Dr. Slate’s hospital room. Unfortunately they had walked in at the wrong time, for Erika was throwing up. A nurse was at her side helping her out.

"Mommy?" Rusty asked as he walked over to Erika.

Erika looked up as she smiled. "Hay, don’t worry. It's just the pills that I am taking." She soon went into another puking fit.

"Rusty, let's get ice cream, all right?" Dwayne’s first thought was to get Rusty out of the room. Rusty slowly went to Dwayne’s side.

 

Rusty slowly walked back into Dr. Slate's bedroom at the hospital. Dr. Slate was sitting back, looking quite pale.

"Mommy?" Rusty whispered walking over to her.

"Hey, sweetie," Erika whispered as she took his hand.

"He wanted he see you," Dwayne told Erika as he joined them in the room.

Erika noticed how scared Rusty acted. "I am ok.. dear, really it's just the chemo."

***

What do you think, what do you think!~?>?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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