Monday, June 10, 2013


Courtney Dawn Photography
Looking back on things doesn't necessarily mean that you are regretful or sad about the occurrences in your life...

That being said I seem to look back a lot on my life... not out of nostalgia.... not out of regret... nor out of sadness... but out of reflection...

If one thing wouldn't have happened then another thing may have been different... and with that I can be thankful things came out the way they were... they may not seem ideal to most people but I am happy... 

I guess I can't say it enough sometimes... but I am happy now because I knew where I was 4 years ago today...

I had just celebrated my 22nd birthday with all of my friends. I came home for the weekend because I was interning in San Francisco. I had just had surgery a few weeks before on my leg to remove the screws from my leg that were pushing out. 

I headed to the pharmacy in Manteca after having lunch with my boyfriend at the time. Normal occurrence with few people at the pharmacy. I was wearing a brace at the time. A man that parked in the handicap spot next to me said "ACL?" I wasn't in the mood for having the "I had cancer" conversation so I said "no"... probably rudely but I didn't care...

I walked into the pharmacy and am about to get in line when I get a call from my surgeon. 

"Courtney, how are you feeling?" 

I feel optimistic about the recent surgery so I reply "I feel good! The pain in my leg isn't that bad and I seem to be healing well. How are you?"

"I am doing well thanks for asking. I wanted to talk to you about how the surgery went."

"I think it went pretty well don't you think?"

His voice gets softer and slightly more serious... I feel a huge weight hit my chest like someone threw an anvil at me.

"Courtney, when we took out the screws remember I said they just fell out right when I opened your leg up? Well I did some routine tests just to be sure... the Sarcoma is back and it is in your tendon now."

I am standing in the middle of this swarm of people in this god forsaken hospital by myself and I am being told that I am 22 fucking years old and I have cancer... again...

At this point it has not sunk in yet completely so I reply "Well I am at the hospital. Can you order labs for me so I can just get it done while I am here?"

He seems a little jarred by my response but he complies and then asks "Should I call your mom or do you want me to?"

Immediately I know I can't stand to hear her voice hearing her daughter has cancer again... "Please tell her for me... I don't think I can do it." 

"OK, it will be alright. We will take care of this. Your labs will be ordered soon."

I don't even bother getting my prescription. I just walk back to my car and sit in the drivers seat sideways with the door open. I couldn't hold my disbelief back anymore and the tears start coming. The man who had asked about my knee before is now looking at me with concern. I can only imagine he thinks that he said something wrong and that is why I am crying.

I stay in the car for a while and then drag myself to the labs. Hoping no one talks to me about anything that will make me cry. As I am sitting there getting my blood taken I am just thinking that no one even knows that anything is wrong with me yet... I have to have this awful "I have cancer" conversation with friends and family again... how am I going to go through this again... I know the statistics about re - occurring osteosarcoma and they are not on my side...

What is going to happen with my life? What is going to happen with my leg? Will I live... or will I die?

God only knows...

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