Keep Trudging On

Sabrina Dominguez is a brain cancer patient at MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center.

Childhood cancer kills. It takes the life of innocent young human beings and we're just supposed to be okay with that. Parents can't prepare their child for cancer. It isn't like puberty where you can use the birds and the bees. You can't tell your child, "Something is growing inside you and it can't be there so the doctors are going to poison your body till it's no longer there, okay?" Cancer comes from all angles and requires you to fight, and fight hard. The simple everyday things become a challenge and you have to learn to adjust. Cancer pulls things away from you that you were almost positive were there to stay. It pulls friendships, family members, a 2-year record of NOT being sick, simple motor skills, your favorite food and school. It's replaced with bad hospital food, four hours of class a week, doctors who know your life story, a new way to open a water bottle, nurses who come in to check on you and end up staying 30 minutes because they're a fellow Harry Potter fan, and endless hospital stays.

Through this journey I have loved and I have lost. I have asked why, and I've cried. But I've never allowed everything that has been thrown at me to keep me down. My best friend decided to stop being my best friend because his girlfriend no longer approved. My own parent refuses to accept the fact that besides the bald head and a few other side effects, I'm still their normal teenage daughter. I've been cyber-bullied to the point where someone told me they were "my worst nightmare," but refused to tell me their actual name. I've been accused by a different anonymous cyber-bully of glamorizing my disease. My mood changes affect me the most and I sometimes make the mistake of taking my anger out on the wrong person.

But I'll fight to prove them wrong. I exercise to prove I will get back to my previous stamina, and I will not reply to the ignorant people accusing me of nonsense. I may be sick. I may get checked into the hospital more than the average teenager, and I may ask you to open a water bottle for me every once in a while. But I refuse to be ignorant. I refuse to turn my back on my family or my friends no matter the situation. I've gone through what most people don't go through in a lifetime and I'm still 16.

I'm not asking for pity, nor am I "ratting out" the people who have left me questioning "why?" I'm asking that you remember one of my close friend's favorite sayings, "It's just water off a duck's back." You can't allow people's ignorant decisions to affect you. You fight off the fake friends, overly emotional family members, cyber bullying or the annoying cliché high school girl. You brush it off, you let it go, you keep trudging on.