“I’ll Be Fine” by Jomaly Duran

Jomaly Duran - 'Survivor'

“I’ll Be Fine”

Simple cold, at least that’s what I thought,
Doctor visit, emergency room
25 tubes of blood, two chest x-rays, MRI
Final analysis, bone marrow and spinal tap
Back aches, head aches, visits from people that I love
Nurses checking my vitals every 10 minutes, sleepless nights
Disgusting Hospital food and smells
Backless pajamas, messy hair, decent looking room
Final diagnosis…Leukemia
Wow! One look at my mom, two minutes of tears
“Suck it up”, I tell myself
I’ll be fine
Two surgeries, bruised up arms from all the needles, an IV machine following me
Expert on my so-called sickness
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Common in Hispanic and white teenage females; I was one of the many lucky ones I guess
Go home for the weekend, telling everyone about what has happened
I smile they cry
Surprised stares, “why do bad things happen to good people”
I’ll be fine
Long chain of prayers, New York, New Jersey, Boston, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, and Dominican Republic, Wow, I feel so loved!
Monday morning, you all wake up for school
Monday morning, I wake up for chemotherapy
Insert needle in my chest and head
Weird colored liquid going into my body
Five different types of pills to take home
I’ll be fine
Feel so out of it, not in the mood for anything
This isn’t me
Short hair, so pale, nervous hands, swollen face, dry skin, brittle nails, weak legs, losing weight
It seems month passes by, no school, boredom hits home
Lay in bed looking at the ceiling; it’s so exciting
I’ll be fine.
Still no sleep, I’m like a walking bladder, bathroom every hour or so
Praxair Cancer Center, my second home
Three times a week, I’m considered the baby there: “only youngin”!
Make jokes with the nurses while she pokes my finger
White blood cells don’t even show up, red blood cells extremely low
“Wear your mask, no fresh fruits or vegetables, stay away from colds”
I’ll be fine
Weekend is here, you all go to the movies, mall, and parties
Weekend is here, I lay in bed looking up at the ceiling
Check in with my doctor; ask for permission to go to places
“Wear your mask”, he insists “and no funny business with boys!”
End up going to a sweet 16, try to dance and get tired after 2 songs!
Everybody having fun, I sit and smile
Ill be fine
Weekday begins once again
Normal routine being dragged on to complete another day
Tutored by my regular teachers for an hour
Try to concentrate
I can’t even write without getting a cramp on my hand
I stand in the door listening to my nephew cry
Can’t hold him with out my arm having what looks like a seizure
Stomach growling like crazy
Can’t hold a plate with out almost dropping it
Ill be fine
I’m 16 years old, Dominican; born and raised in Brooklyn, New York
Last year nobody knew who I was
Today I’m known and loved by a lot of you
I’m an optimistic person
I’m not popular, or perfect
I mean who wants to be!
I’m extremely happy being just like every dreamer in here
My name is Jomaly Duran
I have Cancer
And I’ll be fine

by Jomaly Duran (December 2005)