keaton's story

If you are reading this there is a good chance that you have already or possibly are facing a difficulty of your own right now. But what is a difficulty? A difficulty is a struggle or a fight, many people face difficulties every day. Difficulties make you stronger, smarter, but most of all they make you into a better person. I was faced with a difficulty of my own it started off as just a bump on my neck. Now I was just thirteen at the time I first noticed it, I was just a boy what did I care it was just a bump it didn’t affect me (So I thought). I played sports through it and did not even pay my neck any mind. Then one day my Mom and Dad found out about it, they were very concerned.

The following week I was in the doctor’s office getting looked at. The doctor dismissed it as normal, “It’s just a slight infection in no more than a year it will go down”, the doctor said. So my parents were no longer concerned. But my parents could not really be concerned for me anyway because at the same time my grandfather was facing difficulties of his own. My grandfather was a man that everyone knew in my small town of 1,141. A good old Christian man and an even better cowboy, father, but to me he was my paw paw. In his old age he survived many heart attacks, and he suffered from horrible arthritis. When I was just twelve he could not even walk, even a good man like him faced difficulties.

But his belief in god kept him fighting he would pray all the time, and if you knew him you probably heard one of his prayers. Mom was forced to take care of him 24/7, the whole Marlow family stood by his side. Soon after he decided to get surgery on a disk in his spine. The Family by his side once again, he pulled through and it was miraculous two days later he could walk. You should have saw the look on his face to him this was just proof that his many prayers were answered. But a year later I had just turned twelve when it started again. He could hardly walk; his feet would swell up to the size of watermelons. But he was never mad, or upset, he just kept praying and fighting. I can remember having to help him in and out of the pickup and driving him to the farm. I also remember having to push him in his wheelchair it almost made me cry every time.

I would look at him and he would be as happy as could be, it made me wonder how he could be so happy in the shape that he was in. But then I would hear him pray and I realized that it was his belief in god and his will to keep fighting. It was later in the year when he started to get really sick, I mean really really sick. He was in and out of the hospital. He hated hospitals and quiet honestly who doesn’t. Then it was Christmas morning me and my sisters were woke up early in the morning by the phone. It was my Mom she told us to come out to paw paw’s house, immediately I was scared to death. When we arrived we went into his room he was in bed and called for each one of us.

When he called for me he made me swear off girls, showing that he still had his humor. I laughed, the whole time trying to keep from just crying like a girl. Here it is Christmas morning and my grandfather is saying his goodbyes I did not want to accept it. The following week he was back in the hospital, we went to visit him but he was not his self. I was just glad that I got to talk to him one last time on Christmas. The hospital sent him home, because they knew what was coming they could not do a thing to help him. It was January 10, 2008 my Birthday! I had gotten back from a basketball tournament we drove out to my paw paws to celebrate my birthday. My family and there was the some kinfolks, my aunt and grandpas brother and his wife.

We ate cake and hade a good time even though my paw paw was in bed the whole time he smiled a couple of times and my mom feed him some cake. Five days later I was sitting in class when the loud speaker came on and said my parents were here to sign me out. My stomach churned I just felt it I knew that he was gone. I went outside and got into the car, my mom and dad both turned to me “Paw paws gone”, my dad said. I held my tears back until I got home, I cried for about forever. A few months later while riding in the car my mom noticed my neck again. She was concerned and said we should go back to the doctor. I argued with her and eventually we went back.

At the doctors office my Doctor was very concerned so I had to do many tests I felt like a lab rat. I missed tons of school I thought I would get held back for sure. The following month we had to go to Dallas, I was not sure where to but I was still not very concerned I was just a 14 year old boy, not a care in the world. We got to the doctors office and they started talking about the possibility of cancer. It hit me so hard, but I did not show emotion in front of the doctor. The same night while at the house my coach called to talk to me he had went through a similar experience. He told me that no matter what happens you must be strong and beat what ever is in your way. And he told me that he wished he could be with me every step of the way.

The next day I had a track meet to go to in a neighboring town, there was not a second that whole day that I did not think about what those doctors had said. I tried to hold in my emotions all day but I couldn’t when I was with one of my friends I just exploded and told her everything she comforted me. She told me that it would all work out and that I probably didn’t even have cancer. Then on April first 2008 I was given a difficulty, the doctors had confirmed that I had cancer. I cried for a very long time. I did not want to accept the truth.

Then I realized that I could beat this and I thought of my paw paw and how he was a fighter and how I should strive to be just as tough as him. But then I got to thinking I thought there is no way why would this happen to me why? Then I thought difficulties happen to everyone god has a plan for every single person, god has a plan for me. So I strived to be like my grandpa I prayed every night I tried to pray as much as I could.

I had plenty of people there to support me thought my fight. Then when it came time for my first treatment I was scared, I was just 14 I wasn’t for sure what chemotherapy was. I did not no what to expect. It was miserable the whole time I felt like throwing up. My parents were in the hospital with me the whole time, but I still felt horrible. It was so hard just to get up and go to the bathroom, and if you have had cancer you know that you do that a lot of times during treatments. But I forced my self and pushed myself you have to keep believing and know that there is hope that you can beat this dreaded disease. The first few months I never felt like eating so I pushed myself and gained 5 lbs. I had started to lose my hair I did not want to look like a freak.

Then I said to myself hey stupid hair grows back. And there were plenty of friends willing to shave their heads to many to name right off the top of my head. (That’s a Joke so laugh) My class has always had a special bond at school everyone gets along we don’t fight much there is only 23 of us, and about 300 in the whole school. My entire eighth grade class had a relay for life team, which is one thing you must do even if you don’t have cancer. It is a great way to meet new people make friends, and it’s for a good cause. We especially had a good time we danced and just had fun.

That’s what you must do if you are facing a difficulty you must do something to keep yourself occupied, your mind out of the gutter. Don’t ever let people get you down. Do not ever get frustrated at god after all his son did give the ultimate sacrifice for you. Do not ever give up there is always hope even against unbeatable odds you must always believe you can always win no matter what the opponent is you are facing. You must not ever be depressed there is nothing in the world worth being depressed at. Everything does happen for a reason. Remember it’s your body do not let people tell you what to do with it you are you god made you that way.

Scars heal bones mend pain does not hurt forever. One thing it is always okay to do is talk to someone about you difficulty people now how to comfort each other in the best of ways and in the worst of times. Do not be afraid to cry it is okay that is one of the things I have learned thought this fight, even the toughest types of people cry. If you ever get so mad that you just feel like hitting someone stop! And breathe for ever how long you have to just breathe. I know I had to take some medicine that made me a total jerk I said some things that I couldn’t control. Do not ever talk bad to you parents they know what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes you don’t, they are always right even if they are wrong. (Wrap your mind around that one)

One thing you must never be afraid to do is laugh, laughing is the best medicine ever made. Joke with you friends, you must have friends. Do not let people treat you any different do not be afraid to tell them they are treating you unfairly. There is a good chance that you will overcome your difficulty one way or the other. So remember these words.

What doesn’t kill you make you stronger, if you are felling down pick yourself up off the floor, and keep believing.