By Jocelyn Hsieh
Blurb Emma, born in a wealthy and loving family, has a promising future as a skilled dancer. In addition to her excellence in dancing, she is a straight A student and is very popular in school. Her life seemed perfect until the day she was sent to hospital and diagnosed with cancer. Everything changed ever since.
Reborn By Jocelyn Hsieh
Written by Jocelyn Hsieh of E4B Instructor: Kenneth M. Smith Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages Kaohsiung, Taiwan June 2013
About the Author Jocelyn Hsieh is the Arthur of Reborn.
novel is her first manuscript about love and struggle.
In the novel, she doesnâ€™t only talk
about the struggle of a cancer fighter but also the love in the family.
The Arthur is interested in
English study and writing. Now she lives in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Characters Emma- A talented young dancer, diagnosed with bone cancer at age 16. Bay- Emma’s best friend Katherine- Emma’s mother, a kind housewife John- Emma’s father, a successful entrepreneur Jason- Emma’s little brother, a sweet boy.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 ………………………………………1 Chapter 2 ………………………………………13
Chapter 1 The bell rings, finally, the summer vacation is officially here.
Emma and Bay
are rehearsing for the dance audition coming up in two weeks. Emma has been dancing since she was five years old. She is such a talented ballerina. Her dream is to get into the University of New York .Now, her only shot to get in is the audition in two weeks. Emma and Bay grew up together. They are like sisters. They do things together and
even share the same dream to be a world-famous dancer. “Bay, my left knee has been aching for quite a while. I’m kind of worried.” “Don’t worry, Emma. It’s probably just because you’ve been pushing yourself too hard.” “I hope so. It’s just that sometimes it hurts so much that I can’t even walk.” “Maybe you should have a doctor take a look at it, so you won’t have to worry so much.”
“Alright, I’ll talk to my mom and see what she says then.” They walk to the parking lot and go home for dinner. On the way, Emma’s knee starts to ach again. This time, it’s like there are thousands of ants eating her bone. She pulls over and looks at her knee. What shocks her was that there is a swelling on her knee. Finally, the aching stopped. As soon as she reaches home, she burst out crying. “Dad! Mom! Come downstairs!” Emma yells.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Katherine gently holds her daughter hands and asks. “Somebody hurt you?” John looks at his daughter and asks with smile on his face. John and Katherine is that kind of couple that makes people envy. They met in high school and got married after dating for ten years. They are both from wealthy families. John took over his family business. He now owns a construction and development company. He is busy but never skips a dinner at home. Katherine is a well-educated and
elegant woman. She used to be a great lawyer working at one of the best law firms after graduating from Harvard Law School. However, she realized that her work had taken too much time and that she had little time to spend with her family. She then quit her job and became a housewife. It seemed she gave up a promising future; however, she never regretted it. They have two kids --Emma and Jason, 17 and 15. â€œMy knee hurts!â€? Emma tells her parents about the ache in her knee which has been
bothering her for weeks. She did not want to worry her parents but now she is scared. “Let’s get you to the hospital now.” John said. They arrive at the emergency room. It is filled with people waiting to be examined. They put Emma on a wheelchair because her knee is hurting too much. They waited for hours before it was Emma’s turn to meet the doctor. The doctor sends Emma to the x-ray room. When the results come out, the doctor asks to talk to Emma’s parents.
“Jason, what happened to me? Why do they look so serious?” Emma worriedly asks her brother. “It’s probably nothing. Don’t worry! You are going to be fine.” Jason’s words are always comforting to Emma. He is such a sweet boy and is very close to his sister. “You need a chest x-ray.” The doctor says to Emma. “Why would I need a chest x-ray? Is there anything wrong with my chest?” Emma
is confused, but she goes with the doctor to the x-ray room. “Emma, guess what? You got straight A for this semester!” Bay calls to tell Emma about the results which just came out. “Really…I’m in hospital.” Emma is not interested in her grades now. “Why? You got sick?” “It’s my knee. It’s become worse.” “Oh god, are you okay?” “I don’t know. They took a radiograph of my chest and I don’t know why. I’m scared.”
“Don’t worry, Emma. At least not now. The doctor is probably just being careful. Wait and see what he says okay?” “Okay.” The parents and the doctor walk toward Emma, talking in a low voice. “Sweetie, they have to keep you here for tonight.” Katherine says. “Alright.” They waited for almost three hours before there was a ward available. First time lying in a freezing ward, Emma
never felt this helpless. She has no idea what has happened to her. And her parents won’t tell her. A doctor walks in to check up on Emma. “What’s wrong with me, doctor?” Emma sobbed out the question. “You have something bad in your knee.” “What is it? Is it a spur?” “It would be much better if it was.” The doctor walks out, leaving so many questions to Emma. Emma overhears some people talking
outside her ward. They talk in a very low voice. But she can still hear what they are talking about mostly. “We have to transfer her to the oncology department tomorrow.” “We understand. How worse is it?” “We don’t know for sure now. From the x-ray radiograph, we can see the cancer has not metastasized to the lung yet. But only after we do some further examinations can we be sure about it.” Emma is shocked.
“I have cancer? No, it’s impossible. It’s just my knee hurting. How can it be cancer?”
Chapter 2 It was the darkest night. I’m not exaggerating. It was the darkest night in my life. The next morning, a mid-age doctor walked in with a couple young doctors. You can see all the young doctors respect him. “Hi, Emma. I’m Doctor Huang. Nice meeting you.” He smiled. He made me feel warm. “Hi, Doctor Huang.” “I’m your doctor now. From the x-ray, we
can see there is a tumor with a diameter of about 10 centimeters. The preliminary diagnosis is Ostersarcoma. You probably know it as bone cancer. However, you need more examinations to make a definite diagnosis. First, you need CT scan and MRI. Later we will schedule you a biopsy to take out some tissue of the tumor for examination to determine your disease.â€? He talked so fast, leaving me so confused that I almost missed the part that I had cancer. Actually, I didnâ€™t even know there
can be a tumor in the knee. He then went on,” this disease is quite rare. It’s more common in children and teenagers than in adults. It mostly occurs in joints. Like in your case, it’s in the tibia. Most of my former patients had it in tibia too.” He took out a piece of paper and wrote the word “osteosarcoma” on it and handed it over to me. “Google it! You have to know your disease well.” “Okay.”
â€œNow, letâ€™s talk about your treatments. As you may know, cancers should be treated with chemotherapy. You need six cycles of chemotherapy. For every cycle, you need two kinds of medication injections. For the first four days of a cycle, you will be injected with a drug called Doxorubicin. And the morning after that, we will do an angiography. Then you will be injected with another drug called Cisplatin for 10 hours. Finally, after four cycles, you will undergo a surgery to remove the tumor and replace your knee with metal
components. After the surgery, you may need more than two months of recovery before you have another two cycles of chemotherapy. If everything goes well, after 9 months, you’ll be considered as fully recovered.” He talked in a way that others might thought I’d caught a cold. I didn’t know his purpose of telling me all this. Shouldn’t he be saying nice words? Not until few days later did I realize that his words were actually comforting. His words had the same meaning as “you are going to be okay” to me.
To be honest, I was surprisingly calm to accept the truth that I had cancer. Of course I’ve cried few times in the middle of nights. Of course I’ve asked why. The following days, I went through several examinations. My orthopedist, Dr. Wang, came by. He introduced himself but didn’t say much. Unlike Dr. Huang, he is very serious. He told me the biopsy was in three days. It’s not a minor surgery. I’ll be anesthetized, and it’s going to hurt a lot after I wake up.
Before the surgery, the nervousness was indescribable. I worried if I’d ever wake up. I worried if anything could go wrong. The thirty minutes of waiting were torture. I don’t know if it’s because I was nervous, but the waiting room was freezing. Then I went through the very first surgery. I woke up in unbearable pain, so they gave me one shot of morphine. It felt great. It’s like it takes you from hell to heaven. You actually feel like you are flying. Before the results came out, I still held some hope for the tumor to be benign. I
prayed. Although the doctor said he was 90 percent sure that it’s malignant, I didn’t give up the thought that there could be miracle. “It’s malignant.” That’s when I really accepted the truth. The next nine months were the hardest time in my life. I suffered from excruciating pain, experienced nonstop vomiting, and I passed out a couple times. I learned how to stretch my leg, how to sit, how to stand and then how to walk. They were so easy for me when I was only one year old. But they were
so painful and difficult then. When I finally stood up again, I realized I may not be able to dance again, but itâ€™s something I should be grateful that I still got my legs. My dream may never come true, but at least Iâ€™m alive to dream.
Photo/Illustration Credits Front- commons.wikimedia.org