"Pretty Girl Blues"

by Jearlean Taylor • More.com Member { View Profile }
“Pretty Girl Blues”Cancer v.s the Survivor
Photograph: Mercimememories photography

Pretty girl blues; was this label she put on herself or allowed others to give her? Why did she allow herself to hide deep in her pain? She hides behind her pretty looks, clothes, and the truth within. She has outer beauty, but was suffering on the inside with low self-esteem, pity, and unhappiness. Could her beauty cover up her hurt? She desperately wanted to be accepted. Yes, she has a darling personality and nobody could take that away, but was it enough to mend the hurt and internal pain? Her parent’s had sacrificed and cared for all her brothers and sisters, but would they anticipate one of their children developing cancer at the age of two.


We are familiar with several types of cancer, but a baby developing this type (Rhabdomyosarcoma) was unheard of. This was such a rare form of cancer the doctors’ thought she would not live to celebrate her 3rd birthday. How could this be and why? Most importantly how would doctor’s care for this child? Her care began at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, but the family was later advised to seek a second opinion at Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York City. The majority of her childhood and adolescent years are spent in New York City. At Sloan Kettering she would have many surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Because of the cancer, reconstructive surgery was not optional. This procedure would cause her to have a colostomy and ileostomy bag to aid her bladder and bowel function for the rest of her life. Even after that surgeries seem to never stop. Imagine growing up wearing two bags, being teased and set aside because you can not tell if it is time to change your bags. “Hey what is that smell”, they would say. She had incidents in school and when she did not know how to handle these situations it really caused her low self-esteem. She had it bad. Her hearts desire was to be like other children. To be teased by her peers was heart breaking.


Becoming a teenager and maturing into a young adult were difficult years. She later involved herself in boyfriends, but when they got close she would break it off, fearing they would not understand. She had a method of trying to hide “the secret”. Someone will understand, she thought. It seem like no one did, what a fool she felt like. Continuing to hide behind her family, friends, and pretty looks, she developed the craft of covering and dressing up the outside. This disease causes her to hide deep in her pain. Questions would arise. How would she cope? How would she handle what life have dealt her? Can she continue to hide “the secret”? So I asked myself, “Why do I feel so blue, and how can I change the way I am feeling”


Surely, there was an answer. I could not imagine, but God would change my life. He healed me from cancer. I am His miracle child. He protected and assured me everything was going to be all right. God not only healed my physical body, but my spirit and mind. That is what needed to be healed desperately. I am thankful for that spiritual process which took place within me. My insecurities did not change overnight, but I learned how to be a survivor. The question was not “Why Me”, but “Why Not Me”. This “secret” would no longer be a secret, but a triumphant story. My trials and tribulations tested my faith, but it made me stronger. God instilled in me an inner strength I thought I did not have. This journey has taught me so much and I will use this experience for my aspirations in life.


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