Everyone knew about my condition by the next day, so I was relieve when mum told me that she had booked me to see a special doctor who specialised in brain tumors. The last thing I wanted was for everyone to stare at me and offer their apologies even when it isn't their fault and there is nothing that they can do. Dad still hasn't come home, I waited up for him last night, but he never showed. I began to wonder if he was prolonging his business trip to avoid seeing me; I dismissed that thought from my head quickly.
This time the drive to the doctors was much longer. I went to put my headphones in my ears, but it was just too painful for my head. Instead, I stared unseeingly at the countryside flying past the motor ways. All the people in their cars annoyed me, just for being completely oblivious to what was going on around them. And then I stopped. I had not been different from them before I was diagnosed, it was no longer my place to feel cheated and angry.
Smiling. Everyone was smiling, except the patients, in the hospital. It set my teeth on edge. Gestures supposed to make you feel relaxed just made me bitter and resentful. They didn't know me. How could they smile in a place of death? I shuddered as I sat down.
Nervous parents fluttered round their children. Seeing those little girls and boys made me feel slightly better; at least I had some idea of the world. I had more memories than them. I also had a better idea of how shoddy reality really was. But I did not voice this.
Typically, we arrived ten minutes early, the doctor was half an hour late so we'd been in the hospital for thee quarters of an hour and still hadn't been seen. In compliance with the strange little auctioning system, a nurse stuck her head out of the door to call my name. She was smiling. Under normal circumstances, I would have like her; she was small and stout, sort of grandmotherly. But I was shaking too much to muster up the energy to smile back.
This new doctor was standing by the window and was surprisingly young, so much so that I immediately thought he was a medical student.
"Hello Alexandra, I'm Dr Basely. Take a seat."
"Alli." I muttered, he understood at once as I sat down with my mother.
"How are you feeling?"
Deciding not to fight him, I answered, "My head hurts, as always. I feel sick."
"Well, hopefully it will all be over in a few months."
"One way or the other." My face betrayed no sign of regret as Dr Basely frowned at me.
"Now, you are here to discuss your options with me." He took out a wad of paper I presumed to be my file.
"We've been told operating is out of the question. The last doctor did talk about chemo and radio therapy?" My mother butted in, it was one of her annoying habits to say stuff when they didn't need saying.
"Yes, both those seem possible. Are you aware of the procedures?"
"No." Mum answered. I kept my mouth shut, I had done my research before.
I zoned out as Dr Basely droned on about how chemo stops cancer cells dividing, some of the side affects and how radiotherapy just destroys them. They discussed how my eating and drinking may be affected, how tired I would get and, of course, how I would loose y hair. I gulped at that part. That would be the worst bit, sitting up and leaving behind half your hair on the pillow.
If Miss Davis hadn't made me promise I would try chemotherapy, I would have walked out.
"Alli, do you have anything you want to say? Any questions?" Four eyes fixated themselves onto me.
"Is this my choice, what happens to me?"