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Independence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Christian V., Wichita, KS



     Independence truly matters. The problem is that people don't realize how important it is until it is lost. I have brain cancer, and as scary as that sounds, it is the simple things I used to do on my own that I long for. I want to walk around and go to the mall without my wheelchair. I would love to go to a party and just have fun. My reality, however, is that someone has to carry me to the bathroom and help me with stairs. Last year over Christmas I couldn't move at all.

Another thing that matters to me is time free from pain. To complete my chemotherapy, I had to endure 30 transfusions, radiation treatments five days a week for six weeks, four spinal taps, a bone marrow test, blood tests twice a week for 60 weeks, and 163 shots in the leg. In addition to the dreaded needles, cancer caused my body to malfunction. I developed kidney stones, cataracts and suffered seizures and hemorrhages.

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