Monday, June 23, 2008
The Chante Wouden Story
"Walking the Halls"
My Mom tells me that when she first found out the news she was completely overwhelmed. I mean, you can imagine. Your little girl was just pronounced with a 30% chance to live. That's very difficult to live with. She tells me she would walk the hospital hall feeling and hearing the words to the primary song, "I Feel My Savior's Love", that song filled her with the comfort that she needed at that time to handle the situation.
And so when I first got up and leaned on the walker. Than my legs were shaking and turning purple and blue and my palms were sweating and it was a lot of work even just to stand up. I mean I hadn't stood for six months. So I hadn't used my muscles at all and all of sudden I was using them. Additionally I had an experimental bone graft and two screws in my hip instead of a hip. So the question was will I be able to use my leg. Will I be able to walk.
"The New Dress"
When you are living on a cancer floor, then you learn about death. You learn that life can be taken away like that. One time there was a little girl who got a new dress. I remember watching her run up and down the hallway showing off the new dress. The next day something happened with her heart and she died. You get a close up look at death, I guess at dying. You realize that you really feel that it is a battleground and that not everyone makes it. So you are grateful for every day that you have. Strive to find things to smile about.
"The Gift Shop"
It was now the second time Chante was diagnosed with cancer. All of this before the age of 10. Her grieving father took Chante to the hospital gift shop and told her to pick out anything that she wanted. Across the way on a shelf amongst all the other toys sat a simple doll with button eyes. Upon returning home the doll was the silent way of telling Chante's mother that the cancer was back. It was a difficult time to say the least.
Even living in that battleground I was able to find things to smile about. Going to the hospital basement to practice the piano, or going to the playroom to dance with a giant teddy bear. Then there was the window. I loved looking out the window at the city skyline, and the city lights I had a perfect view of the state capitol. At nighttime when it was all lit up, its big dome roof it looked just like a castle. My mom and I would talk about it and she would tell me stories. She promised to take me on a tour of the castle someday.
"The Grave Yard"
That weekend when I first received the news of my diagnosis. I went to the Mantua graveyard because it is beautiful there, and it is quiet and I could be alone. I was sitting there with my head down, and crying and praying a prayer full of questions that I didn't have answers to. As I was praying the thought came to me to look up. So I did. With my eyes still closed I could feel the sunlight on my face. Then I felt the words at the same time, what do you know. The impression came to focus on that.