How would you feel if on your birthday you had to go to the hospital? On the one day that people gather to celebrate you, and you wind up having to spend it in a small bed in a small room with little décor items a tiny TV that you can barely hear and see. Cheap blue paint covering the walls with the bash dirt scrubbed tiles and the old bulletin board on the wall with nothing on it. I find myself staring out the tiny window with the view of the small roof of the lobby and the valet. Little light comes in and I see a small plastic bag flying through the air. “What a great birthday this is” I think to myself sarcastically. “Because you know that spending your birthday in the hospital sick with a fever of 104 and on ten thousand different steroids, how could it possibly be better?” Oh, did I mention that I have cancer? I’ve had it for over a year now and that’s why I’m here. Because when you have a fever you usually know its probably really just a virus or a very bad cold. But when you have cancer you have to immediately be rushed to the hospital where they have to load you up with meds. I thought about what I could be doing now,eating cake playing with my little cousin.
But this is not what my memoir is about. It’s about my birthday party. It was 6 years ago and it was my 6th birthday. And I wasn’t feeling well. My party was at My Gym, a little jungle gym with lots of cool stuff for kids’ birthday parties and other things. All my friends where there from my class and my cousins came too. The instructor called all the kids to sit in a big circle in the middle of the heavily paddled floor. We started doing some simple stretches and it was more of just a fun thing to get the kids excited for what came next. Next the instructor hung up 4 large punching bag things from the ceiling, she started to swing them back and forth and she told all the kids to line up behind the birthday boy. Then we had to run through the punching bags without getting hit by one. Everyone lined up behind me and started cheering me on. I gathered every inch of strength I could muster, and when the time was right, I sprinted through. I made it without getting hit. I waited as the rest of the kids went through. After that they let us go on the jungle gym. All the kids ran over. My cousins and I ran up the ladder and on to a platform next to the slide. There was fun music playing and all the kids were loudly jumping and running around. I went up and down the slide at least 30 times with a few of my friends.
Once the slide got boring I tried doing the monkey bars I made it 5 bars when I collapsed to the ground. But then I noticed to my surprise all the kids were gone. Where is everyone I wondered, then saw a herd of kids running over to the trampoline, and I ran over there with them. We all jumped up and down to the rhythm of the music. I played for about 10 more minutes and then went over to my dad. He was videotaping as I walked over. I started to feel funny and my face turned pale. I walked over slowly when he said “Are you OK Will”?. They could tell I didn’t feel good. I ignored him and went back to playing. They then brought out the bubble machine, and everyone jumped around frantically trying to pop them. By now, I slowed down significantly, and had very little energy left. My parents told me it was time for birthday cake. They brought me into a separate room and put me in a wagon and wheeled me into the room with all my friends. Everyone sang Happy Birthday. I saw my dad videotaping, and we all sat down to eat. We had pizza and cake, but I did not feel like eating anything because I didn’t feel good. My mom asked me if I was feeling OK, and I told her I was even though I wasn’t. After the cake, everyone got ready to leave, and my parents packed up my presents. I said goodbye and thank you to all my friends.
We then went home and in the car I could feel myself getting really tired. When we got home my family was there waiting to celebrate more with me. My were all waiting to celebrate my birthday. My Mom asked me if I wanted to open my presents, and I said no, so everyone pretty much knew I wasn’t myself. By this time I was really sleepy. After a little while, my mom came in and asked if I wanted to have dinner with everyone. I said no, and she brought me some ginger ale. The she took my temperature, and it was 104 This meant they had to take me to the hospital. Then my mom got me up and brought me in to say goodbye to everyone. As soon as I got in the car, I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed. And even thought I was sick, as I looked back on the day, I thought to myself “That was the best Birthday party ever!”