Hey guys. As you saw in the title, this essay is my first attempt at writing a college essay. I am planning to apply to Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Columbia, NYU, and Pepperdine next year.
It was like a bullet flying into a glass wall. I never realized that one simple word could shatter me so completely. It has been almost two years now since the doctor nearly destroyed me with that bullet. Cancer, he said. And so it was. I couldnt understand it. I demanded to know why. The doctor, with all his years of schooling, couldnt give me an answer; this type of the disease was so rare in an adolescent. My 14-year old mind couldnt handle it. How could my mortality have become so apparent by the acknowledgement of one word? Cancer was for old people who had smoked all their lives. Not for a youthful robust teenager, just beginning to embrace the gifts the world had to offer her.
I was diagnosed in March of 2003. It was not known quite yet how malignant the cancer was. I visited specialist after specialist, taking all sorts of scans and tests along the way. I hated making up stories, lying to my friends who wanted to know where I always was, and why I was missing so many classes. The malignancy had originated in my elbow and possibly had metastasized to my lungs or my bones. I could not help but ask the unavoidable question: Was I going to die?
Would I be able to go to UCLA with my best friend like we had made plans to do when we were 9? I never ever want this fun to end, I had said so many years ago, as we were dressing our new Barbies for a dip in the pool, Too bad you cant move in and become my sister. What if something happens and we wont be friends anymore? My friend promptly brushed the notion aside, thoughtfully smoothing her Barbies golden ponytail. Its okay because when we grow up, we can live together in a dorm at college. We can go to UCLA, where Drena [her older sister] is right now. Then we can move into a big house with our husbands and kids and be best friends forever.
As I grew, that childhood fantasy had diminished slightly. We were still the best of friends and planned to go to college together. After my diagnosis, I had no idea whether I had encountered a slight inconvenience or a potentially fatal disease. I looked back on my childhood musings, longing desperately to return to those times of immortality and comfort.
It was worse not knowing, whatever the prognosis was. I would go through periods of confidence and then of pessimism, frequently separated by mere seconds. I would say to myself, It will be fine. I am only fourteen. That is much too young. Then the doubt would kick in. I would cry for hours on end still asking the unanswerable question: Why? Why has God chosen me? What have I done to deserve this?
I began to recognize how weak I had always been. Without knowing how bad my condition was, I let it destroy me, completely crushing any sense of optimism I had once possessed. I became a shell of my own self. I started to believe that what I had accomplished didnt matter, that I wasnt special, because anything could come along and erase everything. Fears of a dismal prognosis consumed my every thought and drained my happiness for weeks. As time progressed, I did not allow for the possibility that things might turn out all right.<br>
Unexpected relief came to me April 17th in the form of a voicemail. It was my father. Kelly, you will be just fine. The cancer didnt metastasize at all. You will have surgery on your elbow at the end of the month to remove it completely. Afterwards, you will be perfectly fine.
And I was. Just as the May showers were beginning to fall, I began to appreciate their sweetness like never before. Though that false sense of immortality was taken away from me prematurely, I considered myself lucky. I still laugh to myself, for who in their right mind would consider a disease a form of luckiness. Cancer had given me an opportunity to acknowledge my feeble will and change it for the better. I vowed to become a stronger person. I opened up my eyes and my heart to my surroundings. I realized that one of the worst things in existence was a missed opportunity. I promised myself that I would never let anything effect me in that matter again. Recording artist Jewel had said, If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that we’re all okay. And not to worry cause worry is wasteful and unless in times like these. I had only just begun to appreciate the truth of those words, and would keep them near to my heart for years to come.
My doctors bullet had shattered me into a million pieces. I recreated that glass wall within myself, with bonds stronger than any before. If life throws me another bullet, I will be ready.
Thanks so much for reading this and feel free to make any critiques on grammar or content. Please tell me if it flows well, and if the personal anecdote, as well as the Jewel quote, seem like they fit. Also, it is too over-the-top? Like too emotional or depressing?