Amazing Kids! Magazine

Fighting the Long Fight

By Ashley Chambers, Grade 10, CA


Sienna heard those words echo through her head throughout the whole sleepless night. “You have been diagnosed with cancer. We’ll do everything we can Ms. Brooks.” Cancer. Sienna Brooks, herself, has been diagnosed with cancer. She didn’t feel like her life was worth fighting for any more. Sienna just felt like she wouldn’t make it – that she couldn’t make it. Her body already felt weak, how would she survive cancer? This was the only question running through her mind at this point. Her parents had broken down in the small hospital room after the news registered in their minds. She looked over at the clock as it read 2:00 a.m. She had spent nearly the whole night being numb to whatever she felt about this change in her life. She had yet to cry though. No, not Sienna. She wasn’t one to cry, especially in front of the ones she loved. She had to be the strong one, always. This was her mindset until now. As she lay there at 2:15 in the morning she couldn’t help but cry. Sienna Brooks was crying, and it felt good. She was scared to death and instead of feeling numb, she felt everything.

It was about 10:00 in the morning when Sienna finally woke up. She felt somewhat better since she had finally given herself time to let all her emotions and frustrations out early that morning. The house was quiet which meant her parents had already left for work. Her sister was most likely with her boyfriend. She had another doctor’s appointment tomorrow and her family already assured her that they’d all be there in this time of need and each step she had to take, they would take with her. She smiled as she remembered this thought. No matter how bad life seemed, her family was her rock and they always had been. She didn’t feel very hungry so she just sat in her room and let time pass by as she watched her all-time favorite movie, The Lion King. She was sixteen years old but the movie never failed to make her feel better. The house phone started to ring and she bounced up to get it. Her mother was just checking on her to make sure she was feeling alright. Sienna sent a wave of reassurance her way and was immediately brought back to her nightmare called reality.

The next day, as the Brooks family sat in the waiting room of Kaiser Permanente, awkwardness filled the air. Everyone was afraid to talk, they wanted to ease Sienna’s worries but how could they do that when they had no idea how to ease their own? So, each just sat quietly until a nurse came into the waiting room.

“I’m calling for Sienna Brooks”, the whole family jumped up at those words. This was it, this is the time where the fight begins and the family had never felt more scared but very well prepared in all their times.

“Now, what we’re going to do first is see how progressed this thing is and what stage you are at,” Dr. Simmons began, “then, we are going to tell you what steps you are going to take in order to get this monster out of you.” The family nodded along and waited for Dr. Simmons to finish up the paper work. “Well it looks like it’s not too severe, but we’ll have to take precautions right away if we want to get her better,” Dr. Simmons started. “We’ll begin treatment for these next few days. Have a good evening Sienna.”

She nodded along and got up slowly from the examining table. The ride home was silent and held a thick tension in the air. When they arrived home, dinner was silent as well and when that was through, everyone went their separate ways into their own rooms. The only thing that remained in common among the occupants of the house was the fear and sadness they held in their hearts.

The next few weeks were the worst. After treatments, Sienna was experiencing a major loss of her hair and her skin was turning from its normal bright tan color, to a ghostly pale color. She was even losing the color in her eyes – what was once a bright shade of blue was dark and full of sadness. In all her years she had never experienced this type of pain before. Because of the chemotherapy she was going through, she practically threw up all of her insides. Vomiting was such a common thing to her now, that when it began, she knew to expect it throughout the day. Her body strength kept getting weaker and weaker. Friends and family came to visit very often and, while it used to bring the light back into her eyes, now it had no effect. She was just tired and wanted to sleep and stop experiencing all these changes. What she was tired of most was the exhaustion from everything – to talk, open her eyes, and even sometimes…to breathe. She had lost all hope of beating this terrible disease. She saw no signs of getting better, but her family never once lost hope.

One day Sienna woke up feeling stronger than before. She was handling chemotherapy better and she felt her bones becoming stronger. The light was slowly drifting back into her eyes and everyone had taken notice. Her doctor for sure noticed because she decided to do another scan. The Brooks family waited a full two weeks for the results to come in. Those were the longest fourteen days they had ever experienced. To keep her mind off of whether she had a chance of surviving or not, they kept Sienna extra busy. They had a different board game to play almost every night and they brought all her favorite movies. The most frequently watched one though was, of course, The Lion King.

The day finally came for Sienna to receive her results. They all stayed in her room and held hands reciting silent prayers. The doctor came in and had an expression no one could read. Finally Dr. Simmons kneeled in front of Sienna and started to speak, “I don’t want you to ever doubt yourself ever again,” she began. “You are one of the strongest kids I have ever come across. That is why I am pleased to tell you that the cancer is gone. You, Sienna Brooks, have beaten cancer! Congratulations sweetheart.”

The family roared and cried and they all hugged. This was the most challenging and emotionally destroying situation they had ever been involved in. This time when Sienna Brooks went to sleep, it would be in her own bed. This time she’d only have happy thoughts in her mind. This time she would have the best sleep she’s had in a year. She couldn’t be any happier and, even though she wasn’t one to cry, she cried and cried and cried, only because she almost had her life taken and she was able to get a good grip on it and take it back.

Never take life for granted or the amazing people around you. It all could be snatched away in a second and sometimes this can happen without warning. Cherish every moment and every smile. Once your time has come, you’ll look back and do nothing but smile because then you will know that you’ve lived your life right and you were a great impact on those around you.


  1. A. Robinson /

    Very well written by a 10th grader. Good job, Ashley!

  2. Jalynne /

    I like it the way she fout cancer I hop she’s ok