I Have Cancer and My Brother has Cerebral Palsy

I Have Cancer and My Brother has Cerebral Palsy

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There are things in life which none of us can control, in my life there have been many such things.  In trying to write this essay I have a difficult time trying to decide what I am going to write about.  I have many ideas running through my head,and I am trying to decide what makes me who I am, what makes me special.  Soren Kierkegaard said, "Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards."  I have a difficult time understanding my life even as I look back, I am unsure of why things happened and what effect certain events had on my life.  I say this because I know nothing else, I have nothing to compare my life to.  I am who I am and I have always been this way.


            There are three major topics that I am considering to include in my essay.  The first topic is my medical history, which is quite thick, as shown by my four fat medical files.  The problems all started at an early age when E-coli was found in my hip, and it had to be removed.  I went in to surgery for the first time, before my first birthday, and had part of my hip scraped out to remove the bacteria.  This was the first of about 5 major surgeries and a vast number of visits to the doctors.  I could talk about the trauma I went through wondering if I would ever be able to walk, but I was too young to remember any of this.  The E-coli was of little importance in my mind except that it was my first surgery, and also that Doctor's told my parents I would always walk with a limp, and be unable to compete in athletics.  The condition that everyone believes had the largest effect on who I am is CANCER, I made that big and bold because I want the sympathy vote. I was diagnosed with cancer on Feb. 11, 1987 and went into surgery 2 days later.  I didn't remember that date, and I had to go ask my parents all of this.  They remember it all.  I had a stage four Wilms Tumor attached to my left kidney, I know what side because I get to look at the huge scar every day, and that the doctor's gave me about a 50/50 chance of survival.

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  My mom now tells me that the most significant factor is that it had metastasized into both lungs, whatever that means.  I could lie to everyone and I'm sure that I could make a great essay about how hard having cancer was on me but you know what, I'm not going to lie.  Cancer was something that happened and all the wounds have healed.  Maybe I was changed in some amazing way.  Maybe I am going to find the cure for cancer because I don't want little kids around the world to suffer like I did.  Maybe I am going to be the worlds greatest Biomedical engineer, but I don't KNOW that it was because I had cancer.  I don't think cancer is the right thing to write about, I'm sure my mom could tell you how all this effected me maybe she should write the essay for me.  I am who I am.


            Next I'm trying to decide if I should write about the stress that moving has had on my life.  My father being in the military has forced me to pack up and leave many friends that I didn't want to leave.  Moving is one of the worst feelings I have ever encountered, but I don't know if I can say moving is a bad thing.  Sure leaving people that I felt comfortable with was a hard thing.  Moving out into the world of unknowns is always difficult, but I have learned things will workout, and there are good people everywhere. Every time that I have left a friend I hold on to memories, memories that make my life.  Some people would say that each friend I have met has given me something special and I would have to agree, I just can't tell you what.  I guess that moving isn't as stressful as it seems, and I always end up meeting new people that are just as wonderful as those whom I left behind.  My life was not ruined by moving, in fact, I would say that moving is a blessing in that I have been able to experience many places, and meet many people.  I have always been able to make new friends so I can't write a sob story about moving.


            My third idea deals with a person I love very much.  I know what your thinking "not another one, a story how some kids life was changed by one single person."  I have tried to write about events in my life, but that didn't work very well.  In my life things happen and then I move on,learning that life goes on, life isn't fair and lessons of that sort.  When I observe my brother, however, I am able to really learn what I consider to be the valuable lessons in life.  I don't know maybe my little brother has changed my life.  He was born two years to the day, before I was diagnosed with cancer, February 11, 1985 I know his birthday without having to go ask my parents. Someone who believes that all things are connected would have a great time with this coincidence, a coincidence that makes my parents hate the month of February, it's a good thing February is a short month.  Well Dan was born and he too had severe medical problems, my brother was born with Cerebral Palsy, a disease he could not overcome.  I could tell you all about Cerebral Palsy because of all the times I've had to answer the question "what's wrong with him."  Dan may not be able to do everything you and I can do, because of the muscular disorder he suffers from, but trust me he will try.  Dan is a great kid and tries harder than anyone I know, but often times he is physically unable to achieve his goal. 


            Dan and I get along great, except for the fact the he always follows my friends and me around.  His determination to be around me used to drive me crazy.  Up until about last year I could never understand why he wanted to be with me so much.  Now I realize that Dan is a younger brother that yearns to be like his big brother, however this will never happen.  I am now finally mature enough to realize this, Dan is no different than any other kid out there.  Luckily my mother realized for me.  My mother has had a bit of experience with physically disabled children.  Mom is a special education teacher, who unlike most teachers never stops helping her students.  Because of the fact that my mom is a special education teacher, and the fact Dan has Cerebral Palsy, I have been forced to volunteer many hours of weekend service.  I am just now beginning to realize that I am lucky I was forced to help my mother with all the kids.  I was able to help her start up many leagues that my brother wanted to play in, so he could play the games I played.  Dan and his friends have taught me something and Dan has changed my life.  All those challenger athletic leagues that I helped to start, have taught me that I am lucky to have the ability to walk and run. But more importantly they have taught me that just because I am faster or a better athlete doesn't mean that I am stronger person.  Dan is by far a stronger person than I will ever be he just needs a little help every now and then.  He works for everything he has never complaining or using his disability as a reason for failure.  Dan is a wonderful person.  I wish I had his will and his determination for life.  I love my brother and because of him I am who I am.




Writers Reflection

1) This writing was successful enough to get me into the colleges that I listed above. I was a little disappointed that I was not accepted into some of the tougher schools that I applied to but I guess my writing was not outstanding. I have three really good events about which I could have written a marvelous essay but I threw it together writing as I felt I wanted to. If I was to be more successful with the essay I would have divided the sections a little stronger and talked about my brother a little more. I wasted a lot of time talking about cancer and how it didn't matter to me. I should have just mentioned it.

2) This writing wasn't all that creative. All throughout school we have had to write personal statements and I always write about one of these three issues so for my college essay I decided that I was going to combine the three experiences into one essay.

3) This writing could improve by shortening up the sections about my experiences and talking more about my brother. I tried to focus on my brother and how he has helped me but that didn't work all that well and I talked a great deal about myself.

4) My personality doesn't really show all I'm really showing is the experiences that I've had in my life. I tried to show a little bit of humor when I asked or a sympathy vote. But that's about it.

5) I wrote this piece to answer many college essays. Most college applications ask you to write an essay about a personal experience or an event that has been very traumatic. This fits both o those prompts.

6) Well it's my life.
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