By Kyla Pokorny, patient at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
It started on March 28, 2011. I was thirteen when my life came crashing down on me. I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma bone cancer. The surgery to remove my tumor would take my arm’s range of motion, and leave it with less than half of what it had before.
During that year, I spent countless days and overnights at the hospital receiving intense chemotherapy treatment and recovering from severe side effects. And after a year of treatment, I was given every reason to believe that I had won the battle, but in July of 2013, fifteen months after successfully ending my chemotherapy treatments, half of my face went numb and an MRI revealed two new masses inside my head. My biggest nightmare had transformed into reality. The cancer had reoccurred and I would undergo 31 radiation treatments and 19 more months of chemotherapy.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center turned into more than just my treatment facility. After spending so much time there, it became my home away from home.
From walking into radiology and finding Art, in his skull shirt, who can always find a way to cheer me up….to visiting Dr. Salazar’s office in cardiology and seeing the huge animal wall stickers …(just looking at those always help take away some anxiousness, as do the incredibly friendly staff!)…
… to heading down to the One World Café and having the best lady cook serve me food with a gigantic smile across her face…to entering the 5th floor clinic and being greeted by the sounds and smiles of giggling children walking by with their poles and IV bags…
This hospital just feels like home.
Do I wish I never had to go through this experience? Yes. But would I trade it for the world? Absolutely not. Through my experiences, I have lost many things but I have also gained many things. I have learned that the threat of death brings you so much closer to life and I have also learned lessons that could take others their whole lives to learn. Most importantly, I have met a selfless community of caregivers who devote their time to taking care of all of the sick children in our community and who make this hospital “home”. Yes, that is their job, but they do it with elegance and give to us kids, out of the genuineness of their hearts and expect nothing in return. They are what makes this hospital run like no other one could.
How lucky am I to have two places to come home! Thanks Connecticut Children’s from the bottom of my heart!! #cominghome