Paige: My Friend Ginelle, One Tough Cookie

November 10, 2009 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Paige018My fight with cancer was very difficult in many ways.  My life and routine changed drastically.  Most of my normal friends were getting frustrated with me.  They found me too withdrawn, and were taking it personally.  I didn’t want to offend them or hurt their feelings.  I tried to explain how I felt and what I was going through, but either I wasn’t explaining things clearly enough, or it was just too overwhelming for them to deal with.  Needless to say, I lost a lot of my regular friends.

Spending time in oncology was like being on another planet.  Though we really were a motley-looking group, we were pretty amazing.  Being in the presence of some of the sickest and weakest kids should have left me feeling sad and terrified.  I guess at first it did, and then I started to see them for what they really were.  The clearer the picture became, the stronger they became.  The children in oncology were warriors.  They were some of the most powerful and brave warriors imaginable.  As time went by, there grew a strength and connection that I felt with my fellow child warriors.

I became good friends with some of the kids in oncology.  We were all different ages, but we understood each other in a special way.  One of the girls I met, Ginelle, was about the same age as me and had a world of knowledge to share when it came to cancer.

Ginelle had been battling leukemia for the last 9 years of her life and had had 3 relapses in that time.  She was in hospital this time because she had recently had a bone marrow transplant.  She was one tough cookie and I liked her instantly.  We quickly became friends and she was really helpful because she had answers to a lot of questions that I was struggling with.  Being able to talk to someone my own age with cancer who really understood what I was going through was a real comfort.  Little did I know then that she would become my best friend, and would impact my life in a very powerful way.

Months later, Ginelle had been feeling poorly and went in to get checked.  Though she fought a valiant battle, her heart and body gave out.  We lost Ginelle.  I was devastated beyond words.  I was heartbroken, angry, sad, and cried more than I had ever cried in my life.

Right to the very end of her battle, Ginelle never gave up the fight.  Her body just wasn’t as strong as her will.  I don’t think I will ever get over the loss of my dear friend.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think of her, miss her, and wish she was here.  The only solace I have is that I will carry Ginelle’s memory and all that she taught me, with me always.


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