Thanks for visiting
my page. My name is Ashley and as you might have guessed, I'm sitting in
a hospital bed. Not too long ago I was home just living my happy
life, never thinking that I'd soon be called a patient. In fact, when I
turned nine-years-old on September 10th, all I could think of was how much
fun I was having at my painting party.
My favorite thing to
do...besides art...is to play with my dog, Hershey. Isn't she the cutest?
She's an English Springer spaniel, and we have the greatest times together.
In fact, I love my pets so much (I have two cats, too, Oreo and Patches),
I once thought I'd like to be a Veterinarian. Now I'm not so sure.
If you met me, I think
you would tell people that I'm very funny. I love to laugh, and some of
my best friends, like Ariel and Carson and Gabrielle, make me laugh so
hard! Of course I make them laugh a lot, too, when I make crazy faces like
One day, when I was
playing with Hershey, I noticed that I had weird little red dots on my
body. I had bruises, too, and I just couldn't understand what was going
on. My mom and dad thought I should go to the doctor, and so that's where
we all went. The doctor said, "uh-oh, your liver and spleen are enlarged."
I had no clue what either of those things were, but I guessed that they
were bigger than they were supposed to be, and I figured out that was bad
news. Then he said "we'd better get some blood tests. You might have a
medical problem called leukemia."
Well, it turned out
that the doctor was right. I didn't really understand about leukemia, and
at first, to tell you the truth, I didn't want to ask any questions. Now
I'm learning about it, though, bit by bit, and it's not so scary anymore.
Most importantly, I found out that this disease just happens, not because
of anything I did or thought of doing. And I learned that after I get some
pretty strong medicines, I'll be as good as new.
Of course I wasn't
very happy about getting blood tests (since you have to get a prick through
your skin), but sometimes you have to do what grownups think is best, and
my parents are the very best grownups in the world, so I figured that they
know what's best. Here they are with me in this picture!
Remember I told you
that I liked art? Well, my favorite thing to draw is the sun, and you'll
never guess what I got to do. That sun you're looking at is my very own
art work. It is painted on a ceiling tile, just smiling down on anyone
who walks into my hospital room. What a way to make the room my own, right?
Well, it's not my room for much longer, since I'm going home today.
Because my hair will
be falling out for awhile (from those strong medicines I told you about
that get rid of the leukemia), I was able to choose some hats to bring
home. How do you like my favorite, the Scooby-Doo one?
Oh, I forgot to tell
you. One of the things I was able to do today was listen to some silly
clowns sing the most hilarious, disgusting song. Even when kids don't feel
so hot, they just have to laugh with these clowns. I thought they were
When they were singing,
my nurse Amy was fixing my IV, and their song made her start dancing around.
You should have seen us all! Doesn't she look silly in this picture?
Oops, I forgot to tell
you another thing I love to do...jump on my trampoline. I can't wait to
get better from this leukemia so that I can spend more time doing that.
Don't worry, the sides of the trampoline are protected with netting so
that I won't fall off!
Bye, bye for now! I
hope that you'll stay healthy. Ashley
to read a poem about leukemia?
Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
updated: November 14, 2004