There are lots of people in the world who are normal, and there are lots of people who are a little bit sick...the kind of sick where they can stay home with medicine. But the children we don't really recognize are the ones in the hospital. My brother, for instance. Alexis had leukemia, and he is being treated by some of the best doctors in Connecticut. The greatest thing is that they don't look at him as a patient, but as a normal child.

Lots of people who aren't sick think that they are so miserable. What they should really do is to go visit some of the patients in the hospital so they could learn what it's really like. I'm writing this to tell you what it's really been like for me, Natassya, since my brother got sick.

The thing that I hated the most was when right before we had to wake up my dad would be gone to work and then Alexis would get a fever and my mom would have to drive to the hospital with him. So I would wake up and there would be nobody at home except the housekeeper. To me, the first few months of his treatment were the worst of them all. Here's a picture of me with my mom. My brother's in the hospital right now with a fever, and she let me spend the night with him, and with her. It was great!

Alexis used to get really big packages so I used to get very jealous. Wouldn't you? But over the year I got used to everybody feeling bad for him, and giving him so much attention. In some ways, I actually got something out of it, too. All I hope is that everything is back to normal after this year.

At the beginning of this I felt bad about talking to anyone about what was going on. That really made it worse. I think that it's better if you tell people all of your troubles which makes them better. The other thing I want to tell you is to love your brother or sister, even if they are a pain!

Thanks for reading my story!



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 Joan Fleitas, R.N. Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Nursing, LEHMAN cOLLEGE,CUNY 
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004