Sleep didn't come easy last night, I kept tossing and turning and when I did end up falling asleep, I woke up a short time later. My mind was too focused on what could go wrong. Eventually I gave up on sleep and went downstairs to make a cup of tea. The house was quiet, well I guess anyone else will be asleep at 4am. I waited for the kettle to boil hoping it wasn't making too much noise. I quietly pulled my favourite mug out from the top cupboard and added a chamomile tea bag in it. Once the water was hot enough, I carefully poured in the steaming water. I sat down at the kitchen bench, slowly sipping my tea. I was lost in thought that I didn't hear mum come down the stairs.

"Couldn't sleep?" she asked.

"No, you either?" I replied.

"I don't think I'll be able to until we know what to expect," she sighed. "I'm so sorry that you are going through this, I wish I was the one that was diagnosed. It's not fair" she started crying. We sat there in silence apart from the occasional sob that broke through and watched the sun start to colour the sky. The kitchen got brighter with each passing minute until we were both sitting in complete sunlight. We both got up and went back upstairs to get ready for the day. Eventually it was time to go to the hospital, we drove in silence.

We got to the hospital and walked towards the information counter so we could find what floor we needed to get to.

"Hi, we are trying to find the oncology ward, could you point us in the correct direction" I asked.

"Sure, if you go towards the elevator on your right, and go up to level 3, it should be on your left as you get out" the receptionist replied. I briefly looked at her name tag as saw her name was Julie.

"Thanks Julie, I appreciate it." Mum and I both followed the directions given and quickly found the ward. We walked towards the counter and I introduced myself.

"Hi, my name is Isabella Swan, I was sent here by Dr. Fletcher to start chemotherapy today" I informed her.

"Nice to meet you Isabella, I'm Liz, I'm sure we will be seeing each other quite frequently, unfortunately. Here is some paperwork to fill out and some more information on the process of chemotherapy as well as possible side effects. Just fill out what you can, hand it back and we'll page Dr. Fletcher to the floor to meet with you and answer any other questions you have" she responded.

"Thanks, nice to meet you" I smiled at her.

"You too" she smiled back.

I sat back down and flipped through the information booklet given to me while Mum filled in the paperwork. It mainly contained what I had already researched and did give me a little relief to know that things were going to go as they said. When I got to the possible side effects page the list just kept going and going, and that worrying feeling came back. All those side effects were a possibility and I don't even know which ones I could get. Mum got up and handed the paperwork back to Liz and came back and sat down next to me, holding my hand. We sat staring at a blank wall for a few minutes until our attention was drawn to Dr. Fletcher slowly walking towards us. He sat down opposite us in the short row of chairs when he reached us, elbows on his knee's, leaning forward.

"Good morning, Bella, Renee. How are you both doing" he asked.

"Nervous, worried, scared and tired" I replied.

"I'm feeling about the same way" Mum said.

"I can assure you that we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable and answer anything you need us to during this process" he smiled. "First were going to do a small exam which involves me checking your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, breathing, height and weight. Once we finish that we are going to do a blood test. All of this is important as we will find the correct dose of the medication to give" he informed us, "So if you both follow me into one of the examination rooms then we can begin."

We ran through all the necessary tests before we were directed back into the waiting room to wait for all the blood work to come back. While waiting my knee started to bounce, I just wanted to get this started as once its started I can check this first session off my list. I made a calendar a few nights ago which had all the dates that I was going to be receiving treatment on. There was even the dates where all the scans are going to be done again on in red. Mum put it on the fridge so we could cross it off and look at it together so we could both see when all the appointments as well as the sessions are going to be. Soon we were called back into the examination room where we were told everything looks normal or the same as last week, if that is what you call normal.

We were shown where we will be spending a lot of our time for the next 8 weeks. Rows of chairs all spaced out evenly. A few were occupied by other people, some looking the same age as me, others younger. Most had lost their hair, if not loosing it. Some wore beanies, to cover their heads and keep them warm. I sat down where I was told and we waited for a nurse to come and insert an IV tube. I'm not a big fan of needles, but I guess I have to get used to it. A nurse came up and introduced herself as Mary and inserted the IV tube into my arm. I tried not to flinch and squeezed my eyes shut however the sharp pain of the needle piercing my skin made me whimper. I finally opened my eyes once everything felt comfortable and she apologised to me. She then hooked up the medication so it would feed through. She then bought me a blanket and pillow so I could sleep if I wanted. Once we started I felt a small burning sensation slowly taking over my body, it wasn't uncomfortable but a dull ache. Mum had her chair pulled next to me, she was flipping through the information book so I pulled out my copy of Wuthering Heights and started to read it again for what could possibly be the hundredth time. We sat in silence for a long time, the only sound that were made was the sound of a page turning. I don't know how long we sat there but before I knew it we had finished the first dose. Mary came and unhooked everything and took the IV out.

Dr. Fletcher came back and we talked about what to expect within the next few days. I was told to stay away from anyone that was sick, given prescriptions for any side effects such as nausea and headaches. As well as told to drink lots of water. He gave us his personal number incase anything happens or we had any other questions. James told us that he will see us next week and sent us on our way.

We left the hospital a few hours later and went back home, all I could think about was my bed. As soon as I walked in the door the entire day hit me and I felt really drained, I told mum that I was going to take a nap and she told me she was going to call Charlie and inform him of everything that happened today. As soon as my head hit the pillow, my eyes closed and I fell into a dreamless sleep.

I woke up sometime later and found a large glass of water as well as 2 Advil sitting on my bedside table along with a note stating that I should drink the water and take the Advil if needed and that Renee would be back soon, she was going to go and pick up the prescriptions. I drank the water but left the Advil as I felt fine, I knew that in the next few days that it might change.

The next few weeks progressed the same, I suddenly felt the queasiness that I knew was coming. Sometimes I took the medication for it but I didn't want to take it all the time. Some nights I woke up feeling so sick that I'd call out to mum in the middle of the night so she could hold me and tell me that everything was going to be fine. Other nights I'd wake up and just have enough time to sprint to the bathroom and throw up all my dinner from the night before. The nausea medication worked but not enough to the point of stopping most of it, it just took the edge off. Mum was still coming to each session but I told her that it's fine if she needs to go back to work. Phil was back so he was making sure we both stayed hydrated and well fed. He took some time off work so he could help out around the house so we didn't have to come home and worry about cooking a meal. He wasn't the best cook but he was a lot better than mum.

Eventually mum went back to work after 2 weeks, after being reassured that I was going to be fine alone, though I had Mary to talk to as well as some of the other kids where we would all talk and get to know each other. We exchanged numbers and soon we were all part of a group chat where we all talked about how were doing as well as the fun events that the hospital were doing to put a smile on our faces. One of the people that I got close to was Jen, she was always there the same time as me receiving treatment. We both had a love for all things books, she also helped me with a few assignments that I had from school, well not really helped such as writing it for me but helped me to develop ideas for my essays. Jen was the same age as me but had leukaemia, she stayed at the hospital because her parents couldn't afford to move houses closer to the hospital. She showed me old photos of herself where she had the longest blonde hair I had ever seen. The shade was so nice that you could tell it suited her. We both were like the 'parents' of the ward as most of the younger kids looked up to us and we were always there to comfort them when their parents had to go to work. There was Ethan, who was 7 and John who was 13 and they both had leukaemia. Alex who was 18 had Ewing sarcoma and Olivia who had Neuroblastoma. Alex was also a really close friend, we were always sitting next to each other when we received treatment. He, Jen and I were always doing things to put a smile on one of the younger kids faces.

School was a whole other issue, I was getting texts from my friends asking "where I have been" and "why haven't I come to school." It felt good to know that my friends all cared about me, but I just don't want to tell them, I don't want them to treat me any different just because I have cancer. I want to pretend that everything was ok when I knew it wasn't. I was slowly losing touch with all of my friends because I didn't reply frequently enough for them. I know I'll have to go back to school soon but I'm not sure when. I've been getting emails from my teachers about assessments and class work and they've all given me extensions but I just want to get it done and out of the way. It helps with the worrying that comes with going through chemo.

More weeks pass, a few times I've thrown up. Its to be expected but it still makes me feel worse than I do. Ive got more side effects now, my hair started falling out about 3 weeks ago and that bought on a whole new set of tears. I don't really care much for the actual hair, it just shows the chemo is doing something but its still another thing to process. It came out in clumps, no matter what I was doing, I could just scratch my scalp and a handful would come out. I talked about this with Jen and Alex and they both comforted me and told me that they can fix it. In the end it was just easier to shave it off. Once my head was shaved, all of my friends at the hospital bought me a beanie to keep my head warm. It felt nice to know that even though we were all sick, we were all the same, bald heads and all.

The decision was made by me to go back to school at the start of the new term, I'd wear a wig and no one would know but it wouldn't explain the weight loss or the shallowness of my face. I did look sick but I'm sure with makeup it'd be easy to hide. I had 2 weeks to prepare to go back to school and face everyone. Its not going to be easy but I'll do my best to blend back in. I had talked to Jen about going back to school and she told me that if she wasn't living in hospital then she would come with me so I wouldn't be alone but because she lived in the hospital, she went to the school there and there was a less chance of infection. I considered changing to the school in the hospital but I wanted to go back to the one I was familiar with. I was going to miss the gang of friends we had become but we would still see each other when we received treatment and id come and visit them as much as I could.

Those 2 weeks passed by quickly, I had all the late work ready to be handed into the teachers as well as some coffee gift cards to thank them for all the patience that they gave me while I was out of school. I had all the medical certificates to be handed to the office as well as all the medication I would need and a small toothbrush and toothpaste for those emergency situations. We had found a wig that looked similar to my hair colour before it was shaved off and I had learnt to put it on so that it looked real. It was the night before I was going back to school and I was nervous, what will my friends say when they finally see me after 10 weeks off school? I guess I'll find out in the morning.