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Living With Cancer XV

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A typical day for me after my Father left was getting up and going to school. I would take my lunch money of 5 dollars and go buy 5 joints. Most of the time I would pick up some people who wanted to skip that day and then we left.

Now back then I had a Texaco credit card for gas and it was put to use. We would travel to Sand Key, Disney world, Ocala National Forrest, and the East Coast of Florida. Sometimes we would just go back to my house as my Mom would be at work. We would all have some pot and we would collect enough for some beer and we would party all day.

This went on for some 2 1/2 months, until Dean Brown called the house and talked to my Mom. He asked her one morning about 7am if I had dropped out of school. Of course she said no. They talked and I was busted. She came into the bathroom and sat on the toilet. I stated that I was in the shower and that if it could wait until I got out it would be nice. That didn't go over well, she stayed. She asked how long I had been skipping school? I remember saying something like 60 days. She said it was 63. Man was I screwed. She said Dean Brown wanted to talk to me and that we would finish our conversation when I got home from work after I went to school for the day.

Dean Brown knew what was happening at home and he was actually very understanding. He asked why I skipped so many days and I did tell him that the same classes I was taking now where also the same that I took as a freshman at Jesuit. He called over to Father Bradley and asked about my grades and they talked for a few minutes. Later that day I was called back into his office. He laid it out, I could drop out of school and break my Mom's heart or I could take 5 days in school suspension, get an A on final exams and he would promote me. I took the punishment. I took the exams, got the A's, and was promoted toward my Senior year.

My Mom on the other hand was a different story. She shipped me over to England to stay with my Aunt and Uncle who were in the Military. She thought that would help me stop partying. Little did she know that she was sending me to a place where drugs were very easy to get.

I rebelled the best I could with what I had at my disposal. I was mad and angry and confused. I was by myself at the age of 17 with nowhere to turn. People tried to help but I wouldn't listen. Nobody really knew the hell I was going through, and when I left Jesuit all of the friends that I had been with for ten years were nowhere to be seen. They didn't know what I was doing and truthfully I don't think they cared. I was hurt and I was scared. I've never felt so alone and afraid.

Look if you are reading this and you have teenagers sit them down and talk to them. They are so very confused and don't know how to deal with cancer. I know I didn't.

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