Chapter Thirty Two
THE DRIVE TO the hospital was quiet as neither James nor I had anything to say to each other after that outburst a few minutes ago.
I leant my head on the window and watched the trees zoom past us until we pulled up into the very familiar parking lot of the hospital.
James turned off the car and got out and I closely followed behind until we were walking side by side through the main hospital doors.
"We are here to see Dr. Dave. Is he in?" he asked the woman at the reception.
"Do you have an appointment?" she asked. She had dirty blonde hair and appeared to be in her mid twenties.
"No! Just tell him that Vance is here to see him," James said irritatedly.
"I'm sorry but without an appointment you can not see him," she said coldly.
James ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "Listen here lady," he spoke through clenched teeth, "tell him we are here or we'll just walk straight into his office. Your choice."
"Fine!" she rolled her eyes. "Give me a second then," she said as she called someone on the telephone before she placed it back and pointed us in the direction to Dr. Dave's office.
James gave her a quick head nod and walked in the said direction without once looking at me to see if I was following or not. I followed closely behind nevertheless.
"Are you still not talking to me?" I asked quietly.
He looked over his shoulder at me but didn't say anything.
"I know I make it hard to tolerate me and I'm sorry I can't be the perfect little sister that you need and deserve."
James stopped walking as we reached Dr. Dave's office. "Look, just because I'm not talking to you right now doesn't mean I don't love you," he sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. "You just make it really damn hard to love you sometimes," he said with a small smile and opened the door.
"Just the people I was expecting," Dr. Dave said without looking up from his computer. "Please do take a seat."
James and I sat down as Dr. Dave typed something on his computer.
"How are you Alexis?" he asked as he finally looked up from his computer.
"Actually that's why we are here," James answered on my behalf and I glared at him. "She experienced a sharp pain and God only knows what could have happened."
"Is that true Alexis?"
"Has the pain been increasing?"
"Any general body weakness I should know about?"
I shook my head and looked anywhere but at him as I continued to answer all the questions that he kept asking me.
He typed something onto the computer before he made a phone call. "Sara please prepare the blood extraction for me," Dr. Dave said. "Yes I need it immediately, it's an emergency."
After the phone call was ended, he stood up and ushered me out of the office. "I need to get a blood sample from her and see how bad the damage is," he said to James who nodded.
We went to a small room Sara was preparing the apparatus for the blood extraction.
Saying it made an uneasy feeling crawl through my body. I hated being poked and prodded.
"This won't take too long. All I need is a sample of your blood and then we can have the results shortly after," he said as he put on gloves and injected a needle in my arm to get the blood sample.
"That will be all. You can head back to the office and I will join you and your brother shortly after with the results."
I nodded and stood up as I headed back to the office where James was hunched over his phone with a huge grin on his face.
"I'm going to go with my gut on this one and say you are texting Lisa," I said with a smirk as I plopped down on my previous seat.
His head snapped in my direction before he hastily shoved his phone in his pocket. "I didn't hear you come back."
"That might be because you were preoccupied with someone," I answered rolling my eyes.
"How was it? You know....getting your blood taken."
"It's a long needle being injected into your skin, you tell me how that is," I said raising my eyebrow at him in question.
"Oh! Sorry I forgot," he answered with an awkward cackle.
"It's-" before I could reply, Dr. Dave walked into the room with an envelope in his hand.
"I have the results."
I felt my breath get logged in my throat at those very words.
"Before I tell you what the results say, I suggest you call your parents and have them come over or you could have them on the line to listen in as well," he said. "Either way is better."
James grabbed his phone from his pocket and quickly dialed dad's line but it went to voicemail. He then tried mum's line and it went through and he put her on speaker.
"Mum we're at the hospital and we're about to find out the results of Alexis' blood test," he said.
There was a long pause from mum before I heard her take in a shaky breathe.
"And what do they say?" her voice sounded so small and fragile that I felt extremely bad for everything I put her through.
"That's what we are about to find out," he answered. "Can you tell us now?" he asked Dr. Dave.
"I know you told me you have been taking your medication as I had prescribed which is a good thing," he started as he handed the envelope to James who tore into it faster than humanly possible.
"As you can see from her blood sample, the abnormal cells are gradually increasing which is not a good sign at all."
James stared at the results in the envelope so hard as if that would change them in the slightest.
"As a result, more and more of the normal red blood cells are being replaced and the abnormal cells are getting wedged in the arteries preventing the normal cells from trying to transport what little oxygen they can carry. This in turn is leading to the immerse pain you've been feeling lately," he explained as he lookef at me sadly.
"And what does that mean?" my mum asked from the other end of the phone. For a few minutes I had forgotten she was listening to everything.
"He means she doesn't have that much time left mum," James answered. "She is going to die."
"Is that true Dave?" mum asked again.
"Yes that is correct Kate. Without the chemo or regular blood transfusions, her body will continue to grow weaker and weaker as more abnormal cells are produced until her body completely shuts down and stops functioning all together."
"Is there anything that can be done?" mum asked sobbing.
"If we can get her back on her treatment as we wait for a donor, then there might be a possibility of her living longer," Dr. Dave answered.
"But what if I don't go back on the treatment?" I asked after being quiet for a long time.
"Then you may only have a few months, weeks or even days at most."
I sighed, this was bad but I still didn't want the treatment. "But even if I do go back on chemo and the regular blood transfusions that doesn't mean I will find a donor, does it?" I asked. "It just simply means I'm delaying the inevitable and pretending that everything is okay when it's not. So no, I will not go back on the treatment."
"I knew you would say that and that's why what I have to say next won't sound good," Dr. Dave said sighing.
"Because the sickle cells are multiplying at an abnormal rate and you are not on any form of treatment other than the droxia pills and the vitamins, the only option we have left is to keep you hospitalised until the inevitable happens," he said casually.
I felt all the oxygen within me get knocked out and I couldn't breath anymore. Everything was spinning.
"I....you mean I have to drop out of school in my senior year?" I asked hoping I had heard him wrong. God, I hoped I had heard him wrong.
"Yes! I am sorry but it's for the best. We don't know how long the drugs will keep working and we do not want to risk it as of now because you're at a very crucial stage."
"I can't, I won't drop out of school," I shouted as I stood up from my chair. "I just got asked be the salutatorian of my class and I will not miss my own graduation."
"It doesn't matter what you want now Alexis," James spoke, "you made your choice to stop treatment and God knows if you will even make it to your damned graduation. You chose this and now you'll have to deal with the bloody consequences," he said and then stormed out of the office leaving his phone on the table.
I stood there staring at where he stood before finally breaking down completely.
"I am sorry Alexis but James is right, you need to accept the fact that you might not make it that long," Dr. Dave spoke softly. "I will have someone prepare a room for you and then let your parents fill out the paperwork once they get here."