Coming April 2014, a New Adult Novel from D. Nichole King...
Leukemia’s been my life since I was eleven. Now, six years later, I want my life back. Only I’m not sure what that is. The test results came back today. 22,000. Which means I’m officially out of remission—again. I have three options:
1) Another round of chemo.
2) A super-new experimental drug.
3) Dump it all— forget the meds and treatments and enjoy the time I have left.
I think I know what I want. Then, in walks Damian, changing everything.
I mean, everything…
He’s got his own set of issues. It binds us together, you know? We understand what it’s like to lose what matters most in seconds. Still, the last thing I need is to have someone else to crush if I can’t fight hard enough. And the last thing he needs is someone else to grieve.
Never mind. I’m down to two options now.
Somehow I know that whichever one I choose, the result will be the same. With the sand in my hourglass seeping to the bottom, I hope there’s enough left to show Damian that life’s worth living.
Worth fighting for. Worth dying for.
Leslie sat down on the bed next to me and ran her fingers through my hair. “Your hair is beautiful, Katie. I really like this cut on you.”
My hair fell in layers framing my full, round face. “Thank you.” Last time, when my hair started falling out, Leslie sat with me, holding my hand as I cried. I knew it was just hair, but it was my hair. Soon, I’d look like a little bald old man. Wigs itched. I had one that matched my own hair color, but I hated wearing it. People stared when I went out in public because they felt sorry for me. And that was annoying. It wasn’t the stares or the whispers. Or even the silence. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. I was a warrior. I’d beaten cancer twice, and I could do it again—at least, that’s what I told myself.
Dr. Lowell walked in and gave us a slight grin. He held my chart in his hands, but he didn’t look at it. He probably had it memorized. Another nurse, one I didn’t know, stood next to him. She was young and pretty with dark brown hair and a reassuring smile.
“Hey, Kate,” he said, flipping on the overhead lights. “This is Tammy. I’m sure you two will get to know one another soon enough.”
“Hi.” I nodded at her.
“So, are you ready?” Dr. Lowell asked.
“As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.” Who was ever ready to be sliced open and have tubes put inside their veins?
Leslie patted my shoulder. “You’re my hero,” she whispered.
I slipped my right arm out of my bra strap and tank-top sleeve. The procedure happened while I was conscious, but I really wished they’d knock me out. Because of the local anesthetic, I didn’t feel pain. I felt the tugging, though. Oh, and I could hear the little tools and the clanking on the metal tray. Those sounds alone were enough to make me nauseous.
Leslie smoothed the skin on the right side of my chest with an alcohol wipe. The scent of rubbing alcohol would forever be burned in my nostrils like someone’s initials etched on a silver flask—which I was pretty sure wasn’t used for rubbing alcohol.
“You’re going to feel some stinging,” Dr. Lowell said.
Stinging? I didn’t think stabbing someone with large needles multiple times in the chest qualified as “stinging.”
I took a deep breath.
Leslie held my hand, and I squeezed it harder each time the local anesthetic pricked me.
Tears formed behind my lids, but I fought them back. I could be strong. This was nothing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.
She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now she can’t stop.
When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.
Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.
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