A Loss Isn't the End of The World-Chapter 1
It had been three years since Brittany S. Pierce left Lima, Ohio. She was now on a flight back to Lima from a Los Angeles after undergoing something that altered her. She had been barely able to graduate high school. She was the one of the few out of her friends to not attend college. A few days after the graduation she left to Las Vegas to live with her cousin Jessica Pierce. Jessica and Brittany bonded over dancing. Jessica who was six years older than Brittany became her first dance teacher. She had made a career out of dancing for Vegas shows and other events. Brittany had told her about her worries of life after high school. She knew she wasn't college material. Jessica convinced Brittany to come to Las Vegas and attempt a career at dancing.
When she left Lima, Brittany wasn't in a relationship with anyone. She considered herself to be bisexual, her relationships with Artie and Santana had their issues, but at the end of high school she was on a good terms with both of them. Artie decided to attend the NYU film school in New York and Santana decided to attend college at the University of Miami. Santana and Brittany kept in touch for awhile through online methods, but after a few months in Vegas, the blonde dancer got backup dancing jobs for various artists and fashion events. As a result, she ended up traveling quite a bit. A year later, she found herself in Los Angeles working various dancing jobs in music videos and at events that took place in LA. She took gigs that took her out of the country. It was tiring but she loved her work. In LA she found herself in a relationship with a handsome man named Adam Dunn. He was tall and had dark hair and green eyes. He did modeling and he met Brittany at a fashion event she was dancing at.
He enjoyed her dancing. Their relationship was hard at times because of the traveling they did for dancing and modeling. She had been called for auditions to dance at upcoming awards show. Brittany had been practicing and working out for the audition for a few weeks. She found that her left leg had been hurting her quite a bit and she had developed bruises on the leg. She ignored the pains and bruises. On the day of her rehearsal, Adam decided to drive her to the auditorium. He went over to her apartment early. He found her packing a small duffle bag and getting a mix CD ready as part of her audition piece.
"Britt, you are going to kill this audition." Adam teased.
Brittany responded, "I can't commit murder through an audition."
Adam laughed at that. He knew Brittany sometimes didn't get jokes, but he had a thing for ditziness.
Brittany was walking through her kitchen with the intention of getting a bottled water from the fridge. She didn't notice the broom that she had left lying on the floor from earlier. She tripped on it and Adam heard a scream of pain.
He came over to the kitchen, "Sweetie are you ok?"
"My leg it hurts really bad." She said holding her lower left leg.
Adam then tried to help Brittany up and she cried in more pain. He wondered immediately if it could be broken. He then picked up her and carried her over to the couch.
"I'm going to take you to the hospital. You need to get that leg checked out." He said.
He saw different bruises on Brittany's lower leg which seemed older. He noticed a new bruise just below the knee. He picked her up off the couch and carried her outside to his car. During the 10 minute drive to the hospital. He saw how much Brittany was in pain.
She said, "If it is broken, I'm not going to be able dance for a few months."
They finally arrived at the hospital. Adam went into the front desk and explained his girlfriend's injury to a staff member. He came out with a wheelchair and placed Brittany in it. Two hours later, she was in an exam room being questioned by a female doctor.
"Brittany did you fall hard on the floor?" She asked.
"Not really, I just tripped over a broom. Lately my left leg has been hurting me. I'm a dancer so pain is common. Maybe I hurt my leg somehow over the past few weeks." Brittany said.
"Let me take you the x-ray room." She said.
She wheeled the blonde down the hall to the x-ray room. She and X-ray technician helped her onto the table to have the x-ray taken. She took Brittany back to the exam room where Adam was waiting. The doctor reviewed the x-ray and noticed a shadow on the lower part of the leg. She began to worry due to the fact that her patient had told her that, she had been having pains in the leg for awhile. She went over to the nurse's station and made a call to the oncology department. She was suspecting that her patient had bone cancer which would have explained the leg pains and the leg breaking easily.
In the exam room, Adam was doing his best to comfort Brittany. Brittany had texted Jessica with the news that she had probably broken a leg. Jessica who was in her Vegas dressing room, getting ready for a show texted her cousin back, "Sweetie that sux. I'm about to go on stage. Give me a call later, a few of my fellow dancers have dealt with broken legs before. They might be able to give you some advice about recovery and getting back to dancing."
The doctor came back to the exam room. She was nervous and worried more for her patient. She placed the x-ray on a a viewing screen.
"Well, Brittany your leg is broken below the tibia." She said with tension in her voice.
"How long will you I be out?" Brittany asked.
"Umm Brittany here on the x-ray do you see this shadow?" The doctor asked.
She nodded and "What is it?"
"I don't want to alarm you at all, but sometimes a shadow on the bone indicates the possibility of a tumor." She said.
Brittany asked, "Is that like cancer or something?"
The doctor nodded. "I've called up to the oncology department and a few nurses and a specialist are you going to come and take some blood samples for tests."
Adam began worrying and he had a pain in his stomach.
A few hours later, after being prodded and having samples of blood and other bodily fluids taken. Brittany was having her lower leg put in a cast. She had been crying when she was told about the possibility of her having bone cancer. The doctors told that they would know a definite answer within a few days. After the cast was finished, Brittany was given crutches and Adam took her home. She called home to Lima and told her parents Steve and Kate about what happened. Both broke down and told her that they would get to L.A., as soon they could.
Brittany knew cancer was a very serious thing and she remembered that her grandma died a long time ago from cancer. She worried about dying. She had other goals in life. In the weeks before Adam brought up the topic of marriage and children. She loved kids and imagined herself caring for a baby.
Two days later, her parents arrived. Kate began coddling her injured daughter immediately. They with Adam accompanied Brittany to an oncology clinic. The specialist Dr. John Avery met with them in the office.
"The news is good and bad. Brittany you have bone cancer and the tumor is in lower leg near the tibias anterior muscle. The cancer caused the bone to break easily." He said.
He saw the tears in her eyes and decided it was best to tell her the rest.
"The cancer isn't too severe. With radiation and amputation of your lower leg we can eliminate the cancer completely." He said.
"Amputation what is that?" Brittany asked. She had heard the word before but was never really sure what it meant.
Dr. Avery said, "Brittany, it means that a surgeon will cut the lower part of your leg off to keep the cancer from spreading."
Brittany said, "No there has to be another way. I can't have a wooden pirate's leg."
"Brittany you will be able to use a metal and carbon prosthesis. Prosthetics are like fake limbs but they have advanced over the years and people with below the knee amputations usually don't walk with limps. You could even have a prosthetic made for exercising." He said.
"You have to find another way to cure me. I can't lose a leg I'm a dancer." She cried.
Kate took her daughter into her arms and allowed her to cry. Later on, Dr. Avery discussed scheduling rounds of radiation for the next three weeks and then the amputation would take place. The Pierces had to head back to Lima for awhile to take care of business there. They would be back in LA for the surgery.
Adam tried his best to be there for his girlfriend during the radiation rounds and while she was dealing with a casted leg and crutches. He found himself talking to her less and drifting away from her. The thought his girlfriend having her leg amputated scared him. He was a man obsessed with the perfect bodies. Part of the reason he dated Britt was because of her well toned body.
The day came for Brittany to check into the hospital. The cast was removed and her leg was shaved. She was in a hospital room, awaiting to be taken to the operating room.
"Hey sweetie." He said.
"Hey" She said back nervously.
"Adam I have noticed that you haven't been yourself over these past few weeks. Is it because I'm going to lose my leg?" She said.
Adam was shocked that she realized that he was drifting away from her and that he didn't want to have an "incomplete girlfriend".
He went by close to her and nodded.
He looked at her eyes which had tears forming in them. He said "Britt, I can't do this. I'm sorry."
She said, "I understand. I'll be a freak. You don't have to stay with me."
He looked at her, "I'm sorry. I just don't know how to deal."
He kissed her on the forehead and left the room. In the hallway, he came across Steve and Kate.
"Mr. and Mrs. Pierce. I'm sorry but I can't be with Brittany no longer. We just broke up. I'm sorry." He said tearfully.
Steve responded with anger, "Get the hell out of here. You jerk. My little girl is already hurting. I can't believe you would do this."
He got close to Adam but was pulled back by Kate. "Steve calm down, let it go. We need to go be with Brittany. She said.
The couple headed into the daughter's room and found her crying. They didn't know what to say. They hugged her. Twenty minutes later, Brittany was taken off to the O.R. She was given a sedative and everything went black.
Her parents and Jessica were at her bedside waiting for her to wake up. Jessica decided to fly into LA to be with her cousin during this difficult time. It was extremely difficult for Jessica too. She and Brittany loved dancing. It was their lives. Jessica shivered at the thoughts of not having two legs. She felt sorry for her cousin and worried deeply about her. She wondered what Brittany would do in the future.
She was now watching Brittany asleep in a hospital bed. She tried not to stare at Brittany's left leg which was cut below the knee. She saw the shape of the stump underneath the thin hospital blanket. The doctors had told them that there was the possibility that because of the anesthesia and other sedatives that Brittany might wake up confused and not realize that her left leg was amputated.
Brittany began eventually tossing and turning. She was beginning to awaken. Steve, Kate and Jessica were worried about how she would now feel with an amputated limb.
They heard a small moan of pain.
Brittany's eyes fluttered open and she saw Jessica close by.
"Jess you came. You didn't need to come here." She said.
"You are my little cousin and I'll always have your back." Jess said stroking Brittany's hair.
Brittany in her loopy state began trying to sit up more. Kate and Jess tried to restrain her but as she pulled herself into a sitting position she glanced down and saw her amputated leg. She began crying.
A few weeks later, Brittany was on a plane back to Columbus with her parents. She made the decision to leave LA. She felt that it was no longer the right place for her. She was depressed and lonely since the breakup with Adam. On the plane, she hated the stares she got from people. She was dressed in sweats. The left pant leg been cut and Kate had pined the cut material together. She thought back to the time when she was dating Artie. People would stare at them in some public places. She remembered Artie saying that he was used to the stares. She wondered how long it would take her to get used to the stares. Upon landing in Columbus, Brittany was wheeled off the plane by her father. Her mother collected their baggage. Brittany's belongings in LA had been shipped to Lima days before. Her father pushed her in wheelchair through the crowded airport while she held a pair of forearm crutches over her lap. Since her stump was healing, she was advised to a use a wheelchair whenever she tired too much. Her doctors in LA faxed information about her amputation to a prosthesis clinic in Cleveland. In a week she would go in for a fitting and an expensive prosthesis would be made for her.
Her parents found their car in the vast parking lot. They helped Brittany into the backseat and placed the wheelchair and crutches in the trunk. They headed off to Lima. The last time Brittany had been there was two years before for a quick Christmas visit. She had been touring the world as a dancer and rarely went back to Lima, but on that Christmas she had two days off. She spent those days entirely at her house with her parents and younger sister Ashely who was now 12 years old. She dreaded Ashley seeing her like this. She worried about people in Lima seeing her.