A/N: Hi guys! Thanks for the additional favorites and follows! And, as always, thanks for the reviews! Speaking of reviews….
I've gotten some feedback on my medical knowledge. Now, I hate doing this and this will probably come off as rude, but it needs to be said. I did a very long, involved project on this type of cancer. I know what I'm talking about. I have done research. I'm not stupid enough to go into a medical related story with no knowledge on the subject. Also, I noticed practically all the reviews that have said these things are anonymous. If you don't have the guts to log in and tell me how you feel- because I would love to get some constructive PM's from y'all- then I have very little respect for you. Its one thing to not have an account. Another to just pretty much bash on my story. I appreciate the fact you are trying to help, but you don't need to be so rude. I have feelings too. This isn't easy for me to post. Okay? So, this is my story. I know where I'm going with it. I know what I'm doing. And if you don't like it, then ignoring it is an easy thing to do...right?
Thank you so much for all the positive reviews, they're whats keeping me from just taking this story down. Because I'm honestly close to it. Hope y'all enjoy this chapter, there's a fluffy brother scene coming up soon! :)
Disclaimer: I don't own The Outsiders
"Good morning Ponyboy. Sodapop, Darrel." Doctor Ford shakes our hands vigorously. What is up with her and her cheeriness? She's like Two-Bit before a rumble…well, maybe that's not such a good example.
"Hello." Darry gives a small nod, eyes hardening and emotion brushing away. Man, I wish I could do that.
"So have we decided to review chemo treatment?" she's all smiles as we talk. God, I hate her.
Dare nods again and looks up and she starts talking.
"Good good. Okay, well boys, chemotherapy is when drugs are injected into a person, either by mouth or by vein and needle, in order to fight off cancer. It could be given with radiation treatment to help that along, but its too severe to risk on Ponyboy. While the drugs kill off cancer cells, it also can harm some normal cells as well."
"What happens then?" Soda's voice breaks into my intent listening as he asks his question.
"Well, the side effects vary- as with anything. Nausea, vomiting, hair loss-" as she leafs through a couple of papers, my cringe going unnoticed. Hair loss. Anything but my hair. It just got back to normal. We have a reputation- greasy hair. If we don't fill that, then you might as well stick us in another country. "- increased chance of infection, shortness of breath. As I said, it varies. In this case however, chemotherapy is probably the safest option to try and fight the cancer out of Ponyboy."
"We'll go with that." Darry tells her, almost interrupting.
"But what about my hair?" I don't mean to say it, it just kind of happens.
"What?" He's taken off guard.
"My hair. She said I could lose my hair."
"Pony, would you rather lose your hair or die?" Sodapop says bluntly.
His statement is like a blow to the chest. All the air is knocked out of me as I look at my brother. He's playing with the seam of his jeans, not realizing how much that affected me.
"Shut up." I glare at him, waiting for a response. He doesn't move but I see a muscle in his jaw tense up.
Darry gives me a look that says "I'll whip you both if you don't shut up."
I shrink in my seat, embarrassed. Doctor Ford just smiles and pretends whatever that was didn't just happen.
"So you do want the chemo?" she pulls out a pen and starts to write.
"Yes." Darry doesn't ask anything about costs- he's amazing.
"Okay, we'll begin treatment in two days, if that's all right." When Dare nods, she continues, "We'll do two weeks of observation as well, so Mr. Ponyboy here will get to spend some time here at the hospital. So we'll have a session in two days, then another in two more days and continue that pattern and then the two weeks. So, in all, you'll have seven sessions in this cycle. Okay?"
I nod, slightly confused, but not wanting to ask anything. I don't really trust myself right now.
"Great, then we'll see you in a couple days." With that, she leaves.
Darry stands and motions for us to follow. Oh, boy. I know that posture, he's gonna be mad.
In the car, Soda and I sit pretty far apart.
"What the hell was that in there?" he yells right after the door slams shut. It's directed toward me.
"Well, uh, I-" I'm not sure there's any way to put it without sounding like a moron.
"Exactly. You were thinking of yourself over your health. Well, you better listen Ponyboy, you gotta cut it out. You're sick and we need to keep you alive. Understand?" his voice quiets as he talks and I'm thankful. I have a headache from all the discussion earlier.
"Sorry." I mumble, looking in my lap like a little kid.
"And you Soda." He starts, shifting gears.
I hear a groan and look over, Sodapop turns and glares into the rearview mirror, "I know Darry. You don't need to lecture me." What's wrong with him?
Dare looks surprised too. Glad I'm not the only one.
"He has cancer. Fucking cancer, and he cares more about his hair than his health." My brother turns to face me this time, forehead creased and eyes slightly shimmery, "You could die Ponyboy. I don't want you to die. I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing there was some way I could've stopped it."
"Soda, I-" I start.
He holds up a hand and leans on the window. "I don't need to cry again today, thanks."
The short ride back home is silent, all of us reliving the day's events.
"Hey guys!" Two-Bit comes in, half-drunk. My bag is packed by the door for tomorrow. Two weeks. I'll be away from home for two weeks. That's even longer than when I went away with Johnny to that old church.
"Morning Two-Bit!" Soda smiles, "Where's Steve?"
"You think I know? Last I heard he was out with Evie." He wiggles his eyebrows suggestively, making us both laugh.
"I can't believe you'll be gone for two whole weeks Pone." Two-Bit pounces next to me on the couch.
"Neither can we." Darry smiles lightly from the kitchen, laughing at our fight yesterday.
"C'mon Pone, its only two weeks." He had said, trying to convince me.
"Yeah, but that's a long time." I protested, packing away clothes.
"You'll sleep through half of it, I'm sure." He laughed lightly.
"This is serious Darry!" I whined, shaking his strong form.
"It'll be okay bud. Soda and I won't leave your side anyway." He ruffled my hair good-naturedly
"You- you think that's why I don't want to go?" I lied, feeling red dust my cheeks.
Rolling his eyes, Darry had walked out of the room.
"Shut up." I mumble, smiling to myself as well.
Moments later, the door slams and Steve walks in grinning.
"Why so happy, Stevie?" Soda asks, his award-winning smile plastered on his face.
"Evie and I are planning a big night." He wiggles his eyebrows too.
"Wahoo!" Two-Bit hops up and claps his shoulder, "I'll join ya'll."
"Gross, Two-Bit." I mutter before heading to mine and Soda's room.
There's nothing to do, so I'm not sure why I'm even here. I already cleared the bookshelf. Darry didn't think I would need all the books, but I assured him otherwise. My sketchbook and pencils are already in the bag too. So, instead of going back out to the gang, I sneak to Dare's room and crawl into his bed, inhaling the musky smell of my brother. Digging into the covers, I curl in the blankets.
"Guys! Dinner!" Said brother calls from the kitchen. Groaning, I just stay there. I don't want to face my last meal with my brothers just yet.
"Ponyboy? Where are you?" I hear Soda rustling through the hall. He was never good at hide-and-seek.
"Check my room too." Dare hollers.
The door creaks open and light floods through.
"Hey kiddo." Soda comes up to the side of the bed. "Whatcha' doing in here?"
"I dunno." I mumble, rolling to face him. "I don't want to go Soda."
"I know baby, but they'll make you better." He gives a weak smile and brushes my hair back, knowing that I'm not talking about dinner. "What something to eat? Last meal at home for a while." His voice breaks a tiny bit, but his eyes don't betray his strong front.
"I guess so."
Darry calls to me from the living room. I've decided to go on a last-time-in-the-house-for-two-week tour.
"Almost there! Hold on!" I holler back. I'm in Darry's room writing a little note,
When you read this, I'll be at the hospital probably
getting another round of chemo, but don't worry, I'm
still missing you two. Can't wait to come home! I
love you two lots!
Smiling in satisfaction, I lay it gently on the edge of his bed and walk out the door.
"Ready to go, baby?" Soda asks, holding my duffle.
"Ready as I'll ever be. Let's go." I say, shooing my brothers out the door.
"Hello boys." Doctor Ford smiles happily, leading us to a small room that'll be mine for the next two weeks. "This'll be your temporary home, okay Ponyboy?"
"Yeah." I force a smile and set my bag on the ground, pulling Gone With The Wind out. "Can I take this with me?"
"Of course!" she pats my back and takes us to an even smaller room with a couple chairs outside. "This is where we'll do the chemo treatments."
"Can we go in?" Soda asks protectively, wrapping his arm around my shoulders.
"No, I'm sorry boys. The drugs used to cause you to get very ill." Her smile falters.
"But he's only fourteen." Darry protests. "I think we both have enough common sense not to touch whatever drug you're using."
"Its just precaution. We have very strict rules." She says, trying to fight back.
"I'm sorry Miss, but I'm going in there to be with my brother." Soda says stepping forward. "And there's nothing you can do about it."
Darry steps up as well and joins Sodapop in the protesting. "I'll be going in too. We lost our parents and have been through everything together. Oh, and last time I checked, I am their legal guardian." He smiles slyly, knowing he's won.
"Well, alright boys. You two can enter, just be careful." She says defeated. Strict rules my ass.
I look up to a smiling Soda and grin myself. They just fought to be with me. My brothers just broke the rules to be in there with me. God, they're the best.
"Are you sure you guys want to do that?" I whisper as she preps the room.
"Of course little man. We're not leaving you." Darry ruffles my hair affectionately. I fix it instinctively, realizing it could be gone by the end of these two weeks.
"Oh, by the way," Soda smiles at his thought, "Two-Bit told me to tell you to punch cancer to the ground. Like it's a Soc and he just bit your favorite Mickey Mouse shirt."
Darry bursts out with sudden laughter and I join him. You just don't expect some thing's from that man-boy.
"Ponyboy, Sodapop, Darrel, the room is all ready." Doctor Ford opens the door and leads us in.
My throat closes up on me, and my brothers' laughter disappears as well. We're all scared stiff. Dare and Soda pull the outside chairs in and surround me. Sodapop immediately takes my hand and strokes it with his thumb slowly.
"It'll be okay, kiddo" He whispers. "It's just a tiny needle."
My stomach jumps. A needle?
I'm terrified of needles. Needles and storms. Even more after Johnny died. Seeing him with all those needles in him didn't help anything. I take a deep breath and squeeze his hand.
Darry takes my other one and holds it just as tight.
"We're gonna stick this little needle into your arm and the drugs with drip through this thing." She points to a bag hanging from one of the coat rack type things. "It'll take a good couple hours. So, be prepared." Doctor Ford steadies the needle at my inside elbow and gives me a smile, "This'll only hurt a little"
I whimper out as the metal pokes through my skin and grip my brothers' hands as if I was falling and they were the only things that could save me.
C'mon Johnny and Dal. Let's get through this. It's just one more little hurdle to jump. Then we're clear to sprint forward.
A/N: Thanks again for everything! I appreciate you all so much! :) ...reviews would be nice... :3