TEEN TALK: Janene Gardin speaks with Christopher Loring about his battle with cancer
Sunday, April 2, 2017

 By Janene Gardin

 
When Christopher Loring was in the 8th grade he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s B-cell Lymphoma.  It is a type of cancer, 2 years later, he is in remission and living life each day.
 
MS. GARDIN: If you can remember, what was your first thought or thoughts after being diagnosed with Cancer. 
LORING: Oh my gosh, I wanted to cry. I was super mad.  I was mad at my mom. I was mad at the doctors.  I was mad at the world. I was just so mad and I can remember thinking, “Why me?”
 
MS. GARDIN: Were you really mad or were you confused? 
LORING: Let me give you an example.  Imagine you're drowning and you look up and you can see people but no one is helping you.
 
MS. GARDIN: Oh, wow!
LORING: And I wanted to cry so badly but I didn't because my doctors were there.
 
MS. GARDIN: So you didn't cry because the doctors were there and you didn't want cry in front of them?
LORING: No, I didn’t because I didn't want to look weak.  On the inside I was so mad and scared but I wanted to look strong on the outside. 
 
MS. GARDIN: How old were you when you were diagnosed?
LORING: I was 14-years-old going on 15.
 
MS. GARDIN:  How old were you when you went into remission?
LORING: I was 15-years-old.
 
MS. GARDIN: Did you go through chemotherapy or radiation?
LORING: I did chemotherapy for 6 months.  However, before it was gone they thought I was going to have radiation. But I never had to.
 
MS.GARDIN: What was the type or cancer?
LORING: I had Non-Hodgkin’s B-cell Lymphoma.
 
MS. GARDIN: So can you put that in regular people’s language? 
LORING: Well in my case, my blood cells were attacking my lymph nodes. The longer you go without treating the worse it gets and can spread.
 
MS. GARDIN: Where was your cancer located?
LORING: Mine was located in my knee and I’m very thankful because it was nowhere near any of my lymph nodes. 
 
MS. GARDIN: So who were your biggest supporters?
LORING: Well definitely my mother and my family.  My friends and teachers at school were also very helpful.  My best friend was also there for me.  I was also in a wheelchair.
 
MS. GARDIN: I see, you couldn't walk because it was in your knee.
LORING: Yeah the doctors said the surgery made my knee weaker.  If I put too much pressure on my knee it could’ve exploded.
 
MS. GARDIN: Wow, so that must have been a huge change for you.  I could not imagine how much not being able to walk would change your life. 
LORING: Yeah, it was really hard for me because no one would really sit with me at lunch.  One student asked me if I had cancer.  I told him that I did and he told me not to sit by him because he did not want to catch it.  People were so rude.
 
MS. GARDIN: Wow, I guess they didn't understand.  What would you tell someone else who was dealing with something similar to encourage them?
LORING: I would tell them that it's not all bad.   If you're depressed, I would tell you to stay strong because you can and will get through it!
 
Ms. Janene Gardin is a substitute Math teacher at Lansing School District’s J.W. Sexton High School.
 
Christopher Loring is a 10th grader at Lansing School District’s J.W. Sexton High School where he is a member of the band.  He is also in the Upward Bound program at Michigan State University.  He is an intern at The New Citizens Press.
 
Printed in the April 2 - April 15, 2017 edition
 
 

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