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