Isabelle's Last Dance

Izzy Renwick has pancreatic cancer, and she knows she's not going to make it. The only things she truly wants are: to turn 18 and fall in love. But she knows they're both out of her reach.
Peter Gardner has colon cancer, and is angry and bitter. He wants to lock himself in a room and wither away until the cancer works its course, never wanting to look anyone in the face again. And then he meets Izzy. . . .

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Izzy

I woke up, feeling weak as usual. This was one of the many side-effects that came along with my, well let's call it my condition. I'm not going to shy away and not tell you what my condition is, but I'm going to refer to it as my condition so it doesn't sound so bad. I have pancreatic cancer, and it's really bad. It's to the point of no return, and I believe it. I mean, I still go to school and at least try to be normal, but even that wears me out. People at school know I have it, and they tip toe around me as if they'll catch it just by being in the same room with me.

I want to be treated like I'm not dying, and I want to be optimistic and think I'll wake up the next morning. But I can't; not when it's this bad. I weakly got to my feet and stood up shakily and walked carefully over to my vanity mirror, just to take a look. And I looked like death. I had lost a quite a bit of weight, going from 135 lbs. to 101 lbs. And then there's the yellowing of my skin and eyes. Yeah, my condition's that bad.

I showered and dressed, and even that wore me almost completely out.
"Izzy! Are you ready?" My mom shouted, coming up the stairs.
"Yeah!" I shouted back weakly as my trembling fingers struggled to tie my shoes.
My mom came and kneeled down, helping me.
"It's alright Iz, you're going to make it through this," She said, fighting the tears and kissing my head after tying my shoes for me.
"Statistics would beg to differ," I said, letting her help me up.
"Forget the statistics Isabelle, I will not have my daughter be just another number and part of a percentage. You're going to make it, I know you will," She said, helping me down the stairs. "You look like you've gained weight," She mused.

Wrong. I actually lost two pounds, rather than gaining any. Stupid meds aren't helping, they might as well give up. I'm just another failed number. Mom drove me to the hospital for my check-up, and I slumped down in my seat, feeling weak and powerless. My condition was going to be the death of me, and I didn't want to die. I wanted to grow up, I wanted to do all the things my friends were going to do like go to parties, graduate high school, go to college, and have the time of their lives.

I wanted to at least turn 18, and I feared I wouldn't even make it a month and a half longer just to do that. And, before all of those things, I wanted to fall in love. Was that too much to ask? I wanted to at least fall in love--love someone else, and be loved in return--before I died. I knew my family and friends love me, but I didn't want that kind of love. I wanted to die loved in the way you saw in movies and read about in books.
I know it sounds cheesy, but I thought I at least deserved to have that happiness before I kick the bucket. And I knew I was going to kick that bucket because only a select few survive my type of condition, and I knew I was too far gone to be saved.

After Mom helped me out of the car, her hands holding me gingerly, she guided me inside the hospital. I didn't want to be here. I hated hospitals, they always made me feel like this was the last place I'll ever be because the odds are I'll die in a hospital gown, in a hospital bed, and in a cold, lonely room. All alone with the nurses down the hall or in the next room. I don't want to die alone, honestly, I don't want to die at all.

After waiting nearly twenty minutes, I now sat in a hospital room, with Dr. Ruess, in a paper thin hospital gown. He had this frown on his face, and I could definitely tell he was somewhat sad about something. My mom held onto my hand tightly.
"Well? Will chemo help? Will she live?" She asked.
Dr. Ruess shook his head. "We can try chemo, but I doubt we'll see any improvement. And it's too advanced for surgical removal. I'm sorry Mrs. Renwick, there isn't much we can do. If only there was a way to detect pancreatic cancer in its earlier stages," Dr. Ruess shook his head.

"We'll do chemo," Mom said, tightening her grip as though I'll disappear any second.
"Now Mrs. Renwick, we can't guarantee anything with chemotherapy, and I want you to know that with Isabelle's advanced stage," He said.
Mom nodded. "I just want to know how soon can we start?"
"We can start next week. In the meantime, I'm going to subscribe more medication for the tumor pressing on the nerves in Isabelle's abdomen," Dr. Ruess said, scribbling a prescription down.

After I got dressed in my normal clothes, with the help of my mom, we drove to get my drugs. As I waited out in the car, I just stared at the people passing by. They were happy, healthy looking people. They looked like I did before I was diagnosed with my condition. They were laughing and joking around, they were in deep conversations, and some were in love. I stared longingly at the two lovers, their fingers entwined, their lips touching, their eyes saying 'I love you' when their mouths were not.

And I wanted it so badly it made the tumor in my abdomen start to hurt. I wanted to find love like that before I died. It hurt to think that I'll die without having loved someone and be loved in return. I wanted that kind of love where you just knew it was meant to be and words just wouldn't be enough to describe it. Was that too much to ask?

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