The doctor eyed the anxious Vivian and gestured at her to come inside. Solemnly, he sighed. “You need to be mentally prepared for this. Your mother is diagnosed with leukemia.”
“What?” At the sound of the word “leukemia,” Vivian felt her mind go blank. How is this possible? How can my mother be diagnosed with leukemia, of all things?
The doctor continued. “You should also know that your mother has been in poor health and that we initially found that she had symptoms of anemia. Upon further examination, her test results indicated that she had abnormal blood tissue. All this points to leukemia.”
“What should I do, doctor? Is my mother’s life in danger?” Vivian sent out a fervent prayer in silence, hoping that Rachel would be alright.
“It’s hard to say, for now. But to treat this, we’ll need bone marrow from a matching donor.”
“Use mine!” said Vivian hurriedly. “I am her daughter, so my bone marrow should match hers!”
The doctor raised a hand to calm Vivian down. “You being a relative does not guarantee a match, but since you are an immediate family member, the probability should be higher. However, you still need to go for a physical examination and a DNA test.”
“I’ll do that right away.” The possibility of treatment gave Vivian a slight tinge of hope. “Please do whatever you can to save her!”
“Please be assured that we will do everything we can.” The doctor turned away and signalled for a nurse. “Jane, kindly escort this lady to the lab for a bone marrow compatibility test.”
After repeatedly thanking the doctor, Vivian then followed the nurse out of the office.
She was subjected to a series of numerous tests, from bloodwork to X-rays and a DNA test. Vivian patiently endured the series of poking and prodding before it was finally over.
“Any news, doctor? Am I a compatible donor?” In a fit of nervousness, Vivian did not realize that she had grasped her examiner by the arm and was shaking him vigorously.
The doctor gently shook off her hand tried to reassure Vivian. “It’ll be a while until the results are out, so don’t worry. We’ll notify you the moment they’re ready. You must be patient.”
Vivian was a bit disappointed to know that she needed to wait. The fact that it was a life and death situation made her even more impatient and worried.
“I appreciate you going through all the trouble.” Vivian forced a grateful smile at the doctor and took a deep breath before leaving the examination room.
She then wandered along the corridor before she stumbled weakly onto a nearby seat. Soon enough, tears began to fall. Wasn’t she just fine? Why would she suddenly be sick?
Her only hope now was that her bone marrow was a match to Rachel. There was no way Vivian would lose Rachel again.
She pulled out some tissues from her purse to wipe away her tears. With a heavy heart, Vivian slowly made her way towards Rachel’s ward.
When she arrived at the door, Vivian took a few deep breaths and steadied herself. She also rubbed her eyes vigorously and tried to erase all traces of her crying.
Perhaps I should keep this from her for the time being and wait for the results. The last thing Vivian wanted to do was frighten Rachel. If she accidentally upset her, Rachel could then become agitated, and it would take a toll on her already declining health.
Vivian reached out and massaged her jaw, sore from the crying. Then, she tried her best to force a smile. Any passer-by would have given her a look or two. They would probably wonder why this woman’s smile could look worse than her crying.
When she had finally attained a suitable state of calm, Vivian pushed open the door to Rachel’s ward.
“Hey, Mom,” Vivian tried her best to seem like her usual, cheerful self. “How have you been feeling?
“Ah, you’re here!” Rachel was very happy to see her daughter. “It’s been a while since you visited.”
“I’m sorry, Mom. I’ve just been busy.” Vivian decided to omit any information about the kidnapping, lest it worried Rachel.
Rachel reached out to hold Vivian’s hand. “I know you’re busy, darling. I wasn’t blaming you or anything.”
Seeing the warm smile on her mother’s face, Vivian had to fight back the fierce urge to tear up. She lowered her head to feign a cough before returning the smile. “Thanks, Mom. Have you been feeling any better?”
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