Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > I'm Just Soggy from the Chemo, My Blood's Just Thin from the AZT3 Reviews
Ah, Christmas. A normally happy time. But when you're in the hospital, what can be fully cheery? But that doesn't stop people from trying!
I had just woken up, and Gerard was helping me into a sitting position so he could partially spoon-feed me Cheerios and orange juice. When we were done and Remmy took our trays away with sympathetic glances, Gerard snuggled right up to me in the small, hard bed.
"What shall we watch?" he asked, grabbing the remote from the bedside table and flicking on the television. Apparently, his rock start status had manged to get us some satellite, and he had even gotten Mikey to bring in a Sweet Revenge record for us to listen to. I loved it.
"Fuse" I said instantly. I had grown to love that station. So, as we watched music videos we answered to billions of sympathy and get well cards. Apparently, someone had leaked to the press just where Gerard was residing. So now, we got millions of cards and screaming fans outside our window everyday. Being chased off by security didn't seem to daunt them, so day after day they had stood there, in rain and sun, holding up signs of poster board with large writing, pictures, marriage proposals, etc.
Surprisingly, on Fuse, was an "exclusive" interview with Gerard while he was in the hospital with me. I had been asleep for the first half of it, because just watching Gerard fidget nervously had made me tired. Countless times he had asked, "You're sure this is okay?" Each time I assured him I had no problem with it.
So, when Steven got there I was sleeping. They had been quiet throughout the whole thing, but I woke up halfway through it nonetheless. "Gerard?" I had mumbled sleepily, slightly confused as to why there was a camera man across the room. "Oh, hey, there she is, finally awake" he said, and he stood up. I noticed Steven give me a soft smile, and I smiled back. Gerard came over to my bed, lay beside me, slung his left arm around my shoulders as he had done many times before, and he continued with the interview as if nothing had happened. I got a question here and there, and even managed to laugh once or twice. Before Steven left he gently shook my hand and wished me well.
It was hectic being a star, and all this attention proved it.
I was broken out of my reverie by Gerard's voice. "Hey, Crystal, I want you to read this" he said, and thrust a letter into my hands. I glanced through it once, before my name caught my eye.
I'm sorry to hear about what happened to you, and I want you to be careful with your HIV treatment. It'd be a shame for another human being to die from such an awful disease.
But really, I write this letter for your roommate. I heard in the interview she had breast cancer, and I know she must be so strong to keep going with this. My Uncle Jim passed away last year from lung cancer, so I just wanted to make sure to wish Crystal the best. I know what it's like to lose someone you love dearly to cancer. Good luck to the both of you!
With All My Love and Best Wishes,
When I finished reading I had tears in my eyes. "What's the matter?" Gerard asked quickly, concerned. "She's just so sweet. I'm writing her back, Gerard. And you'd better as well, otherwise I'm going to have Bob give you a wet willy" I said, trying to put some humor in the situation as I wiped my eyes.
So I wrote back a rather lengthy letter. Actually, I wrote a page, and so did Gerard. I thanked her for her extreme kindness, told her that I was sorry her uncle had to go through this too, and to feel free to write back because both Gerard and I appreciated her letter very much.
Later that day, I was shipped off to chemo. I had dreaded it more and more these past few weeks, because I knew it was only killing my physical self, not the virus inside me. I looked at Gerard pleadingly, asking him not to let them take me. But there was nothing he could do, so he blew me a kiss, as he had a habit of doing lately. I rationally took it as good luck, but in my heart, I wished it was so much more meaningful.
I came back that day and went to bed early, leaving Gerard listening to something on my iPod which we now had sitting in the middle of the bedside table. I didn't even realize it was December 24th, Christmas Eve. I was sure Gerard had mentioned something about it, but my nervous twittering had blocked it out.
I woke up the next morning to loud, cheery voices telling of a Merry Christmas. Gerard tried in vain to shush the boys and his parents, but it was no use, so I quickly roused myself and tried to look healthier than I have been. "Hello dear, how are you feeling?" Donna asked as only a mother could, putting her warm hand on my cool face. "I'm alright, Mrs. Way. Merry Christmas!" I said, changing the subject. Suddenly, I heard several, "Merry Christmas!"as, and a sudden jolt to my bed. I laughed when I saw Bob on the bottom, Frank on him, Mikey on Frank, Ray on Mikey, and Gerard on top of the large pile of human beings at the edge of my bed.
"Come now boys, off the bed" Donald said, trying to sound stern despite the fact that he looked rather amused. "Yes, indeed" came a cool, emotionless voice that I knew all to well. My mother and father appeared in the doorway, dressed in much finer clothes than the boys and the Way brothers' parents. Father was in a fine grey suit, while mother was dressed in a red parry dress and white shawl with a matching handbag, much too ridiculous for the snow outside. I suddenly became aware of how crowded the room was getting, and how tense the air was.
"Mother, Father, how nice to see you" I said in a voice that wasn't my own. At least, it wasn't my own to the other seven in the room. It wasn't filled with feeling or emphasis, and it was slightly strangled. After my hair fell out, well, my parents just hadn't acted the same. "Hello, darling" my mother said, coming over and giving the barest of kisses on my cheek, leaving a small smudge of red lipstick. I wiped it away and nodded with a smile. "Crystal, nice to see you" my father said and didn't move from his spot near the door. It was obvious he wanted to leave.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Randall. I'm Donna Way and this is my husband, Donald. It's a pleasure to meet you" Mrs. Way said, putting her hand out while Mr. Way did the same. Mother shook their hands delicately, touching them as least as possible as if they were infected with some sort of contagious disease. Father wasn't much better, but he did offer a tight smile. Sure, it would seem as if their careers would make them passionate, but it was not so. They were colder than the ice falling from the sky outside the window.
As soon as everyone was done introducing themselves (including the boys), Mother stepped backwards with father. "Well Crystal dear, we're on our way to a party, so we just stopped by. We'll see you around the next holiday, hm? Your nineteenth birthday perhaps?" she said, even though my nineteenth birthday was seven months away. "Yes mother, father. Have fun at your party, and drive carefully" I said in the same monotone of stressed politeness as they had used. Mother slightly waved a hand with blood-red painted nails before she and Father were out the door without as much as a kiss goodbye.
"Your parents seem..." Gerard started, at a loss for words. "Like snobby jackasses" Frankie said, and he was immediately hit on the head by several people. I laughed slightly before replying, "I know they are. But they're my parents, and without them, I'd be on the street" I said, looking down and ashamed by my parents' rudeness. "Shall we exchange presents now?" Donald said, trying to lighten the mood. I hadn't noticed the sacks of presents that had been thrown onto chairs and the floor in the corner. I watched as the boys exchanged presents with their friends, sibling, parent, or friend's parent. It made me smile, longing for the time before I had grown enough to know hardships of the world, before my parents became heartless; before I knew I was going to die at a tragically young age.
But my admittedly morbid thoughts were pushed aside as Mikey practically raced up to my bed. I raised an eyebrow at him in a question, and he smiled and pulled a brightly wrapped package from behind his back. I couldn't keep the grin from my face as I did my best to tear open the thin paper.
Inside I found two red pillowcases and a black comforter. "Since it's so cold, I figured you might need another blanket. And new pillowcases, since white is so boring" Mikey said, as if I required and explanation to his kindness. "Thank you so much, Mikey!" I managed to lean up a bit from the prop Gerard had made me from our pillows to give him as tight a hug as I could. He gently hugged me back.
"My turn!" the over-excited Frankie said, bounding over and holding out another package. I delicately took it and unwrapped it, managing to pry open the taped-together panels. I opened it and found a beading set, including an instruction manual, twine, and all of that good stuff. "You need to occupy your time. Gee isn't interesting for that long" he said with a wink, letting me know he was just joking. I gave him a hug too, noticing how pale my hands looked on even Frankie's sun deprived skin.
Ray got me the original Dracula novel and Bob got me all of the books in the Kiesh'ra series, which I had wanted for a while. Gerard handed me his gift, and it was flat with thin, cylindrical bumps at one end. I ripped off the paper with as much gusto as I could muster and smiled as I saw what he had given me. One was a notebook with pencils and pens, and the other was a sketchbook with charcoal pencils, colored pencils, pastels and, of course, a pencil sharpener. I knew my eyes lit up when I saw them, and I turned to Gerard, smiling.
"I remembered you telling me you liked to write and draw, so when you went to sleep one day I had Mikey go out and buy you the stuff" he said. "Thank you Gerard" I said with a huge smile. He staggered up from his bed and walked over, leaning down for a hug. These past weeks he had gotten weaker too, if only slightly. In only two days he would start treatment for his HIV. When we broke from the hug, Gerard climbed into bed with me, as we were both accustomed to him doing. He nestled up close to me and wrapped an arm around my shoulders, probably to keep him from falling. Everyone awed, we both flipped them off, Gerard got hit on the head by his parents, and we all continued talking.
"Aw, guys, I didn't get you anything for Christmas, but you all got me something. I feel bad" I said, casting my eyes down. "Aw, don't worry about it, hun. You couldn't do anything even though you wanted to. You're stuck in a crap-ass hospital, remember?" Frankie said, patting my head affectionately. "I guess so" I mumbled. "So, who wants to go get us Burger King? Because I am not eating hospital food on Christmas" Gerard said. Everyone laughed and Mikey, Bob, Ray and Frank volunteered. Mr. and Mrs. Way had to go home and get Christmas dinner ready themselves, so we waved them goodbye. I didn't know why the four other boys all had to go to get food, and I got even more confused when Mikey gave Gerard a wink that was supposed to be sneaky.
So we switched on the T.V. to watch "A Christmas Story" until everyone got back. "Gerard" I said in the middle of the movie. "Yes?" he asked, looking at me. "Do you think I could draw you?" I asked. He looked at me oddly for a moment because that was a rather random question, but he smiled soon after. "Sure" he said. So I brought out the sketchbook and pencils and opened to the first page. I looked at Gerard, silhouetted against the falling snow outside. I smiled slightly and looked down, starting to sketch an outline. "What are you smiling at?" he asked in a soft tone. "Oh, just you" I replied in an equally soft tone, continuing to draw.
About an hour later, I started to color the drawing. Gerard asked me several times to let him see it, but each time I refused, making him wait until it was done. I used each color with the utmost care, not wanting to mess up once. Finally, I put my last pencil aside and looked up, attracting Gerard's attention from the window. "Can I see it now?" he asked, excitement tinging his voice. I nodded bashfully and turned my book towards him. Gerard gently took it from my hands to examine it further.
I had drawn him beside me, but I had not made his hair tangled or his eyes drooping. I had not shown the fatigue in his features, or the tacky hospital pajamas. I had drawn him lying beside me as if he were a perfectly well visitor, dressed in a black suit and red tie as I had heard him fondly talking about. He had red eye shadow and dark eyeliner, along with a pale complexion, only slightly darker than the sickly one he possessed now. He was smiling gently as he had been, and in the background I had drawn the snow falling gently, covering the tall oak outside the window, the houses beyond looking as if they were coated in powdered sugar.
"Aw, sugar, it's beautiful" Gerard said in what seemed like awe. "Sugar?" I asked, startled by the sudden use of the pet name. But it made my heart jump slightly. "Well, sugar's made of crystals, like your name" he explained as if it were the most logical thing ever. "One day I'm gonna look like this again. And you're gonna be there with me" Gerard said suddenly, sounding more sincere then he ever had. It startled me, the passion in his voice. And I simply nodded, not having the heart to tell him I didn't think I'd last that long.
No one came back with dinner that night, and it was just as well. I couldn't have eaten it if I tried. The next day, they moved me onto a feeding tube. Remmy was saddened to hear this, and Gerard was purely devastated. Remmy no longer stayed to chat when she brought in meals. She would just look at me morosely, say a quick hi, and then jet out and down the hall.