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StoryCorps in Oklahoma: Telling Mom "It's OK if I Die." (Oct 14, 2011)
When Bailey Schreier was 13, she complained of a protruding right clavicle, and a hospital visit and CT scan revealed it to be Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Schreier, now 23, came home from school to find both her parents waiting for her on the porch.

"As soon as we walked outside, you stopped, and started backing up," Schreier's mother, Cindy Kern said.  "You said 'Who is it?  What's wrong?' And I had to say, 'It's you.'"

"I remember sitting in the backyard, crying with you both, and being enveloped by both of you," Schreier said.

Kern says once they started doing more research and learning about the diagnosis, their emotions changed from fear to excitement.

"The first time around, Hodgkin's has a 90 percent cure rate for young people," Schreier said.  "I was young, so it was the cancer to get."

Three years later, Schreier relapsed, and a more difficult treament regimen made Kern grateful for a relatively low-key first bout with the disease.

"From the very beginning, you said 'There's something wrong.'" Kern said.

"I was getting mad, because no one was listening to me," Schreier said.  "Watching [the fluid] go down, and feeling worse and worse, they said 'Well, you're going to feel worse, it's chemo.'  Eventually, when they finally listened to me, I started coughing, and it sounded like there was liquid in my cough."

The catheter had migrated out of the vessel, filling Schreier's chest with fluid.  The doctors immediately rushed Schreier into surgery to drain the area around her lungs.

"I remember being on the operating table, and the doctors putting the anesthetic in, and it felt so much better," Schreier said.  "I remember thinking, 'It's OK if I die.'"

"I thought then that it was the beginning of the end," Kern said.  "There were lots of times I cried in the shower, because it seemed like the best place to do it."

"When you were 12, I thought you would go to the mall and never come back," Kern said.  "And then you got cancer, and it just changed everything, but we're in a good place now."

"I love you very much, Mom," Schreier said.

"I love you too, Bailey,"

Produced for KGOU by Brian Hardzinski, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday people. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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