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My name is Devon Volkel. I am a mother. I am a writer. I am a cancer survivor. And I have a story to tell.

When I was pregnant with my son in 2008 I noticed that he didn!t move around a lot. I didn!t have good health insurance and so I was going to a clinic with "8 di##erent doctors. It was very impersonal #or a very personal e$perience. When I was 28 weeks an insensitive doctor poked his head in said %Devon has anyone ever told you your son might &e &reech'% and le#t the room. I panicked. %What does that even mean'% I asked mysel#. I #reaked out. I called everyone I knew to calm my nerves. %It!s okay Devon they can try and turn him and i# they can!t you!ll (ust have a c)section.% It was the general consensus a&out it. *o I let it go and re#used to see that doctor again. At +8 weeks he was the only one availa&le. ,e apologi-ed and asked i# I had ever #ound out. I returned with a %.o.% *ure enough /auge was &reech so we set up a version which is a manual attempt at turning him in the wom&. When I went in #or my version they #ound out his arms and legs were out like a #rog. It was too dangerous to do it. I had to try to get him to turn mysel# over the weekend. I &egan to have contractions the ne$t day and went in thinking I!d (ust &e sent home. 0hey scheduled the c)section #or + p.m. that day. As I was lying on the operating ta&le I looked to my hus&and who had a tear in his eye. 0he doctors asked i# Dusty))my hus&and))would like to watch his son &eing &orn. ,e stood and watched /auge come into the world. 1ut something was wrong. 0here were no cries at #irst. *ilence. My heart&eat returned to normal when I hear his sweet cry. 0hey wrapped him up put him to my lips to let me kiss his little head and took him to the .I23. %,e!s having a hard time &reathing Devon. We!re gonna take him somewhere to help him &reathe.% An hour later there was still no word. .o &a&y at my side no people coming in with smiles and &alloons no #un statistics. 4nly ominous glances and sorrow)#illed smiles. 5inally my nurse decided to wheel me to the .I23. We entered I saw an array o# doctors and nurses crowded around where my &a&y was and then she wheeled me out. I didn!t get to see him until he was three hours old. ,ooked up to a plethora o# machines with a very swollen head. .o one knew what was wrong. ,is le#t leg was purple. 0hey decided they must have &roke his #emur when pulling him out and put him on a #etnel drip wrapped the &ottom hal# o# his little &ody in a cast and still had no words #or me on what was wrong with him. Days later there was still no change. I got to hold him #or the #irst time on the third day. 4n the #i#th day when everyone was at work the neonatologist came to my room to tell me that she #eared /auge would not make it o## the ventilator he wasn!t acting like a normal &a&y. 6eep in mind he was currently receiving a narcotic #or pain)what &a&y wouldn!t act normal' A#ter I cried harder than I ever did I let her tell my #amily what she had (ust told me. 0hen when they were getting ready to go say good&ye to him I said %.4777 ,e is not going to die.% 0his #ight arose in me that I had never #elt in my li#e. A drive that said he would make it &ecause I couldn!t live without him. 0wo days later he was accidentally e$tu&ated while they were lying him on my chest. ,e was a&le to &reath alright without the tu&es. When they took him o## o# the #etnel drip he started acting like a normal &a&y. /o #igure. /auge still had to spend a month in the .I23 and he came home on o$ygen &ut he came home. ,e was diagnosed with 2ongenital Myopathy and cannot walk &ut he is the most ama-ingly &right little &oy I have ever met.

A year or so later I had an idea #or a story come to me. I sat down and a series worth o# novels #ell out o# me. I thought it was an ama-ing story and looked to #ind an agent to help me pu&lish it. I #ound one right away and she &ecame one o# the &est things that has ever happened to me. I will continue more a&out the story later. 0wo years later my hus&and and I had (ust &een married in *eptem&er o# 20"". We had &een trying to get pregnant and were over(oyed &y the news that we were. I was looking to get &etter care #or this pregnancy and so I went to a di##erent doctor. ,e wanted me to get some additional &lood work done &ut said I had until .ovem&er 22nd. 0his was .ovem&er 8th. I had Dusty watching my kiddos))I had &ecome a day)care lady in the interim))and so I decided to (ust go that day. 0he ne$t day my doctor called me and told me my &lood counts were dangerously low to take my hus&and alone to this doctor and that was all he said. Dusty and I went the ne$t day and the word %2ancer% was all over the &uilding. 0he doctor came in asked me some 9uestions and told me that I had :eukemia and had to go to Denver #or a month to receive e$tensive chemotherapy. ,e in#ormed me that my platelets were down to 8 000 a normal persons is anywhere &etween ";0 000)"<0 000. I had to go to the hospital that night to receive my #irst o# many platelet trans#usions. 4n .ovem&er =th I arrived in Denver and was given options. I had &een diagnosed with Acute :ympho&lastic :eukemia and was in#ormed it moved #ast. 0hey couldn!t save me and the &a&y. I# I didn!t start receiving chemo I would &e dead within days the cancer was in =8> o# my &one marrow. 4n ""?""?"" we gave my guardian angel &ack to the stars. 0he cancer went right into remission I didn!t lose my hair at #irst &ut had shaved it o## anyway to have some sort o# control over an uncontrolla&le situation. 0he day I #ound out I had cancer I said to it that I was going to kick its ass and make it my &itch. I was determined to live &ecause I was not done with the world yet. I snuck out o# my room walked the grounds o# the hospital and sneaked cigarettes. I re#used to &e a cancer patient. It was a tiny part o# who I was. I kept in touch with my agent and made the many many many changes to my novel that she re9uested. 0o this day I am still in treatment almost done in March o# 20";. I eventually lost my hair the summer o# !"2 &ut I was a pretty &ald chick. I do tear up when I think o# my &a&y I wanted her so &ad &ut I know she was my guardian angel and she will return to me again one day. %An angel came to my side and stayed long enough to save me.% )@imi ,endri$. All along we said that 20"+ was going to &e a &etter year. Well three days into it my daddy went into cardiac arrest and almost died. ,e pulled through &ut gave us 9uite the scare. 0hen in 5e&ruary I started noticing /auge doing weird things. ,e &egan wetting the &ed all the time so much that we had to go &ack to pull)ups at night. ,e was very skinny and always thirsty. When I looked up the symptoms I #ound out he may &e dia&etic. I had my #riend come over to test his &lood. ,e was at +A8. .ormal is 80)"20. I rushed him the BC where they admitted him and &egan treating him #or dia&etes. ,e was then diagnosed with type one the worst kind. 0he hardest part is sta&&ing him with needles telling him it!s to help him looking into his &eauti#ul #ive year old eyes when he tells me %Mommy I don!t want to have dia&etes anymore% and not having the heart to tell him it!ll never go away. I# I could take it #rom him I would. I would endure it all. Why my son' Why the one who already had a horrendous start into this world' I

screamed at the world louder than I ever had at this point. ,e is doing well right now even checking his own &lood. Bventually we will get him on the pump to make his li#e easier &ut still. Why him' I kept telling mysel# it was going to get &etter. 0hat my +0!s were going to &e awesome. I was &orn on *t. Datrick!s day and wanted to cele&rate in style Vegas style. I deserved a &reak. 0he morning o# my +0th &irthday I woke up to an email #rom my agent saying that my novel had &een picked up &y Denrose Du&lishing7 0he very #irst thing that I saw was this email. It was #itting I had to &e in Vegas &ecause that is how &ig I #elt that day. I knew that I had a good story and that the world would en(oy it as much as I had. It came out on 4cto&er "+th o# this year. 0he title is %A Witch!s Aura.% It is &esides my son my greatest accomplishment to date. It goes to show you that no matter what you go through in li#e never give up on you or your dreams. I am in the process o# writing more novels pu&lishing my &ook o# poetry and writing a &ook o# spells that goes along with my &ook along with ingredients #or the spells. My motto is never give up no matter what happens. And to those #ighting cancer positive mental attitude is what pulled me through. I never let it de#ine me I never let it have me I was the ruler o# my &ody and :eukemia wasn!t welcome anymore. I hope my story inspires you. I hope my novel speaks to you. And I hope my &attles help at least one person #ighting theirs. %2lim& the clouds to #ind your dreams.% )Devon Volkel httpsE??www.#ace& httpE?? e&ook?dp?1005FFG8:6?re#HsrI"I"'ieH3058J9idH"+8;8;"0+2JsrH8) "JkeywordsHdevonKvolkel httpE??www.penrose)pu&>20Volkel.php