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Learning Lingo
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Learning the Lingo

November 30, 2015 | Rose Bowl

Learning LingoPirouette, plié, and port de bras.

Bone marrow, access port, leukemia.

Peyton Richardson must be good at learning lingo, because both ballet and cancer have their own dialects that only people who are truly insiders speak.

Peyton describes seeing other patients at her cancer clinic who were younger but knew every detail about their treatment. “I just remember thinking, ‘I’m going to be like that soon. I’m going to know every (medical) word that comes out of my mouth, and I’m going to be like a doctor.’”

Freaky at First

She says it was “freaky” to learn the words at first. Describing them to her friends was also tough. But the entire process has made cancer a little less scary for her. Peyton remembers, “When I was first in the hospital, I would always ask them [the staff at Texas Children’s Hospital where Peyton’s being treated], ‘What does that mean?’ And they would explain it to me. Then I would be less scared.”

Peyton says her doctors and nurses didn’t just define words for her; they walked her step-by-step through each procedure. She says knowing the information put her at ease and made her feel more in control of her body.

“The more I know about the things that are happening to my body, I just feel better,” she says.

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