Read Destiny's Wish Online

Authors: Marissa Dobson

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Medical, #Children, #Cancer

Destiny's Wish

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Sunshine Press

Martinsburg, West Virginia

 

Destiny’s Wish

Copyright ©2015, Marissa Dobson

Edited by Rosa Sophia

Proofed by Brynna Curry

 

ISBN: 978-1-939978-58-5

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously and are not to be constructed as real. Any resemblance to actual person—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Sunshine Press. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

www.marissadosbon.com

Destiny’s Wish

Cedar Grove Medical:

Book Two

 

 

Marissa Dobson

Dedication

To my husband who has supported me through thick and thin.

To my readers who loved Hope’s Toy Chest and wanted more from Cedar Grove Medical. Thank you for your help with the research necessary for this book. For sharing your stories of hope, courage, and devastation.

To everyone who pushed for this book. My wonderful editor, Rosa, my beta readers, and proofers you’re an amazing team. To Allyson, my talented assistant, who helps me set up wonderful online events.

 

After Nora Horton’s husband dies while serving his country, she is left alone to raise their beautiful daughter, Destiny. She picks up the pieces and moves on, but when Destiny’s cancer returns, Nora isn’t sure she can handle it any longer. She’s not certain she can be strong for her daughter while she’s falling apart inside.

Doctor Brian West is a pediatric cardiologist at Cedar Grove Children’s Hospital and has seen many sick children during his years there. He has always been able to do his job without letting it get to him, because he knows if he’s distracted for even a minute, someone might die and it would be on him. When he stumbles upon Nora, the recognition is instant and he can’t distance himself from her or her sick little girl, especially not when the child tells him her wish.

Destiny’s dying wish isn’t meant for her mother’s ears…because what she wants more than anything is for her mother to have someone to love.

Chapter One

 

In the hallway, Nora Horton gazed into one of the hospital’s playrooms where children frolicked. She sat clutching the documents that confirmed her biggest fear; her daughter’s cancer was back and this time worse than before. With the dreadful news upon her, the pink and red hearts, cheery Valentine’s Day decorations, seemed out of place. Her whole world crashed around her and the bright colors made her want to scream and rip them into tiny pieces. It seemed wrong that things should appear so beautiful when in reality it was quite the opposite.

There in the middle of the room, her daughter, Destiny, and another little girl with a scarf around her head played with dolls. If it wasn’t for the pajamas, headscarves, and the unmistakable stench of the hospital, she could almost picture the girls playing anywhere other than the cancer ward of Cedar Grove Children’s Hospital. She stood to get a better view of the smiles etched on their faces.
Enjoy these moments, because soon she’ll be too tired to get out of bed.

The very scene before her made her want to take Destiny and run as far and as fast as they could. But no one could outrun cancer, no matter how hard they tried. Instead, they had to fight against it. If her daughter was going to stand a chance against the cancer, they’d have to fight doubly hard with chemotherapy and radiation at the same time. Even then, the chances of remission were slim.

Their last battle against cancer had been rough. There had been times she wasn’t sure they’d make it through, but her gut told her it was going to be nothing like what the future had in store for them. Her baby girl needed her to be strong, but it seemed like everything was falling apart around her. This helplessness and sorrow that spread through her like poison was worse than when the Army officers showed up at her door to tell her that her husband had been killed while serving overseas. First her husband was stolen from her, and now her daughter might be as well. Neither of them even had a chance to truly live.

“Oh, Jim, I wish you were here.” She took a deep breath and tried to push away the tears that were threatening to fall. No matter how hard she tried to hold things together, her world was crashing down around her. Black dots danced in her vision and her legs threatened to give out from under her. She swayed on her feet, then shot a hand out to grab hold of something to steady herself. The only thing available was the wall, so she pressed her hand against it.

“Ma’am…Ma’am, are you okay?”

She wasn’t sure who had spoken to her, but even if she wanted to turn to look she couldn’t have. Her body was fighting against yet another dose of devastation.

Someone touched her shoulder and her legs gave out from under her.

“Whoa there, I’ve got you.” He wrapped his arms around her and helped lower her to the bench.

“I’m fine.” She wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince herself or the kind stranger who had come to her rescue.

“I don’t think you are. Why don’t you come with me and we’ll get you checked out?”

For the first time, she tipped her head to look at him and realized the stranger who had come to her aid wasn’t another parent, or a nurse. The man now sitting beside her was clad in a white lab coat. He was a doctor. She wasn’t sure of his specialty but she had seen him around the hospital often.

“Are you okay?” someone else intoned.

Nora turned to find the nurse with long curly brown hair who had been so sweet to Destiny, but at that moment she couldn’t remember the woman’s name. Cheryl? Cara? No, it was Carly.

“Destiny,” Nora mumbled.

“She’s fine. She’s playing. Why don’t you take a break? Get something to eat. I’ll be here with her.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” the doctor said as the nurse headed back into the playroom. “Let’s see if you’re okay.”

“I’m fine. I just haven’t eaten.” She ran her hand over her forehead, trying to ease the pounding in her head. “I’ll get something after I get Destiny back to her room.”

“I have to insist you have something now.” He tipped his head toward the small family waiting room at the end of the hall. “You’re going to be in no condition to help her if you’re sick.”

“Help her…” Tears swam in her eyes again. “No one can help my baby girl. She’s got cancer.”

“Then it’s even more important that you get something to eat. She’ll need you strong for the fight she has ahead.” He stopped an older nurse who was walking down the hall. “Nancy, would you mind popping downstairs and grabbing two sandwiches from the café, while I help this lady to the family room at the end of the hall? Tell them to put it on my account and I’ll be down later. Get yourself something as well.”

“Sure, Doctor West.” She turned on her heels and headed back toward the elevators.

“You shouldn’t have done that.”

He glanced back at her. “Don’t get me wrong, if it hadn’t been Nancy I’d have gotten the sandwiches myself. Nancy and I go way back. She’s a doll and I know she wouldn’t think I was taking advantage of her. Now, are you okay to stand? I’d like to get you somewhere more comfortable.”

She nodded and he helped her stand, keeping an arm around her as they made their way to the family room. “By the way, I’m Nora Horton. I’ve gathered you’re
Doctor Somebody
, but do you have a name?”

“Nora Horton…it can’t be.” He glanced at her and smiled. “I don’t believe it.”

“Yeah, I’m positive I’m Nora Horton. Do I know you?”

“Brian West. It’s been years since we’ve seen each other. How’s Jim?” He closed the door to the family room, giving them privacy.

“He’s…” She took hold of the back of the chair. Everything flooded back; images of Brian and Jim spending time together filled her thoughts. “Jim was killed in action more than six years ago. I was pregnant with Destiny…he didn’t even know he was going to be a father.”

“Oh, Nora.” He squeezed her against him, hugging her gently. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.”

“How could you? You were halfway across the country, in the middle of your last year as a medical student, and it had been months since we’d spoken. I’m sorry I never called. I was a mess.” She looked at him again, but this time she actually recognized him. It wasn’t that he’d changed that much over the years, it was more that she had blocked him out of her memories.

Brian and Jim had been best friends. Both military brats, so they had bonded quickly. Even when Jim chose the Marines and Brian headed off to college, then medical school, they were still close. It had just been the last few months before his death that they’d lost contact. She was sure they’d have reconnected if he hadn’t been killed; now they would never know.

“We hadn’t lived there long but the women from the base gathered around and made sure I got through it. Otherwise, I don’t know what I’d have done. I didn’t believe it at first, then the anger that he’d been taken before he knew I was pregnant sank in.” She twirled the necklace with their wedding bands that she always wore. “My whole pregnancy, I was a mess, but when Destiny came along…”

“Let’s sit down, you still look too pale.” He took hold of her arm again and guided her toward one of the small sofas.

“When…” She took a deep breath and continued. “When Destiny was born, I had to put my life back together. I never forgot Jim, but I had to move past my grief for her sake. That’s how she got her name, it was my destiny to reclaim a life for her. Now this…”

“Who’s her oncologist?” He took her hand.

“I don’t know.” She shook her head. “Jacobson or someone.”

A knock at the door echoed through the room. “Come in,” he hollered without turning away from her.

“Your sandwiches and fresh coffee from downstairs. None of that crappy stuff.” She laid the sandwiches on the coffee table in front of them. “Nora, Carly told me you were ill before, are you feeling better now?”

She forced herself to smile at the kind nurse. “I was a little lightheaded, that’s all. Stress and not eating, I guess it all plays a part.”

“That it does.” Nancy nodded. “You enjoy your lunch and Carly will take good care of Destiny. Don’t worry about a thing.”

“Thank you, Nancy. Nora and I are old friends, I’ll see to her for a bit.” He waited until the nurse left before turning back to Nora. “Let’s eat and then I have a doctor I want you to meet with.”

“No offense, but I’ve seen enough doctors for one day, Hell, for a lifetime.” She took the plastic container he handed her and opened it. Inside was a turkey and swiss sandwich, with pasta salad off to the side.

“If you’ll take my advice, you’ll want him. Doctor Mathews is the Chief of Pediatric Oncology. He’s the best one to handle Destiny’s care, and I don’t just say that because we’re somewhat related through marriage.” He laid his free hand on her leg, his gaze drilling into her. “Let me help you and Destiny.”

“Somewhat related?”

“I see you didn’t flat out tell me no, so I’ll take that as a step in the right direction.” He smirked and took a bite of his sandwich. “I’m not sure you met my brother, Jason. He’s a pediatric surgeon here. Well, his wife Liz is Doctor Mathews’s sister. See, somewhat family. More importantly, he can help.”

“Why do you want to help us? It’s been years and you don’t even know Destiny.” She took a small bite of the sandwich and her empty stomach nearly revolted.

“It has been years, but I’d like to think that at one time we were close friends. It wasn’t just Jim and I, the three of us were close. Do you disagree?”

“Time changes people.”

He shook his head as he chewed. “Not that much. Just because we haven’t spoken in a while, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let me help. Destiny needs whatever help she can get. Let’s meet with Kingsley. While oncology isn’t my specialty, sign the form allowing me access to her chart so I can understand her needs. We’ll get her through this.”

“Doctor Jacobson suggested a chemotherapy and radiation combination. He said it was her only chance. The last time she did radiation treatments alone, they were rough. I don’t know how she’ll handle both at the same time.”

“Jacobson is a good doctor, but there might be other options. Kingsley would know. He keeps up to date with all the newest treatment options, and I know there’s another child in the hospital who’s in an experimental trial. That might be possible for Destiny.” He polished off the rest of his sandwich and leaned back. “Half a sandwich isn’t much, but I don’t suspect you’re going to finish the rest. How about we take a stroll and see if we can find Kingsley?”

Part of her wanted to tell him she could do it herself just to prove she was strong enough to get through this again, that she wasn’t without a backbone and wouldn’t crumble to the ground. But this wasn’t about her, it was about Destiny. Her daughter needed the best doctors she could get. Putting her pride aside, she took a deep breath and accepted his offer of assistance for Destiny’s sake.

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