When my mother and I and my sisters moved to the United States from Viet Nam, I was only four years old. She
enrolled me in a preschool right away, and I started to learn English. By the time I was eight years old, I was the
only member of my family that was speaking good English, and so I became translator to my family. When we
went to the grocery store, I translated the labels of the unfamiliar foods, when there was a teacher conference,
my teacher spoke to me and I translated to my mother, when we had a dispute with the manager of our
apartment, I had to tell her what was wrong and try to get it fixed. Usually, whoever was talking to us spoke only
to me, while my mother would smile proudly at her bright little girl and wait for the translation. Being the only
member of the family fluent in English made me proud, but was also a terrible burden. Each time I was
confronted with a family issue, I strained to understand, and sometimes later looked up unfamiliar words in the
dictionary to resolve whatever problem we had.
When my mother began feeling tired, and had headaches and a fever that wouldn’t go away, we went to the
emergency room. After waiting for hours in the waiting room, the exam room was where we were ushered. I
had to tell the admitting nurse all of my mother’s symptoms. They took all my mother’s vital signs and took a
blood sample, and told us they’d call when they had any results. After several days, they phoned and called us
and asked us to come in for a consultation with a doctor.
I’m not sure why, as the doctor talked to me during the consultation, he spoke quietly and had a small smile on
his face. Maybe he was embarrassed to have to talk to a child about her mother’s medical condition, maybe he
was just being kind, not wanting to frighten me, but when he said the word “leukemia,” my heart rose up into
my throat and I only held back my tears with a great amount of effort. The medical term “leukemia,” that was
unfamiliar to my mother, meant “cancer,” a word she would have understood. I glanced back at my mother, who
was still nodding and smiling at her bright young daughter, waiting to find out what the nice doctor had to say.
The doctor continued speaking, but I only heard disconnected words, some of them that I only understood
later after looking them up; lymphocytes, anemia, tyrosine inhibitor, chemotherapy. There was a buzzing
whine in my head, and I felt angry that I would have to give my mother this awful news, then guilty for my
anger as my mother smiled and nodded hopefully. I asked the doctor what treatments he would suggest, and if
he thought she would live. The doctor reassured me that they had a very good treatment protocols, and that
my mother had an excellent chance of recovery. Finally, after I had all the information I thought I needed, I
turned back to my mother and said the only thing I could think to say.
“You have cancer,” I translated.(15)
THIS QUESTION ASKS ABOUT THE PASSAGE AS A WHOLE: At this point, the writer wants to add a conclusion paragraph, in which the writer explains the outcome of her mother's medical treatment. What effect, if any, would adding this paragraph have on the impact of the essay as a whole? If adding a concluding paragraph would have no effect on the impact of the essay, choose answer Choice 'A' or No Effect.