OKLAHOMA - Practicing on her string bass is a passion for 12-year-old McCartney Bell.
But, it’s a passion she must practice alone these days instead of with her Edmond school orchestra.
McCartney was named after Beatle legend Paul McCartney.
The rock singer once wrote the lyrics “Tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.”
The dark cloud that swept over McCartney felt like the flu.
"I couldn't really do anything without getting lightheaded and out of breath, so I thought it was the flu," she said while waiting for her checkup at Jimmy Everest Center for cancer.
“The doctor pulled me aside and said 'Do you know what is happening?' I was like 'Maybe, it's an immune disorder?' He said ‘No, it’s cancer,’” said her mom, Reanna.
It was ALL, or leukemia.
Chemotherapy treatment now stretches three years into McCartney’s future.
“The doctors here went above and beyond to explain things and explain again and make sure we understood," her mom said.
Doctors at Jimmy Everest Center said today’s cancer killing drugs can reliably heal kids like McCartney, but her upbeat attitude improves her odds.
"I think the family's attitude is huge, and the child's attitude is huge” said oncologist Dr. Laura Rooms.
Reanna has been blown away by how well her daughter has handled the diagnosis.
"I mean, being 12 is hard,” she said. “I remember 12, and being 12 with cancer and no hair and not seeing your friends - that's so difficult, and she just walks around so strong in who she is. I'm just in awe of her all the time."
Reanna remembers one day after treatment when strangers paid their breakfast tab at IHOP.
McCartney decided to pay it forward by making sack lunches for the homeless.
McCartney jokes she has time for things like this now, because she isn’t worried about things like styling her hair.
Of course, chemo treatments have taken her hair.
She doesn’t mind going out in public with her smooth scalp, and sometimes she wears fun and fashionable hats.
"It's so much easier. I can wake up 30 minutes before I leave the house. It's awesome."
"You're good. You look beautiful. You're perfect.”
The seventh grader knows there will be hospital stays and sick days at home she must shoulder until she’s in high school.
But, the brave girl is following the lyrics of that Beatle’s song - and following the sun.
'Kids With Courage' is sponsored by the Jimmy Everest Center.