By Emmanuel Agyemang
Our editors told us to step outside our comfort zone for our first story. Well…….usually I write about music. Today I’m writing about Hell itself.
As some of you may know, I had to take a break from school last October due to a cancer relapse. Even though I was going for a three-peat, I still took some important lessons and was reminded of a few things, some sobering and some not-so serious. Today, I want to share some of them with you.
You are. NOT. Alone.
There are millions of cancer patients. But sitting at home while everyone I knew was away at college progressing with their futures was killing me. I felt totally by myself…until I realized how many people had my back. People I had only walked by in my high school halls. People I only knew from Twitter. My friends, parents, and my biological best friend, my older sister. My UGA family. Every other cancer patient in the ring.
There were people on 5 continents praying for me. What I’m trying to say is that whatever your demon is, I promise you that you aren’t the only one fighting it, and you don’t have to go through it by yourself.
2. Nothing cures nausea like laughter and trap music.
Some days I would wake up and instantly feel last night’s dinner coming back for a visit. Then, I would throw on “Cross the Country” by Migos and check Twitter for some grade-A foolishness. As the music hyped me up and the internet cracked me up, the food stopped coming up.
Trust me on this one: next time you have an upset stomach, throw on some Jeezy and go find something to laugh at and see if your insides don’t stop turning. “Laughter is the best medicine” isn’t a saying. It’s science.
3. Sympathy gifts are DOPE.
I told you some of the lessons weren’t that serious…but anyway, the glacier white PlayStation 4 sitting in my living room is a gleaming example of one of the perks of being a cancer patient. Not to mention tons of candy, gift cards at random times, and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
I think the real lesson here is, when you’re going through something, people want to lessen your pain. Let them.
4. Life is precious. Cherish yours.
No matter how much you hate this class or that textbook or that homework assignment, no matter how many girls completely ignore your existence, no matter how trash you think your life is, you’re breathing.
There are people out there fighting to draw every breath. That’s the lesson God wanted me to learn this time around. There were times when I had to crawl up stairs. I’ve had doctors basically tell me my life was over. And yet, I’m still here. And I plan to cherish every day until I’m not. I hope you do the same.
5. DON’T STOP SWINGING.
Whatever storm you are in, don’t give up. I know it’s easy to give up. Hell, I’ve done it. But what I didn’t realize is that I’m stronger than that storm. And so are you. Keep fighting. Swing at that storm like a child throwing a temper tantrum and don’t stop until it passes.
In conclusion, thanks to everyone who prayed, sent me a tweet, or a text, or a card. I’m grateful for the support because I couldn’t have done it without you, but most of all, I’m grateful for my life.
I’m not supposed to be alive to type this. Someone told me that my relapse would turn into a testimony. I guess this is it. And to cancer: the fade is here waiting for you.