My Name Is Micah Pleasant, I Am 24 Years Old. I Am A Blood Cancer Survivor
Patient Perspective Here is my story on how I have turned one of what looked as one of life’s harshest setbacks into the open doors of my inspiring success.
Mediaplanet: What was your mind frame like three years ago as to where you would be now?
Micah Pleasant: At 18 years old, this was one of probably the most confusing times of my life, I was faced with either having HIV or Cancer. It would be fair to say that I was very vulnerable and scared about where my future would head after living such an active lifestyle that didn’t indicate an illness of this magnitude. This led me to grow up faster than I anticipated. At this age, your biggest issue is getting into bars, and now I had to worry about how I was going to triumph over this road block.
MP: What was the period like when you didn’t know what was going on in terms of your diagnosis?
"At this point, there was a sigh of relief when I found I didn’t have HIV, but on the other side of the spectrum, I now had to face the fact that I had to battle stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma."
MP: I felt extremely disconnected with myself. I lost a lot of friends during this confusion, because I didn’t even know what was going on. Late night calls, night sweats, body aches, itchiness and insomnia. At this point, there was a sigh of relief when I found I didn’t have HIV, but on the other side of the spectrum, I now had to face the fact that I had to battle stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
MP: What happened when you found out you had stage four cancer?
MP: In the midst of all the tears, I knew that there were so many other adversities I had overcome (i.e African Canadian and Gay) so this was not going to set me back. It is curable. I am so young... I can’t lose. As this rush came over me, I could not help but be positive. Negativity was not an option.
MP: How did you cope?
MP: It started with myself. It was knowing that I would be okay and believing that I would be ok. The mind is powerful. My family, friends, and my community will know that I am forever thankful for how they kept me on such a straight path to victory during my fight.
MP: What was the first treatment process like?
MP: Beneath all that steroid weight and water retention I was still just Micah. In the spring of 2009 I received my first treatment. I had all of this anxiety and nerves that I would lose all my hair, I would not look the same. This made me insecure. I began amassing scars due to biopsies and needles. It finally became very real. I only got sick the first night I received treatment. The remaining six to eight months proved I still had the energy. I wasn’t able to dance as I once did, but I had a very full social life. There was no room for failure. Yet my subconscious knew there would be a relapse. I had cancer cells from my collar to my groin. One full round was not going make this go away. There would be another round of treatment — I would need stem cells.