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UNDEFEATED: Donald vs Cancer Pt. II – Covert Operation

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Pt.2 – Covert Operation

The next step layed before me, I was going to have to get surgery for the first time in my life.

I didn’t need any help, I didn’t want any help. All I was going to was take a nap, get a little cut on my neck, wake up and go home and take some ibprofen!
Sounds easy enough to me! But there was just one thing, “How am I going to do this without anyone knowing or more importantly, getting involved?”

I asked my good friend Jennifer if she could take me to and fro surgery and we part our separate ways. I looked at it like a covert operation, rally up, extract the tissue and get back before anyone knew what happened.She agreed to take me to surgery!

I’m getting prepped for surgery, the anesthesioligist comes in and explains what’s going to happen. They are such a smooth talking bunch with their words. “It’s going to feel like you took a shot of tequila.” I like tequila lets do this. The injection started, felt nothing. They rolled me out of the room, hit a right then that moment where you realize you’ve had too much to drink happened. Hit a left. “Here’s some oxygen, just breathe…”
*takes a deep breath* The air feels heavy in my lungs. I yell “Wait this isn’t oxygen!”
I wake up in the recovery room with about 6 other people moaning like the whaling dead in pain. My throat is killing me, I’m a little groggy, my neck is sore as hell. They make me wait about 45 minutes before I can get dressed and get wheeled out the front door.
I was even more pissed, I couldn’t even walk out the front door on my own (hospital policy). Just a week ago I’m doing deadlifts now I can’t even walk out a door.

On the way home I stopped by the drug store to pick up my pain medication, Tramadol and Promethazine. Man hold up! I’m in H-Town, home of this promethazine based hip-hop culture! I grab my meds walking out the door singing Paul Wall’s “Sittin Sideways”


Later that evening I took one Tramadol and was out like a light. I woke up feeling too good and well rested. From that day I would not take any of that Tramadol or Promethazine. If ibuprofen didn’t work then I would just fight through the pain!

[Fast Forward 3 Weeks Later]

Jennifer asks to take me for my follow up. Stubborn Donald, I want to go by myself. Once again, I don’t need anybody’s help. I can do this by myself. ……So Jennifer and I arrive at the doctor’s office. In my mind I live these moments of fairy tales. The doctor is going to walk in and say I have a weird bacteria infection, write a presumption for two weeks, the swelling will go away, and I can get back to my upcoming summer of fun!

“I’m sorry but you have cancer.”


Me: Okay [with my poker face]
Dr. Jalal: You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the good news is it’s a very curable disease with a high success rate
Me: Okay
Dr. Jalal: I can recommend a local oncologist out here in Sugar Land or you can check with MD Anderson
Me: Okay

Jennifer drops me off at my car, who would then go one to walk through this journey every step of the way from here on out. This wasn’t easy having to depend on someone or be vulnerable enough to trust them. That’s really not in my DNA. IT WAS WORTH IT!

I gather my thoughts and call my mother to tell her the bad news.
Me: Mom, it’s cancer.
Mom: Well let’s get ready to fight!
Me: Yes ma’am
Mom: This is just a refining process God is about to take you through. You cannot purify gold without burning off the impurities.
Me: You are right.
Mom: Let us prepare our immune system for the fight to come.
Me: Yes ma’am.

My mother is one of the most amazing / strongest people I’ve ever known. She didn’t cry too many tears (to me at least). She always says she’s made out of “REAL STEEL”, and I must agree!

I decided to go back to my office to tell my manager and HR what’s happening. In the process I spent the whole afternoon researching Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. How do you treat it, what are the side effects, who has been through it. The information overload was too much. I got in my car and went home.

I sat on the edge of my bed, alone, and in the dark and I broke down into tear for what seemed an eternity. “God, why are you punishing me? What sin did I commit so great that you would cast this upon me? Why do you hate me? I thought you loved me? How am I going to make it through this?”

But in the darkness that surrounded me in my bedroom, I found an Angel of Hope….