Behemoth’s Nergal on His Leukemia Diagnosis: I Waited Until the Doctor Left And Burst Into Tears
Behemoth frontman Adam 'Nergal' Darski's battle with cancer was a brave and triumphant one. The powerful black metaller has thankfully been in recovery for several years, but Nergal's recollection of how he first confronted the terrible news still gives us chills.
Nergal was delivered the crushing news in August 2010, but thanks to a bone marrow transplant from donor Gregory Kite, the Behemoth mastermind was given an opportunity to crush his leukemia. Behemoth have since toured the world and released a landmark album, The Satanist, which we named the Best Metal Album of 2014.
The English language edition of Nergal's autobiography, Confessions of a Heretic, will finally see a release on March 19. To give you a little taste of the book, Metal Injection has premiered an excerpt from the book revolving around Nergal's cancer discovery.
"Tuberculosis was first on the list," Nergal writes of a doctors message delivered shortly after various tests. "Two or three months in the hospital, and then I could go home. I thought that wasn’t the worst possible scenario. But then it got worse, because the doctors said it could also be lymphangioma or HIV. When I saw these last three letters I felt weak. Suddenly, flashing before my eyes like a twisted highlight reel, were all the sexual encounters of the last few years. There were quite a few, too, but as far as I could remember, I was always careful. I don’t think I had ever had a random sexual encounter without protection. Anyway, there was only one thought in my head: ‘Be anything but not HIV.’
After hearing the diagnosis of leukemia, Nergal broke down. "I waited until he left and then I burst into tears. Dorota [Nergal's former fiancé] was with me, and she also cried. It lasted a while — maybe two or three minutes. There was this huge, overwhelming feeling of debility … Diagnosis was a blow, but the numbness and doubt didn’t last long. I knew that I had a challenge. When you go through a dark forest and you know that there is something hiding in the dark, you start panicking. But when you see your enemy in the light, you focus on strategy, on how you will play it. I like fighting and playing, so I treated my sickness as a challenge, like a game of chess."