October 25, 2012

David Tackett | Throat and Tongue Cancer Survivor

“When I got to the UAMS Cancer Institute for my first day of chemo, I looked around at the other patients. I hadn’t started my treatment yet, so I was the healthiest looking person there.

The nurse came out with the IV bag, and I started to get really nervous and sweaty. I was terrified of what was in that bag.

That’s when I started thinking about the fact that I had something inside of me whose only goal was to kill me. The one thing I had to combat it was the chemo inside that IV bag.

I decided that I couldn’t be afraid of the only thing that was going to save me. So I tried to convince myself that I loved chemo. I even said it out loud — ‘I love this chemo.’ Everyone looked at me and wondered what I said, but no one said anything about it.

I started saying, ‘I love this chemo,’ before every treatment. I wanted every drop of that chemo medicine inside of me.

I was originally scheduled to receive 10 chemo treatments. After the ninth treatment, things were looking good. My doctor said that I could skip the 10th treatment, but I told her no. I wanted all 10. I didn’t want to short change myself. This was going to cure me, and I was never coming back.

I’ve been cancer free for five years now. When I find out someone else has cancer, I don’t call them on the phone. I drive to their house, knock on the door and tell them that not to be afraid of the thing that’s going to heal them. They have to love their chemo.”

David Tackett
Throat and tongue cancer survivor
Hot Springs, Ark.