Guitarist/vocalist Adam “Nergal” Darski of Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH, who underwent a bone marrow transplant procedure in December 2010 after being diagnosed with a life-threatening form of leukemia, has posted the following message on the band’s official Facebook page:
“December 17th. It is a celebration day in my personal calendar, you know? That’s why I often say my birthday’s twice a year;)…
“It was exactly five years ago where I was sitting in my hospital isolation ward waiting for bone marrow delivery. Due to harsh weather conditions, the dealer has been delayed. I remember I was wearing WATAIN shirt on that day. And I was excited yet calm and relaxed. I kinda felt it’s all going to be just fine. The intuition. The deep inner voice. You name it. I just had this self-confidence and felt no fear whatsoever. My mindset was set for unconditional victory.
“Five months of relentless chemo, TBI, steroids and strict diet did the trick. I was soooo ready. The transplant went smooth as it took maybe 1.5 hours to get fully injected and after that, it took 2-3 weeks for my body to absorb my ‘twin brother’s’ DNA. My organism welcomed him warmly and in mid-January I was released from the hospital. My recovering had pretty impressive tempo, but I was far from feeling OK. My friend, Rob Ferguson, FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM manager, sent me a message about FIELDS‘ one-off show in Poland, in April. I knew I couldn’t miss it. And then this idea we had before came back to my head. Maybe I could join McCoy & Co. on stage? The question was my ability to perform: sing, scream plus all the physical work that it requires. I had billion of doubts, but, again, my intuition told me to go, and at least give it a try. I had nothing to lose. And the concept of joining my all-time favorite band on stage was beyond tempting.
“I drove throughout the country to make it to the show. I sensed it has more than entertainment value to me… it was somehow metaphysical, tho I know it may sound pathetic. Me and Carl sat together by the bar one hour prior to the show to discuss our parts. Again, instinctively I marked verses I wanted to sing and he just accepted it. I was all trembling and nervous… I was taking a piss like 10 times before he called me up on stage. It’s not very often you hear McCoy talk in between the songs yet this time he made an introduction to that song and called me… a friend. I entered the stage to unleash this earth inferno. My legs were shaking and mouth… well, I suffered from several post-transplant afflictions but the worst was this very uncomfortable condition that made my mouth dry out in a second after just saying few words. So before I even screamed out the first line, I was out of spit! Arm in arm with Carl McCoy and the the whole band, seeing frenzy and this strange kind of euphoria in people’s eyes made me do it. ‘Shinning like gods, new body, new blood’… and it was while singing those words I felt MAGICK. Like it was all meant to be. Right man at the right place. Not quite in the best shape but what the hell! I felt so encouraged and motivated I can’t even describe. The adrenaline did the job.
“I left the stage with a shield yet my organism paid the price the following night. I woke up around 2 or 3 a.m. feeling totally sick. Diarrhea, fever, nausea, sleepless night. I was far away from home. There was nobody around me and I didn’t know what to do. I managed to get to my car early in the morning. Drove 80 km to Krakow stopping on a sideways as I felt I was about to collapse. I made it to a good friend of mine who was a doctor. I stayed at his place for another 2-3 with an EV injected in my veins trying to get better. Eventually I did.
“And here I am, 5 years later.
“Nietzsche said ‘No victor believes in a chance,’ therefore I do not believe this show is happening on THAT day accidentally.
“I’m immensely privileged to be a part of it again, performing one of the best songs in their career, ‘Penetration’.
“I can’t think of celebrating my ‘second’ birthday in a more epic way. I’m living my dream!
“Thursday, December 17th, 02 Academy Islington, London. Join us! It feels good to be alive…!”