By Brent C. Trammell
Special to the AFRO

I became ill in Aug. 2013, diagnosed with advanced liver disease that progressed into hepatocellular carcinoma, an inoperable, terminal cancer. Over the following two years my condition worsened, but I never stopped fighting even with a prognosis of a one year life expectancy. On Oct. 17, 2015, after 12 attempts of no answers, patients sick or out of state,  I was the 13th person called to receive a liver.  On Oct. 18, I received a life saving liver transplant that changed my life.  I am now cancer free. I wrote and compiled a series of faith based poems over the three years of my illness.  My inspiration is drawn from my battles fighting cancer and the strength and support from my family and friends.  I’ve written from my hospital bed, bagel shop, dictated over the phone, a parking lot and mostly alone.  I hope you will find them relatable, inspirational, uplifting and enjoyable.  Here are two of the poems from my book No One Fights Alone:

(Book cover screengrab/Amazon)

The Fight

I’m sick, I’m weak, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t remember last week, I always repeat what I just said, can’t concentrate, I’m confused,

Can’t get out of bed, I need my meds, can’t brush my teeth, even putting clothes on I have to cheat,

When will this end, who did I offend?

I’m high, I’m low, I’m too slow, I don’t know what will happen to me next, I don’t know what to expect.

I can’t climb a stair, ain’t got no air, always in despair,

I need some help, these are the cards I’ve been dealt.

I’m hot, I’m cold , why do I feel so old, my body is suffering, feels like network congestion and buffering.

No beginning, no end, no family, no friends, here with me now, got to make it somehow.

Hospital again, 6th floor we are friends, family in shock but here around the clock.

It’s serious now, doctors on the prowl, talking in code, don’t want me to know, until they’re sure there is no cure.

They’re sure, they confer there’s no cure, it’s a blur….

Ok, no shame, no playing the blame game, no more vain, staying in my lane, I’m going insane.

I have cancer.


Most amazing person I know

Someday you may wake up with your life in the balance. Who will you lean on, who will you count on, who will help you pull through. This is my story and I’m going to tell you, my wife is my hero, the most amazing person I know.

My wife is the one with the grit and the grind, she was there every day. Forsaking her own needs for everyone else, no matter what you tell her, it’s never about herself. I became ill, she became strong, I never saw her complain, I never saw her face long. Unbelievable strength, with unconditional love, she took care of all my needs, got the kids to school, went to work, and still had time to please. I treated her poorly at times. I know my condition was no excuse. She kept me first over everything despite my abuse. I was angry, I was mad , I felt it was of no use. If she felt the same way you would not have known the truth. With every challenging moment her strength continued to be shown. Not knowing what she’d come home to, not knowing if I’d pass on. Under tremendous pressure she remained so strong. The stress she must have felt, how did she go on. I lost My income, her love grew stronger. I lost my motivation, she pushed much longer. She watched me suffer, her husband of 22 years, deteriorating from cancer over the 3 years. I never saw her cry, never saw her shed a tear. She was fearless, she was brave, she never switched gears. She always kept positive, she always made sense, she always pulled me together, she always stood up to the test. With all her strengths I would be remiss if I didn’t say, her personal support group is off the chain. They stood by us and helped us through. I’m not talking about family, I’m talking about you. For all of you who helped lift us up and make it through, you must all be angels , God has blessed you. You know what you did, you know who you are, I am forever at your service, no matter what the stakes are.

The pressure is off, the struggle is gone, we will always have challenges with my health, but she is here for the long haul.

By the way, her name is Melinda, if you didn’t already know, you better ask somebody. She is the most amazing person I know. I love her more than you will ever know.

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