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Behemoth's Nergal held cancer tears until doctor left

Behemoth frontman Nergal stopped himself from crying after being told he had cancer until his doctor had left the room.

And the news came after he’d feared he was suffering from tuberculosis or even HIV.

Adam Darski was rushed to hospital in 2010, forcing the cancellation of two tours. Two weeks later he was diagnosed with leukaemia, and underwent a bone marrow transplant. He confirmed he was returning to health the following year.

In his book Confessions Of A Heretic, to be published in English on March 19, Nergal says: “Tuberculosis was first on the list. I thought that wasn’t the worst possible scenario. Then it got worse – 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, but as far as I could remember I was always careful.

“There was only one thought in my head: ‘Be anything, but not HIV.’”

A doctor finally told him and his then-fiancee Dorota that he had cancer of the blood system. Nergal recalls: “I waited until he left – and then I burst into tears. Dorota also cried. It lasted a while, maybe two or three minutes. There was this huge, overwhelming feeling of debility.”

But he soon recovered from the shock. “The numbness and doubt didn’t last long,” he says. “I knew I had a challenge. When you go through a forest and you know 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.”

The full excerpt is published via Metal Injection. Confessions Of A Heretic is available for pre-order (opens in new tab) now.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.