When did you first find out you had cancer? What was the indication that you should go to the doctor in the first place?
This was last year. It was January seventh, the day before my birthday. I went out to an outdoor event and I got sick. When my brother an I were traveling home, I remember telling him I felt like I was coming down with the flu or something. After that day, I never got any better.
I went and saw three different doctors and they all misdiagnosed me. One told me I had Hepatitis A. Another told me I might have mono. One told me I might have the Norovirus. But what made me check into the ER is the last doctor who misdiagnosed me gave me antibiotics. The antibiotics gave me chronic diarrhea and I dropped like thirty pounds in two weeks.
I checked myself into the hospital March 14, 2013 and March 15, 2013 is when the doctor came in crying and I knew something was seriously wrong.
She said, “I have bad news to tell you. You have cancer. You have stage four colon cancer.”
She was crying to the point she had to send in another doctor to finish telling me. He was an Asian doctor and I wanted to karate kick his face in because everything was from with him. He told me, “You don’t have that much longer to live. You have about two weeks to live. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do for you.” After that he just walked out. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like a dream.
What was harder to deal with when you first found out? Was it learning that you had stage four colon cancer or the fact that doctors gave you two weeks to live?
It was more shocking to me that they said I had stage four colon cancer. I was thinking, “This can’t be right. I was misdiagnosed three times before. This has to be another misdiagnosed thing.” It just didn’t seem real. When the doctor told me I had two weeks to live, I didn’t believe him. It just flew over my head. I mean I heard what he said but I was still trying to cope with the fact I had stage four colon cancer because I know that’s the last stage. I has so many questions I tried to answer in my head and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
How difficult was it for you to have to tell your family?
Well, my mom was with me the whole time so she heard it all the same time I did. The hardest part was calling my wife and telling her. I had to call her and tell her at like four or five in the morning. She was in disbelief as well. Besides my wife, it was hardest telling my brother Kamal (Chance) because I know how bad his anxiety is. Lo and behold, when I told him, his anxiety was off the chain. He was so bad we thought we were going to have to hospitalize him. How do you tell everybody you have cancer when you just seemed to be doing okay a little bit ago.
Ahmad Givens’ brother, Kamal or Chance, posted an emotional message on his on Instagram account.
“Bye to my favorite guy in this whole world be in peace we love you forever bro I’ll see you one day soon we shall dance again in God’s kingdom forever and ever bro words can’t describe my pain world pray for me!” he wrote. In another post, he captioned, “R.I.P. Mahdi we love you forever I know you’re in a better place I just ask lord to give me the strength to survive this world without you till we meet again your brother Kamal.”
Ahmad Givens is survived by Chance and by two more brothers, his mother, grandmother and his wife, Racquel Givens and their son, Madhi.