From Hospital to Recording Studio, “Chemo Kid” Raps On

News — By on June 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm

SACRAMENTO, CA – He walked into a dimly-lit room with padded walls, and shut the door behind him. With a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, he reached for a pair of headphones and stepped behind a microphone. Through his headphones, a beat track intensified. He began mouthing lyrics, then rapping out loud.

I had to pay my rent, so I sold my pain pills …

The lyrics laced through the beat. After a few takes to nail the words with perfection, the track was complete. Giovanni Goodman was finished with another session in a recording studio.

More than just a hobby, rapping has morphed into a career for the 25 year-old. And he might never have realized it had he not been diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness.

“This is all I have,” said Goodman of his music. “This is my life.”

He relishes that life every moment he can, because when he’s forced to turn from rapping to matters of everyday life, reality comes crashing down.

“I’ve had skin problems, I’ve had mouth problems, I’ve had digestive problems,” said Goodman.

“I’ve been stuck with a needle maybe 14 times a week … everything from that, to blackin’ out, throwing up.

“Everything that comes with chemotherapy.”

It’s a word that has lived in his vocabulary for nearly half his life. It started when his mom Maria was diagnosed with oral cancer, losing her battle in 1999. His sister Gabriella also has cancer, and is still fighting.

Then, Goodman was diagnosed. It was Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, said his doctor four years ago. Goodman has had four bouts with it, requiring two bone marrow transplants.

The chemotherapy treatments are constant, and the pill regimen non-stop. He must take 33 every day to maintain a quality of life.

“Sometimes it gets a little rough, like you can feel (the pills) in your stomach,” said Goodman. “But now I’m used to it.”

Though he played trumpet in high school, Goodman says he never had much inspiration to write music before he became sick. But there’s something about lying in a hosptial bed for weeks on end, waiting for chemo treatments.

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