Michael Bohannan-Calloway was diagnosed with cancer in January 2010. Doctors told him it was treatable but incurable. Looking for guidance, Bohannan-Calloway turned to a cancer support group.

"It was there that I decided to share some of my fears about dying, about life, about being a gay male almost 50 years old and not having any legacy," Bohannan-Calloway says. 

They encouraged him to chip away at his bucket list, and he decided they were right — he would begin working towards getting his Ph.D.

Nearly four years later, Bohannan-Calloway's life changed drastically over a period of 72 hours. First, the university he was attending told him that a year's worth of research and writing had to be scrapped. Secondly, he was in an abusive relationship that he was trying to end. And thirdly, because of all of the stress, his cancer came back after years in remission. 

"So what does one do, except cut a big piece of German chocolate cake..." Bohannan-Calloway says. "And swallow 150 pills." 

Listen to Michael Bohannan-Calloway tell his story above for the "Stories From The Heart" story slam event from WHYY's The Pulse and Annals of Internal Medicine.