Student seeks comfort in rap


Photo courtesy of Dalton Fielder

Student Dalton Fielder records music.

Alexandra Radovic, Co-Editor

Four summers ago, instead of lying on the beach, Dalton Fielder had to lie still for hours in a sterile, white hospital room at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, to receive chemo and radiation therapy.

In May 2014, Fielder was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, an uncommon type of cancer that forms on muscle tissue.

The avid basketball player, now a second-year transfer studies student at AACC, mistook the swollen lump on his thigh for a tight muscle. It wasn’t until his sister tried to knead it out that he felt pain and went to the doctor.

But Fielder said he never expected the news he got that day. “It shattered me inside the moment the doctors told me,” he said.

Although he described watching his father cradle his sobbing mother after he received the diagnosis as “the most surreal thing,” Fielder said the doctors, who were “top notch,” developed a five-month plan to destroy his tumor.

“I think I may have just been in shock the entire time,” Fielder said.

However, he said the treatment, “in two words, it sucked. Every three weeks I had to go to Johns Hopkins and stay there for four days of nausea and weight gain.”

Fielder, whose cancer has been in remission for four years, said he credits rap music for helping him through chemotherapy.

“That’s almost all I did in the hospital,” Fielder said. “It was rare when you could catch me there without my iPad and headphones, listening to rap music.”

“It just took my mind off things,” Fielder added.

To this day, Fielder still uses rap music as an escape. He said he aspires to be a music producer one day.

“Ever since sixth grade I’ve loved rap music,” he said. “I think its such an awesome genre … and [it’s a] way to escape.”

Part of the reason Fielder chose to attend AACC, he said, is because it’s less stressful than a four-year school and he strives to live a simpler life since his treatment.

Although he never got back to competitive basketball, Fielder said he still enjoys playing for fun on his backyard court, which The Make-A-Wish Foundation built for him during his cancer treatment.

Fielder said even though he struggles with post-treatment anxiety, “I don’t take pity on myself. It taught me things about myself that I wouldn’t have known otherwise … [that] it’s OK to be scared, but being scared can’t stop you from accomplishing what you need to.”