Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roger’s Cancer Journey – A Mixed Tape

Getting chemo, listening to tunes...
Music is a HUGE part of my life. I would argue (with passion) that music is the common language of the world. It can generate similar emotions between two individuals that speak different languages and come from polar-opposite cultures.

I used to think I would be awesome at creating soundtracks for movies given my mixed tape ability as a kid, but reality checked in when I needed a paycheck... I was feeling the mixed tape urge this week as a way of expressing my cancer journey by putting together a list of songs I relied on (heavily) to get me through chemo treatments, recovery periods, and in making sense of my new situation.

I am going to release one song an entry starting with a little background of what it meant to me and how it helped me through that part of the cancer journey. Feel free to comment if it draws any emotion out of you or relates to your life. We are all in this together after all...

Artist: The Alternate Routes (Link)
Song: Carry Me Home
Album: Lately

I ignored some pretty powerful emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis when I entered fight mode for treatment. It was near the end of my 8 months of chemo that I was sitting in the Chemo Den getting my bi-weekly chemo cocktail that I first connected with this song. My Dad was there with me, which was a change from my usual chaperon (Erica, my hot wife). Carry Me Home is the first song on the album and it just crushed me with the opening melody and verse:

Oh lately, the winds have been threatening
Things have been getting so hard to control
But your love is holding me close
Like a rope on a flagpole
It won't let me go, it won't let me go

I immediately thought of Erica, what we were going through, and how she was my rope… The next verse took it over the edge:

Well you can't stop some poison from spreading
Once it gets let in it knows where to go
But you saved me faster than a heartbeat
Wider then these arms reach
More then you know, more then you know

I did everything I could to not lose it in front of all the nurses, fellow patients, doctors, Dad, and supporters in the Chemo Den. We are all warriors and it’s not fair to the others in the room to detract from the positive energy of people fighting for their lives.

When I got home I played it for my wife and it was the first time I cried (hard, in her arms) about my reality. This song perfectly captures the emotions I had going into my fight and still strikes a raw nerve today.

It’s the theme to the opening scene of what would turn out to be a life changing film of my 2010...

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