Friday, July 8, 2011

Cancer Journey Mixed Tape - Song 2

Getting chemo, listening to tunes...
The first time I experienced warm up music in hockey was in 1987 when I was 8 years old in the championship game of the Northern Illinois Hockey League’s Mite A-2 division. The song?

“Mony Mony” by Tommy James & the Shondells

Not my top choice for getting pumped up, but we really didn’t have a say in it...

Fast forward 5 years and our team was able to pick the songs that would play during the 5 minute warm up before the game to get amped up and set the stage for an ass kicking on our home ice. “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses was a favorite as well as “Right Now” by Van Halen during our National Championship game (we lost, but it’s still a great song...).

Song #2 on Roger’s Cancer Journey Mixed Tape is my warm up song for fighting cancer.

Artist: 30 Seconds to Mars (Link)
Song: This is War
Album: This is War

When you are diagnosed with cancer, there is a moment when you can choose to let the disease take its course until you die or you can choose to seek treatment and fight. For me the decision was easy: fight (hard!) for my wife and 2 year old son.

No matter the physical pain, strain on relationships, mental stress, side effects, or length of the fight:

A warning to the people
The good and the evil
This is war.
To the soldier, the civilian
The martyr, the victim
This is war.

The fight is often a lonely one, but when you are at your weakest it's often your support network that lifts you up and carries you through. One of the coolest parts of this song is the intro. It is a building cheer from the fans which reminded me of the walk from the locker room to the ice during my hockey career. The noise from the fans crescendos at the beginning of the song and comes back in the end as background chanting/singing.

My cancer fight included thousands of prayers, cards, smiles, hugs, laughs, and tears of my supporters, my fans. There is a point in the song where the fans are chanting:

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

It’s in this chant I imagined each of their faces pulling me through my darkest times when I was at my lowest. Chills is an understatement of what I had thinking of their strength while getting chemo. This song gave me the energy I needed to fight with all my might against anything and everything I faced to ”the edge of the earth” until “the war is won” and I entered “a brave new world.”

Jared Leto was probably not thinking about cancer when he wrote this, but I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks Jared.

You helped me win my war.

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