Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cancer Journey Mixed Tape - Song 4

Getting chemo, listening to tunes...
There were some dark periods in my fight against cancer.

They usually didn’t come in the Chemo Den, scan session, or when I was recovering from treatment. During those times it was easy to block everything else out of my head and have singular focus of doing whatever was needed for my body to heal. The dark days came in the days when my mind had time to wonder...

Why was I chosen to receive this situation?

What is the purpose of this test in my life?

Why on earth am I going through this at age 30 with a wife and young son?

The best way I can explain these periods is walking down a hallway towards a closed door. There is only one other door and it is the one behind you that just closed on life as you knew it. This hallway is as long as it needs to be for you to gather yourself before opening the door at the other end and entering a new phase of your life.

Song #4 on Roger’s Cancer Journey Mixed Tape is a song that perfectly captures the mood of all these periods combined. The beginning is when I was reflecting on my previous life, the lull in the middle is me looking myself in the eyes and determining my own fate, and the last minute and a half are when I start running towards the door because I’ve figured it out and am ready to burst through to the other side.

Artist: Jason Mraz (Link)
Song: Song for a Friend
Album: Mr. A-Z

One thing I love about Jason is the story of how he made the decision to pack up his life in New York City, stuff his personal belongings in a car, and set out to San Diego to pursue music full time. The world is full of similar stories where someone dropped out of college to start a software company in their garage or someone excused themselves from public office to pursue breast cancer philanthropy in honor of their sister.

The list is long and inspiring.

What is rarely explored in these stories is that there was a point in each one of these people’s lives where they had to make a decision to stay in their normal, or put it all in line to chase what made them tick inside.

The ending of this song must be the script the little voice in your head is reading you as you ponder this decision:

Climb up over the top survey the state of the soul
You got to find out for yourself whether or not you’re truly trying
Why not give it a shot, shake it take control
Inevitably wind up finding for yourself
All the strengths you have inside of you

I mentioned that I figured “it” out above. “It” is going to be different for every one of us. The only way you are going to find out what “it” is for you is to take a hard look into your soul and conduct an honest assessment of the life you are currently living versus the life that makes your soul burn.

If you are like me, you will realize that things weren’t lining up. And in that moment you have a choice to stay where you are, or to fill your life with fuel that will make your soul shine brighter than you or anyone else thought imaginable.

For now, I will be on the other side of the door at the end of your hallway waiting with open arms.

You can do it.

And you can do it now.

1 comment:

  1. thanks, roger, for such a raw and vulnerable post. i read it this morning, and the imagery of the hallway and the doors on either end resonated with me so much that i shared that idea with the people in my young adult cancer support group. we were talking about the idea of establishing a "new normal" after a cancer diagnosis — and how nothing is ever the same. i think the poem i'll be posting on my blog tomorrow might resonate with you, like this post did with me. check it out in the morning at, if you're interested.