Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cancer Journey Mixed Tape - Song 6

Getting chemo, listening to tunes...
The phrase “You are in remission” is not one you expect at 31 years old, but I’ll take it.

Cue the smiles, the relief, the thankfulness, the hugs, the celebratory meal at the overpriced lunch place next to my oncologist’s office with my hot wife...

If you can cue it, and it is positive, I am sure we did it.

There were previous times in my life where I thought I had it all like when I won a golf tournament in my youth or when I realized I was smart in college (post HERE). There is truly nothing like having a new lease on life. Even if it was temporary remission, I was - and am - going to make the most of it.

Song #6 on Roger’s Cancer Journey Mixed Tape is an anthem to live by no matter what your circumstances.

Artist: One Republic (Link)
Song: Good Life
Album: Waking Up

A good friend of mine (Luke Westra) turned me on to this song the day after my “you-are-in-remission” appointment with my oncologist. Luke and my relationship got off to a stellar start playing Hootie and the Blowfish covers back in our dorm rooms freshman year in college and we have shared similar musical taste ever since. Needless to say, the song struck a chord with me immediately with the chorus:

This has got to be the good life, this has got to be the good life
This could really be good life, good life
Got this feeling that you can’t fight, like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

Through my cancer experience I became more and more aware of how I interacted with life. Never before had coffee taste so good as it did after my chemo hangover wore off and my taste buds were back to normal. Nor did I notice how wonderful it was to just be a participant in everyday events like getting the paper off my driveway, having food on my plate, or coming home to a loving family. The mundane details I used to gloss over became vibrant with my senses and I absorbed it all:

When your happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You’ve got to take it in

Pre-cancer I was prone to making excuses for my circumstances or bad things that were happening in my life. A “woe is me approach” that left me playing defense on a daily basis. I sense that this attitude is very present in my and younger generations where we all feel entitled to something and our lives could be better “if only” another force would take pity on us:

We are god of stories
But please tell me
What’s there to complain about?

As I worked on myself through cancer I realized that I was wasting a ton of energy making up excuses and shifting blame when I could be out there focusing that same energy on things in line with my values, my passions. I can't express how much this shift of thinking will lift your life.

It's time to stop playing defense in your own life and CHOOSE to make your's a good one.


  1. Hi Roger - I've been following your blog for awhile now but haven't commented before. A lot of times I can relate to what you're saying because I've fought through different medical setbacks. Fortunately, nothing that I've had has been life-threatening. I guess I've been hesitant to comment because my problems feel insignificant to those that have fought cancer. Regardless, I wish every person could experience what I call the "slap in your face" awakening like you and I have. Life is so precious and short. The trick now is to hang onto that feeling. It seems like every time I start to slip, another medical problem pops up that reminds me to love and laugh as much as possible and to tackle my bucket list while there's still time.

  2. Kelly,

    First off, much love for the comment! It's great to know there are actual eyes reading Lift Living and connecting with some of the things I put out there.

    Cancer was my "slap" that made me start Lift Living as a way to translate the lessons I learned through my experience to others so they don't have to go through something as life changing as a health issue to make the same changes.

    PLEASE don't be hesitant to comment! Cancer was just my conduit to these lessons and feelings. We all share one thing in common:


    And we can all help each other make the most of it!

    Take care,

  3. Why are there no scientific or other methods to know and get what we want?

  4. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.