Soundtrack of my Cancerous Life

I have always been a lover of music despite my unfortunate tone deaf status. Luckily not being able to sing the songs I love has no bearing on my enjoying listening to them. My music tastes have changed over the years, much like my fashion sense. I recently stumbled across a cd collection from my middle school years and was immediately hit by a wave of nostalgia for the days of singing loudly in my room with my best girl friends. Kristy, one of my bffs from then and now, joked that she couldn’t believe they still worked. I swear we listened to the same tracks a thousand times over. My poor parents!


Time and place help dictate the soundtrack of our lives, as does our basic emotional state. So many musicians, artists, writers, and everyday people comment on the importance that music can play in our lives. Billy Joel reffered to music as an “explosive expression of humanity” that we are all touch by in some way. Nietzche claimed that “without music, life would be a mistake”. Bono believes that “music can change the world because it subsequently changes people”. Music serves so many purposes. It can shift our moods. I know that a song on the radio can cause me to burst into tears, break into a smile, randomly start dancing, or get lost in y thoughts. Sometimes music manifests our emotions or perhaps it echoes the words we wish we could say aloud. Regardless of why we choose to listen to music, what is clear is that music is an integral part of one’s life.

As a child, my musical taste was influenced by the choices of my parents and my second mom, Nancy. They were all children of the sixties, growing up in an era of amazing musicians and easy access to concerts. I am always in awe of the fact that my mom and dad saw Janis Joplin, Santana, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, and so many others. They loved music, so as a child I was exposed to the musicians of the 60s and 70s and their current likes on the radio. My mom claims that she is Bruce Springsteen’s biggest fan and I would guess the card board box filled to the brim with Boss paraphernalia may just show some truth in that. I detested Bruce as a child, maybe it was because I was bombarded with it, but as a teenager and young adult I too found myself stalking tickets online so I could go see him in person. I remember the first time I saw him, my friend Nicole and I held hands and had tears in our eyes when he walked out on the stage of his Devils and Dust tour. So many of Bruce’s songs contain a single line that resonates with me in way or another. For example, ‘The River” possesses my most favorite “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse”. I always was a fan of philosophy and in many ways music is just that. So aside from the Boss, I also got my share of Bon Jovi from Nancy. I clearly remember her dancing in the kitchen to his music when I was younger.

It wasn’t until middle school that I developed my own taste in music. And I have to admit that it couldn’t have been more random and to this day still is. My friend Tammy and I joke all the time about how our ipods make us seem completely neurotic, skipping from Frank Sinatra to Eminem in a single song. I always liked it that way, I found that the music in my library was very reflective of my overall personality – abstract random. I often use music as a way to work through my emotions or as a basic commentary for my day. Sometimes an entire songs works and for others a mere line in the chorus.  So along with my cancer came this compilation of songs that have some meaning whether they be humorous or heartfelt, they apply. My soundtrack of my cancerous life is certainly not limited to these songs.

1. The Halloween Theme Song – scored by John Carpenter (joke pertaining to impending dread of having cancer)

2. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons (My dad came up with this at a PET scan appointment.)

3. Titanium – David Guetta (According to Steph it fit with my titanium mediport and all. Not to mention I think the lyrics have a lot to say about strength “I’m bullet proof…nothing to lose…fire away, fire away…You shoot me down, but I won’t fall…I am Titanium.)

4. What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – Kelly Clarkson (The title speaks for itself.)

5. Shake It Out – Florence + the Machine (This whole song always seemed well suited to me with lyrics like….it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off…)

6. If You’re Going Through Hell – Rodney Atkins (…if you’re going through hell keep on goin…don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it…you might get out before the devil even knows your there…)

7. Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own – U2 (Speaks to my village of support. ….you don’t have to put up a fight…you don’t have to always be right…let me take some of the punches for you tonight…)

8. Hall of Fame – The Script featuring Will.I.Am (Just something about this song!)

Yeah, you can be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest

You can beat the world
You can beat the war
You can talk to God, go banging on his door

You can throw your hands up
You can beat the clock (yeah)
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don’t wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you gon’ find yourself

Standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

You can go the distance
You can run the mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile

You can be the hero
You can get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke

Yeah, do it for your people
Do it for your pride
How are you ever gonna know if you never even try?

Do it for your country
Do it for your name
‘Cause there’s gonna be a day…

When you’re standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Be a champion, be a champion, be a champion, be a champion
On the walls of the hall of fame

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions
Be truth seekers

Standing in the hall of fame (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah, yeah, yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Standing in the hall of fame

9. Do You Want to Build a Snowman? – The Frozen Soundtrack (This is Steph’s new ring tone for me because I will be on hiatus during my stem cell transplant.)

10. The Rocky Theme Song – composed by Bill Conti (There has always been something about the Rocky theme song that was inspiring to me to push it a little further. Used to do my track work outs to it in high school and later when I attempted running as an adult. When Tammy and I went to Philadelphia I played this song and ran up the museum stairs like any good tourist would. I like to think it will be part of my recovery soundtrack!)


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