Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Cancer And Music

There is an expression, “music calms the savage beast.”  Cancer is a savage beast.  Today’s chemo suites are nothing compared to the dungeonous type environments of today.  While attending my father’s chemotherapy sessions with him, it was not uncommon to see an elderly gentleman playing guitar singing Jimmy Buffet.  This was never the case during my chemo days decades ago.

I have always found solace in music.  No matter the difficult times that I have faced in my life, and there have been many, music has always gotten me through it.  Whether dancing, singing, playing, or simply listening to it, music has a way of helping us relax and focus.  As it was when I went through my chemo.

Each appointment, I sat in the chair, placed my headphones on my ears (we did not have ear buds then), and pressed play on my Walkman (for those of you who have no idea what that is, along with vinyl and 8-track and cassette tapes – the Walkman played CD’s before music became convenient on an Ipod).  From there, I would let my music that I selected that day, take me to places far away in my mind, while the chemo flushed through my body healing me.  The music helped keep me calm and distract me for the two hours or so that I was there.

Today, much of the music that I listened to, serves as a reminder, taking me back to a place I was long ago.  And I remember what music did for me then, and when I have troubles today, I simply reach out for the same thing that continues to get me through my times of strife, music.

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