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Why the Lyrics of “I Believe” Matter for a Cancer Survivor

When I attended my granddaughter’s concert last week, I was taken back by the touching words of the song, “I Believe.” As I listened, the feelings associated with my cancer journey came to life. The words brought tears to my eyes.

Anger and denial after my diagnosis

The first refrain goes, “I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.”

This reminded me of the dark days after my initial cancer diagnosis. The initial denial…how could this be happening? And then the anger… why me? Did I deserve such a diagnosis? I had just experienced the best summer of my life at the shore with my family. I became irritable, short-tempered and did not want to talk to anyone about my diagnosis. Other cancer survivors I have spoken to also share this emotional turmoil when faced with a cancer diagnosis.

Finding sources of support after my diagnosis

The lyrics continue, “And I believe in love, even when there is no one there.”

Fortunately, my husband provided love and support. The circumstances of his job loss soon after my diagnosis gave him the ability to drive and accompany me to all physician visits and chemotherapy treatments. It is said, that when God closes one door, he opens another. This was certainly true in our situation. While we were saddened by his sudden loss of employment, I personally appreciated his love, support, and company during my treatments.

Caregivers and friends can provide a distraction and support during the course of treatment. A cancer survivor should never be afraid to ask for help. Speak up. Often family and friends are at a loss for how they might help. I remember being so fatigued after treatment. Friends or family could offer to drive, prepare a meal, or perhaps do some light housekeeping. Any of these activities can support a cancer survivor during this most difficult time.

Leaning on faith and other coping methods during my treatment

The next lyric goes, “And I believe in God even when he is silent, I believe through any trial there is always a way.”

While I was a practicing Catholic, I looked for the support of my faith. During one of my chemotherapy-related hospital admissions, I received a blessing from our beloved family priest. It awakened a feeling of hope and strength in me. A cancer survivor may look at whatever coping skills and beliefs that have helped in the past. Prayer, meditation, yoga, speaking with a counselor or close friend can provide support.

Accepting my uncertain future

The remaining lyrics: “May there someday be sunshine, May there someday be happiness, May there someday be love, May there someday be peace.”

Yes, there is life after as a cancer survivor. We have learned to accept the uncertainty of the future. I personally try to live every moment as a gift, precious memories to be made with family and friends. I recognize the fear of recurrence of my blood cancer and still experience scanxiety every year as my annual CAT scan is performed. However, I have established priorities. Today, my treatment is in the past. I am feeling stronger and have learned the importance of family, faith, and friends.

Learning more about this inspirational song

I researched the source of this poem. It was written during World War 2, on the wall of a cellar, by a Jewish prisoner in the Cologne concentration camp. It has relevance to all even today.1

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. A Poem of Belief by a Jewish Prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp. Sairyd. Available at


  • Ann Harper moderator
    2 months ago

    @cmccue what a nice post. Cancer definitely changes us then and after – usually in a positive way. I’m glad all is well. Thank you for sharing the history of the song. I’m going to have to find it and listen to it.

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