Last updated: December 2022
I love music as it finds a way of taking me on a trip for a short time and forgetting just a little bit about what is happening in real time. Do you know the power of music when combined with cancer treatment?
The one thing most cancer patients thrive at some time or another is forgetting the situation they’re in and music has a way of helping them out.
How powerful is music? Let’s begin…
Reggae to the end
My mother adored and was a huge reggae and calypso music aficionado, whenever she was feeling depressed or ill, Bob Marley and the Wailers would be subjected to a performance on the record player.
We made it happen for reggae music to play at her wake. I think this was more of my husband’s idea, but, I tell you, that effort opened up for a lighter conversation with the many people that attended her homegoing. It may have struck some people as odd, but once they got over the initial pause, they got into popping a smile with wonderful recollections of Mae. Now, we may not automatically relate music to death but there is something about music that makes our time with coping less severe and less tense.
Depending on where you have treatment, and because the numbers of those affected with multiple myeloma are rising, many clinics and hospitals are seeing more and more patients. I remember going to my care facility and seeing a few people, whereas now the room is filled. There can be a lot of chatter and despair in that waiting room, and it becomes a "Calgon take me away moment."
Well, that is the perfect time to physically be there but mentally on a music trip. A visit for a follow-up with earbuds to pop in on my phone allows me to visually be present, but mentally leave the room, taking me to whatever is coming through those speakers on my phone.
There's now a huge number of National Cancer Institute (NCI) affiliations, such as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, that have formed music therapy for various care programs; these facilities help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
Music of Champions
I like a variety of music and, when on treatment, it depended on my mood in what was best to surrender to.
- Hip hop old school (not so much these newer artists) would let me reflect on my youth - those days before getting into this mess of myeloma.
- RnB and pop music would easily have me popping along with lyric through lyric, and remembering life is “a bowl of cherries” when music is thrown in the mix.
I suppose having that outlet to imagine or reimagine, and genuinely feel good hearing a drum beat, a smooth voice, and melody gives you the push to move ahead, pain and all.
My Top 5 Mix
My favorite artists on my top 5 are George Michael –“Careless Whisper” and “Desafinado” (which happened to be my wedding dance song), The Debarges, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and MC Lyte.
Thank God for music! What’s yours?
The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it. --Yolanda
How do you feel about your support system?