While I often write about my life in light of my 2nd time with colon cancer, I rarely write about the comparison between the first time and last time, except for the depression I experienced and the depression I’m trying to defy this second time around.
This time, with chemo, they have me on different drugs. Don’t ask me what they are called. I always forget because if I can’t spell it right the first time, I want to avoid the word all together. This goes for anything I can’t spell right on a consistent basis. Words like Renaissance, exceptions to the “i before e” rule and many others. I cannot get those nailed down automatically, so I use a different word (yes, I had to correct the word Renaissance above by looking it up, like usual).
Anyway, back to The Cancer. Last time, my symptoms and reactions were very different. 3 years ago I had extreme neuropathy and a heightened sensitivity to cold. I couldn’t even breathe in cold air because my throat would swell shut. Ice Cream? No way. Ice water? Sent me through the roof. Nausea was there, but it was minimal. I acted tough when I wasn’t in my heart, which kept me from reaching out to people when I needed the support the most. This ultimately was a big factor that led me to a dark depression.
Not this time. This time is different. No neuropathy or sensitivity to cold. Thank God. I love ice cream and chomping on ice too much. I can feel the keyboard beneath my fingers now, unlike last time, which gives me the ability to write bunches during my time off. I love to write. I’m so thankful for the neuropathy not being there. Nausea with this fight? All the time. I just learn to live with it and stay on top of it as much as possible to keep ahead of the game.
But the biggest difference that I notice is music. The last time I had cancer, I never listened to music. I had my radio on NPR all day. When I would listen to music it would remind me that I really wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel like singing. I didn’t feel like dancing. I was caught up in the negativity of everything, even though I tried to hide it. It’s understandable, for sure, but I avoided things that reminded me of happiness.
This time, however? I make myself listen to music all day, all the time. It is magical. It really is. I find myself dancing all by myself in the kitchen, jamming out to almost everything. I grab my kids and dance with them. I rock out in my car with the windows down, belting out words for the world to hear while I stick my fist out of the car and get down with it.
People say laughter is the best medicine. I agree. But I would like to make a new statement go viral: Music is the best medicine.
Because this time around, this girl is “putting her records on.” She is “free falling.” She is “lovin’ every minute of it.” She is “happy.”
Cancer, take that. Music is the best medicine.
Love, Turn It Up and Let’s Dance!