Two women listen to music together sharing headphones on a plane

Music Soothes the Soul

Everyone has different ways to cope with a lung cancer diagnosis. I have heard more times than I can count to meditate and/or do some yoga. I have never been one for doing those types of activities and have found listening to my favorite music has helped me get through some pretty difficult times.

Music has helped me through tough times

Pre-pandemic I loved going to concerts. I would go to about 2-3 concerts a year and more than likely it was to see my favorite artist, Andrew McMahon. He was very crafty during the pandemic and held virtual concerts, some free and some paid. He also toured a few cities and did drive-in-style concerts. My sister and I attended the Chicago show. This opportunity to see live music has helped my mental health. On another topic, Andrew is a young adult cancer survivor and the founder of the Dear Jack Foundation. They help the young adult cancer population during and after a cancer diagnosis.

Music helped me through chemotherapy

Another time that I used music to help me was during my time taking chemotherapy. I had to go on chemotherapy in the beginning because the TKI that I was put on did not work and made the tumor grow. I was in the chemo chair for about 4-6 hours taking everything into consideration.  I made a playlist and slept a lot during the infusions.

While I was traveling to Boston my sister and I would listen to music on the plane, sometimes sharing headphones. At the end of the clinical trial, I had a wedge resection to see if we could stop the tumor progression. Unfortunately, that did not work, and I write about that experience in another blog. I am always looking to see if Andrew McMahon is touring (pre-pandemic) and he just so happened to be doing a show in New Jersey about the time that I was scheduled to be in Boston. I made the plans before I knew I was going to have surgery. We typically flew out to Boston but because I was having surgery, and I was not going to be able to fly, we drove. This helped us make the trip down to Jersey to see the show. I was two days post-surgery, in a little amount of pain, and still bandaged up. I remember watching that show thinking that I was in my happy place!

Beyond the lyrics of music, podcasts and videos

I have participated in two clinical trials. The second trial was an infusion that lasts about 3 hours from start to finish. During this time, I found podcasts and YouTube videos to be my best friend. I remember laughing so hard once time watching Trevor Noah on YouTube that my nurse checked on me to make sure I was ok.

Find what music speaks to you

All in all, I think that music, podcasts, and videos have helped me cope with lung cancer at a young age. It has helped keep me distracted. Music was always a big part of my life and I was determined not to let a cancer diagnosis take that away from me. If I were to be having chemo now or needed an escape, here is my playlist.

Diane’s Chemo Playlist

  1. A Million Dreams by The Greatest Showmen
  2. Mountains by Zac Clark
  3. The Giving Tree by Plain White T’s
  4. My Favorite Place by Stephen Kellogg
  5. Everything’s Not Lost by Coldplay
  6. Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw
  7. Morning Song by Jewel
  8. Rescued by Jacks Mannequin
  9. Swim by Jacks Mannequin
  10. Maps for the Getaway by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

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