In the radiotherapy treatment suite I was able to bring my own music to listen to, and I was glad I could! It was calming in what was a pretty claustrophobic situation, not being able to move and having a plastic mask pressed so close to your face you can't open your eyes. Most of the songs listed below have a special meaning to me, whether that be because of the title, lyrics or the last time I listened to them. Listed are the name of the track, album and artist.
"Bad Blood" - Bad Blood - Bastille
I have a type of blood cancer, so I thought the name was appropriate even though they don't literally sing about bad blood; really good song though.
"Bad Blood" - 1989 - Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar (song on album without ft.)
Same reason as why I picked the track above really!
"Ink" - Ghost Stories - Coldplay
This was alarm that woke me up on my first day of chemotherapy, so it reminds me of how far I'd come by the time I started radiotherapy.
"Holding On" - Holding On - Johnny Stimson
Used in the Bupa advert for their 'Cancer Survivorship Program', the advert made me realise that I will have a life after I beat this, and shows a man getting his life back on track as pieces like the doing the school run and going back to work fall back into place.
"Fourth of July" - American Beauty/American Psycho - Fall Out Boy
I used to listen to a lot of Fall Out Boy before I was diagnosed, so it reminds me of better times really! This is my favourite song off their most recent album.
"Hallelujah" - Death of a Bachelor (released Jan 2016) - Panic! At the Disco
I downloaded this not long after I found out I wasn't having any more chemotherapy, so it's a real 'pick me up' sort of song.
"Wait" - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - M83
This is song used in the film 'The Fault in Our Stars' based on the novel of the same name by John Green. In a weird way, the novel and film make me feel better. The main character Hazel has terminal cancer, so it makes me appreciate my position more.
"Mercy" - Drones - Muse
Being faced with your own mortality (when I was diagnosed my mind went to the worst case scenario) makes you feel merciless to some extent, so I related to the title.
"Therapy" - Nothing Personal - All Time Low
I remember thinking how stupid the name chemotherapy was. I imagined anything that was a 'therapy' as relaxing and calming, not horrendously painful and ultimately traumatic. Then I heard this song, and the lyrics 'Therapy, you were never a friend to me' made me realise that if these 'therapies' weren't available I don't know what I'd do, so chemotherapy and radiotherapy are simultaneously my friends, and not my friends.
"Superheroes" - No Sound Without Silence - The Script
I went through a phase where I just played this song on repeat - I just rediscovered my love for it!!
"Cancer" - The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
This song is sad, but I can feel the pain and heartache in the voice, and the lyrics remind me of much worse times. It doesn't make me feel sad, I just appreciate that it's better now. I have to keep looking forward really.
"Good Life" - Waking Up - OneRepublic
Despite the treatment causing me pain, making me tired etc. this song reminds me of how really I should be thankful to still be here, and I really am.
"Fight Song" - Fight Song - Rachel Platten
It has been a fight and struggle at times along the way, so I find strength from this song. I find it empowering.
"Never Let Me Go" - Ceremonials - Florence + The Machine
I've always really enjoyed listening to Florence + The Machine, but this is by far my favourite album. This song seems to be about surrendering, in this case to the ocean, but it made me realise that surrender in my case is the cowards way out. You can't let cancer become your life, your life just happens to feature cancer.
Music really is my escape, and I also really enjoy it. No matter your current situation, I can guarantee there is a song out there you can relate to, and it makes you feel less alone and more supported. It can bring up all different kinds of emotions, and to be able to overcome things, you need a way to feel and express them, even if that involves singing very, very badly into a hairbrush.