Cancer Diaries, Mind + Heart + Soul
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The Power of Music: Our Emotional Response

Tears streaming – an outlet, a memory, raw and semi-tormented emotions of confusion and grief are spilling from my mind.

[The scenario: I was pre-occupied setting up my study folder for the next Trimester. Hole punching and highlighting to reluctantly get stuck back into my studies – the break, never long enough. I had study tunes playing on Pandora which lends itself to a lot of easy listening and relaxation music which can discreetly play in the background without intruding on your train of thought… the rain was falling gently outside my office and then this happened]. 

As the sweet notes of the relaxation music plays in the background – it stops me in my tracks – déjà vu hits me like a freight train. It’s so beautiful and peaceful, however, it connects with a really difficult moment in my life (I played a lot of relaxation and meditation music when I was going through my treatment and recovery). It represents pain and isolation, it reminds me of feelings where my bedroom felt like a prison or luring darkness – certainly not a place of rest and bliss like a bedroom should be.

As each soft note is played, it is felt like a twang or a pinch in my heart, it’s as though I am truly feeling the music from within, it represents such power and stronghold.

There’s a nauseated feeling in the pit of my stomach… its reality, it’s fear, and it’s surreal all at the same time.

Never take me back there, never, never again…

As my last tear sheds (from a short emotional embrace), this was a release and a reminder. Periodically I have glimpses of my past… this generally will come hand in hand with absolute fear of the “C word” tapping me on my shoulder once more… (C= Cancer).

No, no, no – it won’t, it can’t, I won’t let it – followed by these words that allow me to live in the moment… I say to myself:

“Stop – breathe – take a moment – reflect – then smile… smile BIG”

The huge smile which releases serotonin throughout my body, as I feel endorphins which squeeze out a few final tears… not sad tears… “I’ve got this” tears.

So as I go to change my Pandora channel to something a little brighter… I learn to take these moments in my stride and I use them to allow a therapeutic release (we all need a little moment from time to time to shed a few tears, to shed some weight that gradually builds upon our shoulders). I no longer live with daily fear [hooray – it has taken some time… but I now have a place for fear and it no longer infiltrates my life as frequently as it has in the past]. When these moments tap me on the shoulder, I take time to ‘let it be’ a moment to cry (if it’s needed), to reflect, to pause.

“I can’t control when memories or fear will strike, so instead of allowing it to dominate… I allow it to sit with me, just for a little while. I use it to be grateful and I give sanction to re-align my focus and to just-keep-going”.

A change to some reggae music – “Yeah Maaan, peace out” [laughing, because my daughter hates it when I listen to Bob Marley] is all I need to ‘turn that frown upside down’!


Life is abundant, nonetheless, like anyone (and everyone), we have past ‘items’ that have hurt our heart and emotions that sometimes come from nowhere.

Music is such a strong expressive connection for me. Whether it reminds me of happiness, fun, fear or sadness – certain songs get under my skin and into my heart without even realising. Generally before I even comprehend what song is playing, the emotions are felt within and I wonder “why do I feel like this” and as I enter consciousness, I hear the song or notes, which connects to a particular memory.

Does this happen with you? Our senses are so astute, the same can happen with smells or scents, which instantly take me back to a particular time in my life. I love that this happens; it shows that our memories aren’t just at brain surface level or intelligence parallel… memories are kept within our whole selves, our whole beings – it’s pretty powerful.

Bec x

P.S. Angel by Shaggy takes me right back to cruising in a VL Commodore with my BFF’s and our boyfriends…

P.P.S. Anything Johnny Farnham takes me back to fond family memories of road trips to Bendigo as kids, or more recently, out with my siblings after a few drinks screaming, “Take the pressure down… da da da da… “ – “Cause I can feel it, it’s rising like storm”.

P.P.P.S. Not to mention ‘Horses’… don’t get me started Daryl!


© Copyright 2016 becbraid

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