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What's On Your Cancer Playlist?

By Kayla Giacin
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Two AYA survivors singing some tunes at the Heads Up Conference.
Two AYA survivors singing some tunes at the Heads Up Conference.

Cancer and brain tumor patients of all ages use a variety of coping tools to help them with their diagnosis and treatment.  One that I’ve seen across the board – all ages, all stages of diagnosis and life after, is the use of music. 

Some people might learn to play an instrument or write songs as a means of expression. Others may listen to classical music because it’s soothing, others to rock and pop because it gives them the motivation to keep going – a “fight song” if you will.  For some, certain songs resonate with them more because they heard it during a pivotal time. 

I recently asked some of my survivor friends if there are any specific songs that they listened to or continue to listen to during treatment, and this is the playlist they came up with: 

All this time, Britt Nicole
Change, Taylor Swift
Headphones, Britt Nicole
Steal my Show, Tobymac
Hold On, Tobymac
Before the Morning, Josh Wilson
Beautiful, Mercyme
Won’t Back Down, Tom Petty
Closing Time, Semi-Sonic 
Sweet Child of Mine, Guns and Roses 

One survivor said that somebody wrote a song for her and another said that the staff at the hospital she was being treated at made her a CD! 

It seems like music has the ability to capture emotions, is relatable, and can even make it easier for someone else (not in the brain tumor community) understand what a patient or survivor might be going through. 

Music has the ability to connect the survivor world and the “real world” in ways that may not be tangible otherwise. 

If you’re a survivor or family member dealing with a brain tumor diagnosis, what songs would you choose for your cancer playlist?

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