Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Now That My Cancer Has Returned. . . .

I sing . . . . I always enjoyed singing, but now I sing all the time. It's almost impossible to sing a full-throated note and be tied up by fear at the same time.
I sing all sorts of songs from hymns, ballads, pop, blues, rock, folk and some opera (look out Americas got Talent) . . . . anything that comes to mind. I even make up crazy songs as I go along. Sometimes the words make sense and sometimes not. Sometimes they rhyme, other times not. Some have familiar tunes, but most I make up as I go along!
After one of my first surgeries I could not sing. The muscles in my abdomen where spending all their energy just trying to help me breath. My diaphragm had little or no power. It was all I could do to get word out of my mouth.

Well I decided that if that where all I could do, that's what I would do! It is better to sing a small tiny song than no song at all!

Like most doors that close this one caused another to open. since I could not than and even now sing all that well, I began to compose. All though compose might not be the right word to use, it was more like I started to "adjust" songs.

I like to sing these "adjusted" song while I'm in the shower. That has always been the safest place. As I wash my hair, I sing, "Gonna wash that cancer right out of myself... and send it on its way." I adjusted the spiritual "Oh,Freedom." I sing, "No more cancer. No more cancer. No more cancer inside of me. And before I'll be a slave, I'll put cancer in its grave, and go home to my Lord, and be free." To the tune of " If You're Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands" I sing I'm glad I'm a little cake of soap. Than repeating, I'll slippie and I'll slidie all over my hidie and I'll wash the cancer off with my soap!!

OK, its all right to go ahead and say it. . . . these songs are pretty bad! But as they are just for my hearing they work.

Singing dose not automatically wash the cancer from this body of mine. Although it might help, who knows? I do know that it helps to take away my fear.

You just can't sing and be afraid at the same time. That's why we sing in the dark. It is also very difficult to sing and awfulize at the same time. Awfulizing (I made this word up. . . I think?) is the process of imagining all the awful things that might happen to us. We spend more time at it than we realize. The less awfulizing we do, the more likely we are to get well. The immune system doesn't like awfulizing. My immune system does like singing. Even mine!

Singing is as natural as loving. They are very closely related. . . . two limbs of the same tree trunks, one root system. Together they spread out a canopy of shade.

Both those limbs get weather-beaten, however. They are besieged by frost, drought, parasites and blight. It's a wonder they survive at all, and in some people they do not. But their tree is rooted deep in the soil of the Spirit.

With all these blights and plagues attacking (cancer!) them, though, what was natural becomes unnatural. How many of us refuse to sing, claim they can't sing, give all sorts of excuses - from illness to shyness - why they must not sing? We do the same with loving. We're afraid we'll be hurt. We may have already been hurt. We're afraid we'll be rejected or just look silly.

I suspect we can learn a lot about how we love by how we sing.

My search for healing and wholeness include singing. I don't have to go on stage. I don't have to use a recognizable tune or sing on key. Neither do you! Just "croak" out whatever words you can remember or that just come to you. Sing your prayers (I do, it makes for interesting looks from the cats) and sing away your fears. Do it in your bathroom with the water running.

Sing along with Nickel Creek or Gerard Butler or Emmylou Harris or even Indigo Girls.

Singing leaves no room for fear. Even if singing does not cure you or me it will help to heal our souls. This is after all the goal of our lives. . . . not just to live a long time but to live well.

Now That My Cancer Has Returned I Sing... try it, "Happy Days Are Here Again. The Cancer's Gone Away Again!"

1 comment:

  1. Best therapy I've ever heard of! Keep on singin', girl!!!