Adding Music to My Years

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By Angela Rankin

Since October 2005 MD Anderson has been my second home. Starting with ovarian cancer in 2005, breast cancer in 2006, followed by melanoma in 2009, I have been blessed with the best doctors for whom I have waited many hours. And whom I would wait for again and again! 

I've had countless MRIs, PET scans and CAT scans. I've had my collapsed veins aided by a port surgically inserted in my chest, and my vein needled for blood samples to get my "cancer numbers."

Waiting is part of the cancer process, too. Waiting in the areas to be called for a doctor's appointment or a test could become stressful. I used this time for reflection and prayer, while trying to calm myself and hum a song in my head.

I went through it all with the Celebration Singers by my side. We met at MD Anderson every Tuesday evening and sang. This experience gave me a sense of healing on the inside of my physical body and in my heart and spirit, too.

Video by Deborah Thomas

This video depicts my history at MD Anderson and the major forces that helped me know remission. Music was such a healing force for me. Whether it was the Gregorian chant during chemotherapy, rehearsing at my church for Sunday Mass or singing with the Celebration Singers, music helped to push me through the years and continually lifted my spirits.

My Catholic faith is a power I cannot deny. Prayers of others helped me to heal. As a teacher at St. Laurence Catholic School, their mentioning my name over the PA system during morning prayers and the thought of so many people praying for me, gave me a positive motivation to focus on remission. I prayed to the cancer saint, St. Peregrine, daily and envisioned myself doing what he did.

Dealing with cancer is hard on the family, too. My husband, and loving and devoted caregiver, was adamant from the beginning that we were going to beat the cancer! He loved me even when I had no hair ... both times! He came to every treatment, every appointment and every test. He was and is always there for me and he'd wait for me without complaint.

My song tells of the impact that music and my family has had in my healing, and how it helped me through the pain and rough roads of cancer through the years.

Music plays a great part in my life, my healing and my future!

1 Comment

Music was such a healing force for me too.

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