Prior to cancer I had been a hobby songwriter and musician for many years, but had never taken it seriously. However suddenly I couldn't do my 'normal' job and treatments took their toll. Gigging with my band was on hold. My old computer packed up and I bought a Mac with a free music software package. Suddenly, I had my musical hobby available to me.
Surgery recovery meant that I could research music via iPod/TV whilst in bed and chemo sessions became writing opportunities. When I felt up to it, I recorded instruments, vocals and produced songs in my spare bedroom. Whenever I got too tired, I simply clicked 'save'.
I was able to convey my feelings onto paper and transposed these into different genres as I went through my journey. My membership on BCAUS Forum re-assured me that my feelings were 'normal'. We blogged the good, bad and humorous moments and we shared matters that only 'we' could understand.
I found myself buying and learning to use new technologies and gradually taught myself to produce and mix a wide genre of songs which would hopefully not just represent but also appeal to people of various ages.
Diagnosis became 'orchestral rock'. Fear of chemo equalled 'alternative'. Jazz, swing, motown, pop and country came along to tell my story. I had a mini-musical on my hands. My hobby was turning into a passion. Friends listened and said that they had no idea I felt like this.
There were many late nights and early mornings thanks to chemo-brain and I swear that I have no recollection of mixing some of the tracks, but they came out okay so I have no complaints!
My band pitched in to help out and on the final song of the album we had 15 people squashed into the spare room recording vocals!
One year on, I can't perform yet, but I have started a small business as a composer/musician. I've had two pieces picked up for Government information films, my band is finishing an album and my mini-musical has web feedback from across the world. I want to donate as much of the profit as I can afford to genetic research.
Creativity through treatment gave me focus. It helped get me through. Cancer has finally made me pursue my love of music after 25 years! I'm following my dream and if I can help raise funds to find a cure at the same time, that's a real bonus.