Hip Hop Saved My Life
2018– what a fuckin’ year, am I right? I honestly feel like this year was such a blur. I’m sitting here in my bed writing this, wondering how I even got here. Flipping through photos from this past year, I felt like I did nothing and everything at the same time.
So you know about my Breast Cancer, right? If you don’t, then maybe you need to start at the beginning of this blog. Do not pass go, and do not collect $200. Rather than go into a laundry list of ways in which Breast Cancer has fundamentally changed my life, I will just talk about music instead. That’s more fun, obviously.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I am the girl always asked to make road trip playlists, or receive “who sings that song?” texts. I will take it one step further and say I have an extreme love and appreciation for hip hop. Aside from the “skater girl” phase I went through my sophomore year of high school, I have always really gravitated towards hip hop, and considered discovering new artists a hobby.
Music is a constant in my life. It has always been there for me. Good times. Bad times. Doesn’t matter. Regardless of what mood I’m in, I will find a song or artist to fit that mood, and it instantly makes me feel better. Slow clap for music. It is a powerful thing.
Throughout my cancer journey, I was struggling to find a way to normalize my life. My life was anything but normal, but it was important to me to keep something consistent and comfortable. That’s where music came in. I started a series on my Instagram called Hip Hop Chemo. On every chemo week before Steve and I would head off to get injected with poisonous miracles that I can’t pronounce, we would film a video of me dancing and singing to a hip hop jam that resonated with me on that particular day. I found my thing. Throughout all of the bullshit, I was still me.
Radiation started, and I thought, “holy shit, how am I going to do this?” Everyday. Monday-Friday. For 5 weeks. Neat. Here comes hip hop again. Ready to do me a solid. I started filming Instagram stories of myself every day of radiation singing along to tracks that inspired me that day. (I added them to a highlight bucket on my feed for your viewing pleasure) I will still go back and watch them just to see how far I have come. Some days I looked tired. Some I decided to put a red lip on. The point is, I was still me. Even though underneath that shirt is a tanned, peeling, itchy stump — I am me.
As we say adios to 2018 today, I wanted to share something special with y’all. I put together a playlist of all the songs that got me through this year. Some old. Some new. I have been told my playlists are the truth. You be the judge. Disclaimer- these songs have healing powers. They kept me going another day. They made me dance. They made me think. I can only hope they do the same for you. No matter what you are going through. Cancer or no cancer.
You can access the playlist here.
Bring it, 2019. #CDREAM.