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20 Lines From Songs That Describe the Cancer Experience

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For those of us who have faced cancer in the past or present, sometimes there are simply no words to describe the vivid memories and how they leave us feeling. It’s not easy to take a whirlwind of emotions and situations and bottle them into a single word or phrase. But music often has the power do just that.

We asked our cancer community to share the lines from songs that describe their own, or a loved one’s, cancer experience. Maybe you’ll discover a few to add to your own personal playlist.

Here are the lines they shared:

1. “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” by Martina McBride

“Just take my hand, together we can do it/ I’m gonna love you through it.” 

Submitted by Kaylee O.

2. “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten

“I’ll walk through hell with you/ Love, you’re not alone.” 

Submitted by Bunga R.

3.  “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers

“But I would walk 500 miles/ And I would walk 500 more/ Just to be the man who walks 1000 miles/ To fall down at your door.” 

Submitted by  Chris R. (About her husband)

4. “Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. Will.i.Am

“You can walk straight through hell with a smile.” 

Submitted by Cyndi H. (About her son, Drew)

5. “I Would Trade” by Clarensau

“Another night in the waiting room/ You’re 50 feet from me, I still miss you.” 

Submitted by Simone T. (About her baby girl)

6. “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree

“You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold/ You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard/  You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger/ You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm/ You gotta stay together.” 

Submitted by Krystal L.

7.“Head Above Water” by Theory of a Deadman

“You try to keep your head above water/ It’s never been harder/ Even when it feels hopeless/ You’re gonna get through this.” 

Submitted by Kim P. (About her husband)

8. “The Dance” by Garth Brooks

“I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance.” 

Submitted by Joan L.

9. “Skin (Sarabeth)” by Rascal Flatts

“She dreams she’s dancing/ Around and around without any cares/ And her very first love is holding her close/ And a soft wind is blowing her hair.” 

Submitted by Kate N.

10. “Vanilla Twilight” by Owl City

“Oh if my voice could reach back through the past/ I’d whisper in your ear/ Oh, darling, I wish you were here.” 

Submitted by Colleen S.

11. “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through” by Meatloaf

“You’ve been through the fires of hell/ And I know you’ve got the ashes to prove it.” 

Submitted by Ron S.

12.  “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce

“If I could save time in a bottle/ The first thing that I’d like to do/ Is to save every day/ ‘Til eternity passes away/ Just to spend them with you.” 

Submitted by Judy C.

13. “Roar” by Katy Perry

“You held me down, but I got up (hey!)/ Already brushing off the dust/ You hear my voice, your hear that sound/ Like thunder, gonna shake your ground/ You held me down, but I got up/ Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough/ I see it all, I see it now.” 

Submitted by Amanda H. (About her son)

14. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons

“I’m radioactive, radioactive.”

 Submitted by Tamara S.

15. “I Will Not Bow” by Breaking Ben

“I will not bow/ I will not break.” 

Submitted by Michelle H.

16. “Walk” by Foo Fighters

“Set me free, again/ To keep alive, a moment at a time/ That’s still inside, a whisper to a riot/ The sacrifice, the knowing to survive/ The first decline, another state of mind/ I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign/ Forever, whenever, I never wanna die.” 

Submitted by Jill B. (In honor of her son, Jackson, malignant brain tumor survivor)

17. “Throwback (Remix)” by Usher

“Time is against me/ You never miss something ‘til it’s gone/ That’s my word, ma, you convinced me/ It might not happen, but I’m still hoping.” 

Submitted by Michele B. (About her son)

18.  “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

“This is my fight song/ Take back my life song/ Prove I’m alright song.” 

Submitted by Jennifer M. (I know the words are for another situation but my husband had it playing as I walked into a surprise party he planned — himself — and threw for me to celebrate my remission. I cry when every time I hear that song. Every. Single. Time.)

19. “Praying” by Kesha

“I’m proud of who I am/ No more monsters, I can breathe again/ And you said that I was done/ Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come.” 

Submitted by Kerianne D.

20. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheehan

“When your legs don’t work like they used to before” (Using a walker for several months after surgery)/ “When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades.” (Hair loss, chemo brain) 

Submitted by Julieann S.

Do you have a line from a song that you’d like to add? Share it in the comments below.

Originally published: August 16, 2017
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