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  • Ask anyone who has personally experienced cancer, any kind, and they will tell you that it changes you forever; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is the most nonsensical thing I have ever experienced. What's good is bad, what's bad is good; any perceptions of "normal" get stretched and tortured like a unwanted wad of taffy on a pulling machine at the fair. The cancer experience is an involuntary marathon with a finish line that moves wildly and which often sees the most enthusiastic supporters drop out early because it is simply too unbearable to watch. It is also amazing. I will forever marvel at what my body can endure. I have been pumped full of chemicals that are derivatives of mustard gas used in battle, blasted with radiation in sealed rooms with 8" thick lead doors, endured multiple surgeries while floating in controlled unconsciousness on the same drugs favored by Kavorkian, executioners and Michael Jackson. I have never felt so complete strangers. I have never before felt gratitude so deeply; deep down in my soul so much so that at times it almost aches. In the darkest moments my faith in humanity was lifted by the level of compassion and kindness that I felt and continue to feel from the team of medical professionals that take care of me. I think that I used to "count my blessings" as a misguided activity to ward off mishap and hardship. I now believe that true gratitude, not the mere recognition of good times, can rarely be experienced in the absence of hardship. I don't count my blessings anymore. Instead, I choose to express my gratitude.
    Thank you, Shannon, for reminding me of that magical elixir called music, even if it is desperately sad, and for sharing your journey. I hear you, I get it, and I am grateful.
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