Fighting depression with music

It’s Friday! That means I do a multimedia Friday post. Earlier this week I participated in a teleconference support group for blood cancer patients. One of the topics discussed was what people do to try keeping depression away. I don’t think I’ve suffered too much from depression, but I have felt it creep in at times (especially this week when my sons muscle condition is getting worse and I fear I will lose a couple more teeth). The best way I’ve found to keep depression away is with music. In this post I will share some songs that help keep my depression away.

Now there are a lot of inspirational playlists out there. Those are fine and dandy. But I have found what works the best is to create a playlist with songs that have personal connections. I tend to use songs that help me remember an event or period of my life that brings back good feelings. I also make sure I don’t keep playing the same song; that way I don’t get caught in a different type of depression hoping for those times to come back. I actually have a lot more than five songs I use to keep depression at bay, but I thought I would keep this post somewhat short.

Jackson Browne – The Load Out and Stay

Not only is my first choice just a beautiful song, it has a personal connection for me. Back in the 90’s I was stationed in Bad Kreuznach, Gernmany. My unit was being deployed to Bosnia as part of Operation Joint Endeavor. We used trains to get our equipment to Hungary, and then rolled into Bosnia. The day we loaded up the trucks and equipment on the rail flatbeds I remember singing this song with a group of other soldiers. I vividly remember each of us taking a turn trying to sing the high part in Stay. We probably sounded ridiculous, but it was great fun. That has always been a vivid memory for me; and this song always brings back the fun we had that day.

Thin Lizzy – Whiskey in the Jar

This might seem like an odd song to fight depression, but it ties back to a series of memories from my army days. There used to be an Irish pub some of us would hang out at to drink beer (Kilkenny was my choice), shoot darts, and often we would sing this song. Those were some great nights!

Bob Seger – Travelin’ Man/Beautiful Loser

I consider the Travelin’ Man part of this duo to sum up how I lived life in my 20’s. I went all over and have some great memories from this time-period. But when I hit my 30’s I was finally ready to settle down, but it was hard. I just had to realize I didn’t need it all. For some reason this song always makes me feel good about the things I’ve done to get to where I am now in life. Plus I happen to be a huge Bob Seger fan.

Warren Zevon – Frank & Jesse James

I happen to think Warren Zevon was a genious, and could have made a playlist of just his songs. But this one particular lifts my spirits because it reminds me of my little boys. Actually I often call them Frank and Jesse if they are getting into some sort of trouble, which brothers tend to do. Plus I always found the chorus “keep on riding, riding, riding” to be inspirational. I’ll play this song and remember some of the adventures the boys have had and can’t help but smile.

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson – Good Hearted Woman

I believe I have the best wife and love her to no end. But looking back I’m not sure how she stuck with me in the early part of our marriage. I was constantly traveling, working, and generally doing anything but being around for her. Those times have changed, and luckily she put up with some of my Travelin’ Man days carrying over into our marriage. This song reminds me of how lucky I am to have her!

Bonus Song – David Allen Coe – You Never Even Call Me By My Name

I’ve always like this song, but lately it has been upgraded to one of the songs that helps to keep depression away due to the cancer. David Allen Coe sang this song to throw a big finger at the country music industry that shunned him. I like to sing along with this song and pretend I’m giving a big finger to the cancer going throughout my body. Plus I think the last verse of this song is danged funny.

Bonus Bonus Song – D.A.D. – Laugh N A Half

I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep this to five songs… or even six. This last track comes from the Danish band D.A.D. and it has always touched me. I really use this song to keep in mind that I don’t have to worry about how others treat or perceive me. Plus I’ve always love the lyric: “When think about things I’ve done, I laugh out loud to no one, yeah to no one”.

A special Monday song

Like many cancer patients in the modern world I am part of support groups on Facebook. In one of these groups a truly marvelous individual just lost the battle and has passed on. Instead of doing a normal blog post today I thought I would share a song written and performed by this individual. I never really got the chance to know him. But this song really hits close to home.

Multimedia Friday – Videos to explain cancer to kids

Its multimedia Friday again. Today I thought I would post a couple of videos to help people explain cancer to kids. I know my kids have had questions about cancer and I think my wife and I have done a fair job of explaining things to them. But I also think using videos such as the ones below can be helpful to supplement talks with kids.

I think this first video is great to explain to kids how some things might change when a family member has cancer.

This next video has some tips for parents about how to talk about cancer with children. The narrator of the video focuses on a couple of different age ranges.

Finally this last video is an animated video to possibly help younger children understand cancer in a visual way.

Bonus Video

This weeks music video is from the Danish Band D-A-D. The lyrics from this song hit home for my cancer diagnosis. Especially the line “I got run over by truth one day”.

Multimedia Friday – Video explaining follicular lymphoma

Cd player

Last Friday I posted a playlist of five songs I found on YouTube to help explain the cancer experience through music. I also had a proud dad moment and posted the video of my middle son marching in his High School band. Going forward I think I will continue to post videos and songs on Fridays.

This week I will post an informational video I found earlier this week. I sent a link of this video to a good friend to help him understand the type of cancer I suffer from. Since he thought it helped him to understand my diagnosis, I hope this video will help others understand follicular lymphoma.

Bonus Video!

I can’t go without posting a song as well. This weeks song reminds me of the brain fog I suffer from. I know Jimmy Hendrix did write this song about cancer. But the opening verse to Purple Haze sure feels like cancer induced brain fog:

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

Dealing with Cancer Playlist

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Anyone remember mix tapes? I miss making them…

I have to attend a band competition thing for my son this morning so have less time to blog today. Those who followed some of my previous blog projects may know I like to create small playlists now and then. I thought I would create my first playlist for DadAgainstCancer today. This playlist is five songs I have found on YouTube to explain the cancer experience through song.

Fights Song – Rachel Platten

Up first is a pop song that really doesn’t fall withing the realm of music I usually listen to. But it is an inspirational kind of song for fighting cancer. And more importantly it includes the lyric “wrecking balls inside my brain” throughout the song. This is exactly how my brain fog (chemo brain) feels at times.

Mission – Lupe Fiasco

This is a track I just discovered a few days ago.┬áRapper Lupe Fiasco created a song I should actually do a whole post about because he nails the whole cancer experience. In particular I keep the lyric “I could have died but I came out fighting” in my head since hearing this song.

Jim Croce – Time In A Bottle

Dealing with cancer means confronting the fact you are mortal and the end could come soon. This song comes to mind when I think about the possibility my time with my wife could end; which I don’t want to happen! If I could save time in a bottle I would spend every moment with my wife and kids.

Cancer – My Chemical Romance

This is a sad song and so emotional. Somehow this song actually helps keep depression away; probably because it takes depression head on. “Cause the hardest part of this… is leaving you”……

Live Like You Were Dying – Tim McGraw

This song just hits way too close to home… This one kinda brings a tear for me. Actually I almost named this blog Fumanchu as a hat tip to this song…..

Bonus Track – With A Little Help From My Friends – Joe Cocker

This isn’t really a song about cancer or the cancer experience. But it does seem to be helping me get through my cancer experience. Plus Cocker somehow took a great Beatles song and turned it into something EPIC!