Music Soothes the Savage Beast

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, to bend the knotted oak. -William Congreve.

So, here’s the thing. I’m back on the shit. The garbage. The crap that is extending my life. Yes, folks, I’m back on the hormone therapy drug known as Lupron, or as I like to call it, the Devil’s Serum. And once again I am confronted with a quandary, a dilemma, a out and out puzzler, if you will. It is something I wrestle with every time on on this stuff.

When I’m on Lupron, or Xtandi, or a combination of both, my quality of life really sucks. If effects how I view and do my job, it effects my relationships, it effects everything I do. My wife Holly and I start to do this dance, the one where she tries to understand what I’m going through, and where I try not to act like a total jerk. Some days we both succeed. Some days I fail miserably, which causes her to fail also. Which is totally understandable. It’s hard to understand what a person is going through when THAT PERSON IS ACTING LIKE A TOTAL JERK!! I get it. I’m not easy to live with right now.

So here’s the dilemma: When I’m on hormone therapy, I don’t have a lot of gusto for life. I don’t mean I’m out and out suicidal, although Xtandi got me going down that road. No, what I mean is that I just don’t feel like fighting this thing anymore. I feel like giving up. That’s how bad I feel going through this whole thing.

And here’s the other side of the coin: When I’m not on hormone therapy, I’ve got an INCREDIBLE gusto for life. When testosterone is once again surging through my body, and I start feeling like a whole person again, I want to live life with every fiber of my being. So when my doc comes to me and says my PSA has spiked and says it’s time to start treatment again, I’m like,”Hell, yes! I want to live! Let’s get this party started! Whoop whoop!” Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s more like a resigned, “Aw shit. Again?” And then after the requisite wailing and nashing of teeth and rending of garments, the nurse comes in the room with a gigantic hypodermic needle and I get a great big shot in the butt. Or, my personal fave, two shots to the stomach.(Thanks Firmagon!).

And now, with the latest news that I now have visible tumors,(well, visible on a CT scan, not visible to the naked eye. Which would be weird and a bit awkward. Like,”Hi Dan, how are you feelin-good god what is that thing growing out of your neck??!!” Although, now that I think about it, a visible tumor would take care of that whole,”You have cancer? You look good!” conversation people have with me. You don’t look good with an extra large growth of something hanging from your neck. Wow, how did I get here?) my doc has told me I will be on hormone therapy for the rest of my life. Oh boy. It is still ultimately up to me, but for right now, I’m choosing to fight this thing with hormone therapy and possibly chemotherapy. I have appointments and consultations coming up to help with that decision process.

So, with me being perpetually grumpy to the end of my days, I need to find something to give me an attitude adjustment. Because, if I continue on my current path, I won’t have to worry about the cancer killing me…my family will kill me with their bare hands.

The one thing that has helped me a lot through all this madness has been music. With the advent of music services like Pandora and Apple Music and Spotify, we have ample opportunities to listen to not only our favorite artists and songs, but also hear a bunch of new stuff from new artists and stuff we’ve never heard before. We don’t have to just listen to the radio anymore, kiddies. I am no fan of classic rock, and lord knows there are some songs that need to be retired forever,(I’m looking right at you “Dream On” by Aerosmith), but I’ve discovered some great songs by classic rock artists that are never played on the radio like “Longest Days” by John Mellencamp, or “Be Free” by Loggins and Messina. There is a lot out there that has never made it to any genre of a radio station.

I made a playlist on Apple Music called Running and Biking,( because through it all, I still have some optimism), and I put songs on it that I like, and not just old songs that I love like “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” by Elton John, but also new stuff from artists like Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. And also other artists to which I have been just introduced. I am currently loving a band called JJ Grey and Mofro, a blue eyed soul band out of the swamps of Florida. The playlist has almost every kind of music on it. I started the list back in 2016, my previous Lupron year, and it has grown to 411 songs, which is more than 29 hours of music.

But guess what? I’m always looking for more. I love hearing stuff that moves me, that makes me think, that makes me cry, that soothes me, or makes me sing, or makes me dance. I love music that makes me remember the good times, or even regret the bad times, because music is all part of the cosmic dance on this rock as we twist our way through the galaxy. It helps me deal with the cancer garbage. The right Jimmy Buffet song can turn around my day. A song from Nathaniel Raitliff and the Night Sweats,(great name for Lupron users), will put a smile on my face, and forget about life for awhile. (Thanks Billy Joel!)

The next part of this blog is interactive. I want to hear from you, dear readers. What do you listen to? What moves you, or makes you move? Who do you listen to at the end of a day with a glass of wine, relaxing? What kind of music do you listen to in the car? What songs mean a lot to you because of the memory of the good times, or even, what songs make you cry because of the memories of the bad times?

I post most of my blogs on Facebook, so feel free to put your answers to those questions and any other music that you want to tell me about in the comments section. Also, you can comment right on my blog itself. Or, if you want to stay anonymous, you can email me at Wherever you want to comment, I don’t care. I do have one request, however. When you give me a song or artist, or anything else you want to tell me, please tell me where you are from. I’m a bit of a geography geek, and I love to see views of this blog in other parts of the world, but WordPress puts all views from America as “United States” and I wish they would break that down to individual states. So, if Pete from Florida writes me, just put “Florida” after you tell me about the Duran Duran song that makes you drive really fast. And if you are not from the U.S., tell me the country you’re writing me from. I would love seeing that.

Let’s make my playlist grow and grow and GROW!

My family thanks you.

Thanks for reading.


7 thoughts on “Music Soothes the Savage Beast

  1. Great post, Dan. I’ve been listening to more music lately. One “golden moldy” that gets my blood flowing and I’m compelled to sing (badly) along with is Don McLean’s, “American Pie,” as I cruise down the highways of San Diego with the windows down. You can’t NOT sing along with its chorus.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a marvelous testimony to the “healing” power of music! I’m collecting stories like this for my soon-to-be-launched WordPress blog, Music And Sound Rx, so THANK YOU for sharing! Too many answers to your questions to post right now, but suffice it to say there’s almost always a song in my head that (I’ve come to realize) reflects my mood state. Or desires. Or sorrows. Or life… To be continued. California, Northern, Bay Area

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure it will make you dance but you can check out my band, The Muckers (Irish Rock/Punk/Folk) on Spotify. Playing in two bands over the last year since my diagnosis has been my “drug” getting through RP and chemotherapy. Music definitely gives me strength and healing. Blessings, brother! Steve

    Liked by 1 person

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