Lots of people, perhaps most people!, associate specific songs with important moments in their lives. You see this happen all the time in movies: first dance, first kiss, first driving lesson, first camping trip, first stubbed toe, first whatever. Songs played at weddings are a typical example. Well, Stefano and I don’t have a specific song. Of course, we both LOVE music, from classical to jazz and so on, but our love story is not tied to any particular song. I do have, however, a specific song tied to a specific moment in my life: when I learned what MGUS really meant the potential consequences
At some point in 2003 my GP finally gave me a gentle but detailed explanation concerning the monoclonal component that had showed up in my bloodstream since 1999, informing me that my still-benign MGUS could some day progress to a malignant incurable cancer.
Malignant. Incurable. Cancer.
Well, I remember being very calm and collected when I received this lovely bit of news in his office. I asked him a few questions, took his written request for me to have a check-up at the Hematology Center at Careggi Hospital in Florence, thanked him as usual and left. I got into my car, turned on the radio, and burst into tears (I still get emotional when I think back to that moment). Just then, though, the radio station began playing a song by Cat Stevens called Father and Son. I began listening to the lyrics and stopped crying. I later read that it was a song about lonely childhoods and the Russian Revolution (not the Myeloma Revolution), but never matter. Here are the relevant, to me, lyrics (I took out several lines, e.g. find a girl, settle down etc.):
Father: It’s not time to make a change, Just relax, take it easy. There’s so much you have to know. I know that it’s not easy, To be calm when you’ve found something going on. But take your time, think a lot, Why, think of everything you’ve got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. It’s not time to make a change, Just sit down, take it slowly. There’s so much you have to go through. Son: All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside, It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.
I remember thinking that this song contained a lot of sound advice: take your time, think a lot, just sit down, think of everything you’ve got, it’s hard but it’s harder to ignore it, etc. The right song came along at the moment I needed it, and I remembered this little fact yesterday while listening to another Cat Stevens’ song on the same radio station.
This song helped me through a tough time. I won’t forget that. Take it slowly but don’t ignore it.
Back to my research, now!