My Fight Song

Do you have a fight song? A song you go to during difficult times; one that brings you peace amongst the turmoil. I have several fight songs, but no matter what I’m going through I always come back to one song.

When I was in 8th grade, one teacher made us memorize a poem. An easy way for me to memorize things is to put it to music, whether it’s me changing a song lyrics or writing my own song. Well, I did just that. I arranged my own song and used the poem lyrics as the words. I was proud of my accomplishment. The first piece I was truly proud to put my name on.

I walked into class ready to take this written “poem” test. He handed the sheet out, and I immediately freaked out. Within a few seconds, I got up from my seat and turned in my blank page. When the teacher asked me if I was really turning in a blank sheet of paper, my smart mouth responded back. My classmates chuckled, and to the hallway I went with the teacher close behind me.

I memorized the wrong poem. I memorized Sunrise and Sunset by Emily Dickenson.

I explained what happened. Told him I could recite the other poem to him, and even play the accompaniment part on the piano. If he really wanted, I’d mesmerize him (and the class) with my lovely vocals and playing skills. I can play the piano, I can sing. But, I cannot do both at the same time. I struggle most times! Ha!

He didn’t like my response, and I failed that test.

No matter what mountains or valleys I’ve had in my life, I always go back to that song. It’s my fight song. My senior year of high school, I made it into an arrangement for multiple instruments. I entered it into an arrangement competition on a whim, and placed very highly at the state level. I had the opportunity to record it live in a studio, but didn’t. To this day, I wish I had. Throughout the years, I’ve tweaked things and added to it.

Yes, I have many songs that are my fight songs through various parts of my life – bad breakup, cheating boyfriend, college stress, sister’s cancer, my surgeries, etc etc. I hear those songs and there is either one of three reactions/responses: 1) I smile because I made it through and it’s no longer a rough patch memory. 2) I’m instantly taken back to where I was when I got whatever news or time in my life. I haven’t come through on the other side to make my response number one. Things are still a little touchy. 3) I instantly tear up. One day I’ll be on the other side and have response number one.

When I still hear, “I’m Going to Love You Through It” by Martina McBride, I tear up. That song hits me hard and a huge reminder. “Because We Can” by Bon Jovi is one of my athletic fight songs (amongst many others – ha). “Hopeless Wanderer” by Mumford & Sons is another go-to song. Right now, my fight song is “This is Your Fight Song (Rachel Platten Scottish Cover)” by The Piano Guys. It incorporates the Scottish Drum Corp, Bagpipes, Piano, and Cello. The two songs they merge together are Rachel Platten’s Fight Song and Amazing Grace. I took percussion/drum lessons for over 5 years, took piano lessons for over 20 years, played violin for over 16 years, and have always wanted to learn bag pipes. It ties in my music loves and two of my favorite songs – A modern song mixed with your traditional church song! Grace and hope go hand-in-hand. The song is powerful and an anthem of my life. I need grace every day. I don’t always understand the struggle or why, but there is a purpose and that purpose is enough.

When my doctor appointment yesterday was a little rough, and I was reminded again of my faulty BRCA gene, I turned to this song. I played it the whole drive home and then some.

I dislike hospitals. I hate the smell. I strongly dislike getting my blood drawn. I hate needles. I dislike doctor appointments. I strongly dislike the list of questions, but I know it’s them following protocol.

I dislike the anticipation and anxiety that leads up to my appointments. If be lying to you if I said the appointments don’t affect me. They do.

Yesterday was one of those days. Sitting in the lab having blood drawn should be easy, right? Ha – not in my case. I sat there for 10 minutes listening to the clock talk (tick tock, tick tock), and the lady move the needle here and there just to fill up 3 tubes. I heard several times, “it’s never taken me this long to draw blood…my, you have small veins…are you sure you’re okay? You’re looking pale.”

I am extremely thankful for the oncology team that’s in place to guide and help me. These appointments are stressful. One day I’ll come to terms with all of the bi-annual doctor appointments and blood draws. One day they won’t have to ask me the laundry list of questions regarding whether or not I’ll have kids, whether or not I’ll freeze my eggs, whether or not I’ll do this or that…It all comes with the territory of being BRCA1 positive. It’s hard to explain and put into words, unless you’ve been there. I felt broke yesterday afternoon…but, I reminded myself that you can still color with a broken crayon.

My fight song got me through. I was able to pillow my head last night knowing today is a new day. I have a new canvass waiting to be painted. I have another page to write in my book. I may have failed that poem test in eighth grade, but I have my own fight song that’s carried me through everything. I’m the one with the last laugh. Memorizing the wrong poem was the best thing that happened to me!

Here’s my fight song. I’ve never shared this outside of my family (and that one competition I entered), so happy listening!! Don’t mind the sound quality, it’s from the music software program I used to write the song…


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