Three-time breast cancer survivor and Komen board member Marie M. La Fargue writes how music was an important part of her healing process. We celebrate Marie and her journey, and will recognize survivors at the upcoming Music for the Cure on Sept. 12, and the Race for the Cure on Sept. 27. Join us at both these wonderful events!
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By Marie M. La Fargue
As much as there has been miraculous healing and a sense of peace in my life about breast cancer after sixteen years of survivorship, it is safe to say that “a song has outlived all sermons in the memory”—to paraphrase a famous quote by Henry Gates! Amy Grant’s beautiful holiday song, “Breath of Heaven” always comes to mind as well as the gospel song “Never Would Have Made It” that is hauntingly and powerfully sung by Marvin Sapp. After three times battling this disease, it is very evident that there has been an ever-present divine force guiding and protecting my life—how else could I have survived such mayhem and still have a song to sing?
Good medicine was mixed with a touch of melodic music—jazz, classical, R & B, pop, rock, and only on a few occasions the blues … because they do not stay in my soul for very long! Through each battle I received and interpreted report after report, scan after scan, consult after consult and an abundance of overwhelming information—solicited and unsolicited—to add to the ever playing symphony in the scale of “the big C” Major in the tetrachords of B—breast cancer—minor. I became very much in tune with authentic living and my sentiments became very simpatico with the great jazz legend Miles Davis who once said, “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” I became quite the master at improvising!
Yes, I learned to muster the courage to hear the song in my own heart that helped me make the decisions to ensure my survivorship. As an opinion was rendered, I went into my sacred place to arrange the music that felt right in my spirit regardless of what I saw on the medical sheet music. And even as the critics’ words seemed to shake the confidence in my sound, voice, and presence, I continued to make beautiful music with the medical wonders that happened in each medical stage performance. After such a journey of faith and perseverance despite some critics and skeptics reviews, my Grammy Award of life is in knowing that I did it “My Way” and I can sing my song with a chorus of other beautiful women who have seen more than a few days of “Stormy Weather” before they could “Let the Sun Shine!”