Often times it feels like the puzzle pieces of my life are coming together faster and faster. Sometimes I feel like I can almost get a sense of the picture my life is supposed to make. Every person and every event feel like they are all adding up to something and all contributing to a fated end. I've never been much of a believer of fate. I've always felt that your destiny was in your own control but recently when so many random events came together to tell this big complicated story that couldn't be told any other way, I begin to wonder...
I'm a very musical person inside but until just a few years ago that talent was largely ignored. Playing music was a quiet hobby that I did when I had time and no one was around. I would dream of someday playing for people, as I'm sure many closet musicians do, but never did I think I would actually get to live my dream. In May 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and that changed everything.
Let me just tell you that being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 37 as a wife and mother of two young children straight up blows. Within a few months of the diagnosis, I found myself without a breast or hair as it was recommended I have a mastectomy and undergo 4 rounds of chemotherapy. As I slowly healed from the physical and emotional toll the whole cancer experience took on me, I began to think that today was my someday. The thought that I might die and never get to live my dream terrified me, so I began to take steps to make my dream a reality.
I began to look for other musicians to work with and posted some of my music on Soundcloud for prospective music collaborators to hear. It was a producer, Glenn Sawyer, at The Spot Studios in Lakewood, Colorado who heard it and wrote me asking if I would like to work with him. Within about 5 months of meeting Glenn, I had recorded an album. Bam. It happened just like that. Suddenly with an outlet I found myself writing songs I had no idea I could write. They were expertly produced by Glenn and his production partner Rich Veltrop and now I have something I can be really proud of. It was an unexpected success in one of my first attempts into the music foray and I felt it was a really huge piece of the puzzle.
Things began to move quickly with the hiring of my manager Joel Rekiel and the sudden booking of live shows. This was a whole new dynamic for me and I had to rehearse like crazy just to remember my own words. The more I was faced with the challenge of really actually becoming an honest-to-god musician the more I wanted it. It became a burning desire in me to do this. To perform on stage, to move people with my music. To have a voice and be heard. We released a total of 5 singles and made a really cool music video for my lead single "Numb". After consulting with my recently hired publicist, we set the release date for my aptly named album Secret Music as January 13, 2015. It was all coming together: the bigger I dreamed, more likely those dreams seemed to become a reality. Wow, I am really doing this! Amazing! I began work on my second album even though my first wasn't released yet. The music just kept coming. Opportunities were opening at every turn, like writing a blog for the Huffington Post. How cool is that?
So you can understand why I was really extra angry when I was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time in Sept. 2014. It metastasized to the lymph nodes when I wasn't looking and now I'm down 10 cancerous lymph nodes and am the proud owner of my own Power Port. (No, it doesn't give you superpowers. I asked.) The port is to facilitate the 8 rounds of chemotherapy I have to undergo. I am 4 rounds into chemo as I write this and still trying to figure what the heck happened.
The cancer seems so much more real this time. The fact that it came back made it, in my mind at least, extra aggressive. The chemotherapy is much more serious this time too with different medications that cause some decidedly more severe and unpleasant side effects. It was hard enough thinking of starting a music career in my 40's but add to that the complications of balancing chemo and life and kids and I feel often times I'm in over my head. But every event, every obstacle is part of the puzzle. I have to trust that this is all part of the big picture because it just seems too huge and traumatizing to be random.
In an attempt to make the absolute best of the situation, I have deemed this time as my chemo chrysalis. A time to settle in and focus on what is important to me. To quietly create music as I endure this latest setback. To get myself rested and primed for when I am healthy and ready to take on the impossible. I should be done with chemo treatments in April and then follow that up with 6 weeks of radiation therapy. By June of 2015 I should be done with this latest cancer challenge and ready to get back to music full-time. I can't let this kill me, I have a dream to live.
You can learn more about me on my website where I blog about stuff in general and get updates on my music. www.amykressmusic.com
You can also follow my experience as I continue through my treatment and beyond on my Caring Bridge page. www.caringbridge.com/amyhumphreys1.