Stewart Francke

Age: Adult
Association: Survivor
Region: Michigan
Cancer: Leukemia

"A song would lend me peace when I was too sick or scared to sleep."

Music was an emotional and spiritual lodestar for me while I had leukemia and then went through high dose chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant as the curative treatment. 10 years of complications and rejection issues would follow my treatment.

Music provided me with an antidote for loneliness, acute sickness, fear, worry about my family, even boredom. Its vibrant beauty gave me hope when woeful, strength when weak, vitality when spent, and a notion of continuity and endurance when afraid my time was very limited. A song would lend me peace when I was too sick or scared to sleep. Singing—the natural evocative timbre of the human voice—could give me wings to “fly” from the predictable dread of a cancer facility. Cancer brought me close to death; music gave me life.