We all have our own cancer biographies… we’re all affected in some way or another, and if… by some stroke of good fortune… we’re not, chances are that we know someone who is.
Cancer is something that has reared its head with monotonous regularity in my life, a reemerging drone that is as predicable as it is painful… physically, mentally and emotionally.
My first memory of the disease was seeing my uncle struck down in his late fifties. I was only around 13 myself but seeing this former rugby player reduced to someone who was weak and skinny still haunts me to this day. Soon after my Mother, his sister, got breast cancer… survived, then ten years later died of bone cancer a month after her sixtieth birthday.
The drone went into the background for a while… occasionally reemerging through memories at unexpected times… cancer the great remover of loved ones raising its head through absence… absence of people I cared about… but also through evocative recollections of their decline and demise… a disease whose malign progress often leads to a merciful release… feelings of guilt and relief mixed in with bereavement and sadness.
Gradually those feelings subside and the better memories of loved ones who have passed away come back… until the bloody thing strikes again… bowel cancer with my step-mother and then, a few years later, my Father with lymphoma. The drone returns… of their pain and my guilt… of their fortitude and my feelings of helplessness…
My Father died eight years ago and my own cancer biography gradually went into remission… until earlier this year when my step-sister was diagnosed with the very same sort of cancer as her mother… the drone came back with a vengeance… no longer a memory, but once again very real and a reminder that it’s not just the person with cancer but all around them are affected… me the least of them.
It is experiences and feelings such as this that prompted the good people on the Psych Lovers Facebook Group to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity which started out as the Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer… an organisation that is dedicated not only to cancer patients but also their family and friends… anyone living with cancer. A charity that acknowledges the whole situation when someone has cancer… a charity that tries to make sure that no one has to go through cancer alone.
The response from group members… who include bands, labels, promoters and bloggers… has been brilliant to date with well over £1k already raised through vinyl auctions and donations.
But now we are looking to step things up a gear with the release of this compilation, Psych Against Cancer, which has brought together many of the top bands that we love… just look at the list at the link at the bottom of this post… hours and hours of top tunes donated by people who have their own cancer biographies… people who, one way or another, will have had their own cancer drone erupting in their lives… they’ve given so now it’s your turn.
Let’s be clear this is one of those moments when we want to encourage you to donate as much as you can to this incredibly good cause… if you can afford it please do ‘name your price’ here!
You are going to find something here that you really love! You are going to discover new bands who you never knew existed. Most of all you are going to help people work through their own cancer stories, and while this doesn’t guarantee more happy endings… it does help make those narratives more bearable for all those living through them.
Let’s say FUCK CANCER and dig deep!
The ‘Psych Against Cancer’ compilation is available now on bandcamp here!
Don’t just stream it… DOWNLOAD IT!