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Hockey Fights Cancer

Nicholle Anderson blog: My treatment playlist

Hockey Fights Cancer Ambassador, wife of Senators goalie, shares songs that helped her each day

by Nicholle Anderson / Special to

Editors' note: Nicholle Anderson, the wife of Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson, will write a blog each Wednesday in November for to help mark Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month. 

Anderson was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a rare form of throat cancer, last October, and on May 25 was declared cancer-free.

She is serving as a Hockey Fights Cancer Ambassador. Here is her third blog entry.


[RELATED: Anderson, Hayes share cancer fights with NHL NetworkHockey Fights Cancer coverage]


Your state of mind should be one of your main concerns while going through treatment. Often in such situations, we are all guilty of thinking about the what ifs that could lead our minds into negative thoughts. These negative thoughts allow us to feel fear, hopelessness and defeat. Since we already feel this way when you hear the word cancer, it is important to set your mind to a positive outlook. 

I think it is important to acknowledge what makes you happy. Cancer patients definitely need outlets that keep our minds in a good place. 

During treatment, it was crucial for me to find things to occupy my time. Besides looking forward to hockey games, indulging in Netflix series, reading, and making Shutterfly books, music became my outlet.

Music set the tone daily for me. Ever since I was a little girl, I always enjoyed listening to all kinds of music. I was that kid when a song came out, it would be on repeat for three weeks until I couldn't listen to it anymore. Looking back, I probably drove my parents nuts, dancing and making up dance routines for cheerleading with the same song day in and day out.

I gravitated toward all genres during treatment. I would reminisce about different chapters of my life through music. Pearl Jam, U2, Aerosmith, and Red Hot Chili Peppers brought me back to the days pitching quoits with my "Boro" friends. I remembered driving around with my hometown girls blasting Destiny's Child, Salt-N-Pepa, Toni Braxton, En Vogue, and Eminem. I know: such a variety of music, but listening to all different kinds of songs helped me push through the treatment. The memories brought so many smiles

Video: Nicholle Anderson on her cancer fight, work with NHL

Another chapter in my life was country music. That is how I met Craig. I was bartending at the Round Up in Davie, Florida while teaching fourth grade. I started listening around the clock to country music. Some of my favorite artists are Garth Brooks, George Strait and Alan Jackson.

In treatment, my whole family jumped on board with singing songs. Each family member had a song that connected with me. Here is a list of songs that lifted our spirits. 

1. "Amazed" -- Lonestar. This is our wedding song. I would listen to the song and just watch my husband wear so many hats and just fall in love more and more with him. He would just bring smiles to my face and he didn't even know. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you by my side," would get me every time. I just appreciated every move he made during treatment.

2. "Don't Stop Believing" -- Journey. It gave me hope to keep believing through all of it. My sister Caiti and I would sing this song together.

Watch: Youtube Video

3. "Beautiful Day" -- U2. I always loved U2. I even used this song in our wedding video. It is just a reminder that each day is beautiful and a gift.

4. "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." I love Walt Disney World. I think I love it more than my kids. I would sing this in treatment when I would walk the halls filled with morphine. Caiti just send me a video of me in my hospital gown walking the halls of the hospital with my IV singing this song. I have no recollection of this. 

5. "Unanswered Prayers" -- Garth Brooks. Garth Brooks is one of my favorite performers of all time. I am a huge country music fan, and Craig and I are a part of his foundation called Teammates for Kids. During my treatment, I had a personalized video from him cheering me on to fight. Besides loving his music, he is truly an amazing person.

Watch: Youtube Video

6. "Rhiannon" -- Fleetwood Mac. I listen to a lot of Stevie Nicks during treatment. It reminded me of my childhood growing up listening to my parents' tunes.

7. "Coming Home" -- Diddy. This song played as I ended my last radiation. I walked out of the center to be embraced by my family. GRADUATION DAY!

8. "Here Comes the Sun" -- The Beatles. I remember watching the sun going down at chemotherapy and I just started singing this song. It reminded it me that "it's alright."

Watch: Youtube Video

9. "Call on Me" -- Eric Prydz. I changed the words to Calories Call on me. Since I was losing so much weight I would sing this song to encourage myself to eat. My Aunt Marie and I watched the video on YouTube and couldn't help but giggle. My version of the song was a good reminder to eat.

10. "I'm Still Standing" -- Elton John. My sister and I love to crack jokes. I remember having a heart-to-heart with her. It was an emotional time, and then I started singing, "I'm still standing, YEAH YEAH YEAH!" It totally changed our moods and we just laughed.

11. "Hope In Front Of Me" -- Danny Gokey. This song was a connection with God. Throughout my journey, my relationship with God grew to a whole new level, between reading biblical messages and Jesus is calling, watching YouTube videos, and listening to Christian music help me develop a new relationship with God.

12. "Fight Song" -- Rachel Platten. This song made me feel power, leaving me wanting to take back my life.

Watch: Youtube Video

Music has a special way of bringing that daily positivity you need in your fight. What's your favorite song?

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