A heartfelt thanks to Nickelback...........for saving me!
As musicians ourselves, my partner and I have been great appreciators of the bands music since we first saw the video to 'How You Remind Me' and knew instantly that these guys were something special. Little did I know how much of an impact their music would have........
Last November (2011), I was given some terrible news. At age 37, I was diagnosed with Cancer. It was unbelievable, and my loved ones were devastated. I had two options. Attempt Radio and Chemotherapy, and have a 25% chance - or undergo massive life changing surgery and remove the threat - greatly improving my chances. It was a no brainer - I went for the surgery.
I was completely debilitated and in physical pain for the months following, but it was worth it to give myself the chance to see my son grow up.
Something else occurred during my recovery. An awareness that I was not using my talents, that I was wasting my potential, that I had been concerned with petty and unimportant things in my life, and that life is just too damned short to waste it!
I have always been a bit of a Maverick, and was born with the impulse to 'colour outside the lines' but now that I had been reminded of the fragility of my mortality, this trait seemed even more pronounced - and then it started........
The thrill of being alive wore off and the dark fear and trauma of what I had just been through overwhelmed me - I crumbled. I couldn't function. I was awake all night, sleeping all day and crying. I was also dealing with the major after effects of the surgery, and felt closer to the abyss than I ever had in my life. I stared into the mirror, and did not recognise myself - my eyes were dull and lifeless - like i had 'left the building'.
Then, one cloudy morning, i reached into my bag and found my ipod - I fancied doing something other than staring at the tv or sleeping, and stuck the ipod onto the docking station and it burst into life at the beginning of 'If Today Was Your Last Day'.
The lyrics 'Each day's a gift and not a given right' permeated the fog in my brain. By the time the song had reached the bridge 'You know it's never too late, to shoot for the stars regardless of who you are' I was free!!!
At that moment, I had decided to live - to really live - not just exist. The words of that song came at the exact moment I needed to break free of the past few months, and start looking forward to the future.
So here I am 9 months on, started a new band, back singing again, currently in remission, and refusing to waste a single moment. And for as long as I have the energy and strength, I am going to love every breath, cherish every sunrise, marvel at the moon, sing my heart out and dance like nobody's watching.
I am going to see the guys at Wembley on 8th Oct, and although I probably wont get a chance to thank them in person, I thought if I shared it with you guys, they might get to hear about the crazy, redhead who is winning her battles, standing her ground and making the most of her life because their music was there, burning like a beacon in the darkness, and helping to turn a pile of ashes into a phoenix.
Shine On! Peace to you all and thank you
Cat Rivers xxxx