My cancer song — Enough to Make Me Happy

alien mask

This is the (revised) song I was writing when I was going through my bone marrow transplant.  At the time we had to move to a motel in Mountain View for a month, and fortunately we had taken the guitar.  It was hard for me to hold and play because I had a pretty weak back, but I managed to do that just enough to write this song.  Of course, Sarita was an incredible support. As you can see, writing songs really does help me process and survive everything.  Sarita and I sang it at the bone marrow transplant reunion that Stanford had one summer as our testament to survival, and we had a lot of fun.  Many people told us afterward how much they could relate to the very specific things the song talks about that are part of the treatment.  Because of all that’s been happening around me lately, I’ve been thinking of this song, and it’s good to remind myself that I’m still alive and still very loved and loving, and these are the important things.

Enough to Make Me Happy

When I was young, how I looked, and who I got to hang out with

Were all that really mattered to me.

At 18 I married a cute, young guy, we’d go on sunny Sunday drives

Our motorcycle for everyone to see.



Now I’ve got a bald head through and through

Still I’ve got my dog and I’ve got you

And a good guitar, and that’s enough to make me happy.


Life ran along, age caught up to me with changes in my family

The job I loved began to take its toll

Seemed all I did was not enough

My kids were acting really tough

A peaceful weekend was my only goal.


Then sickness came, my ribs hurt in the early part of December

The doctor said,  “Don’t worry, it’s only stress.”

So I sat in a hot tub, got a massage,

Spent hours on the treadmill in my garage

But with all that, I still felt like a mess.  (Back to chorus)


Went out of town, to get a break from crazy California

And the doctor who couldn’t make up her mind.

Lived three weeks in New Mexico, then went to the chiropractor for

Some tests, it was cancer he did find.



Now I’ve got a whole chestful of tubes

And miles of tape stuck to my boobs

And I’m throwing up in containers everywhere.

I wear the Hepa mask to keep the germs at bay

But I got a good woman who loves me anyway

There’s one thing I’ve learned about livin’, it’s all about love.


Just like the desert, my new life is opening up to all the spaces

Between the sky and the dusty, brown earth.

A thunderstorm may come along, I’ll show my balance is just as strong

Because I’m livin’ for all I’m worth. (Back to chorus)


Copyright 2011 Susan Alexander









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s