Music Reactions: two friends with terminal cancer


So, if you’ve not seen this video yet, you’ll find it entertaining, and perhaps a little sad. And perhaps you know Aimee Mann’s song, Save Me, from the film Magnolia’s sound track or if nothing else, I assure you’ll like the video. But it’s a hard song for anyone not to like. The video was created and edited by my good friend Rudy Fischman. Rudy has inoperable brain cancer, as well as two daughters and a wife – people with whom he wants to leave as much of a legacy of himself as possible.

He’s done a few more, and we’ve done several together coming to YouTube soon, so stay tuned. We’re enjoying our behind the scenes music banter as well as the time we share together developing a friendship that’s a marathon with some sprinting to catch up with the intent of a close friendship that may otherwise take years. It’s nit how long, but the quality it brings into our lives, mostly alone and misunderstood by the vast majority of those around us who don’t have terminal cancer.

Cancer friendships can end without warning. One of us will inevitably die first, and the other will mourn quietly and alone in our grief.

Rudy also produced the poetry episode 46 of The Brain Cancer Diaries by stop please watch and subscribe. You’ll find it here: Poetry Episode . It’s become a fan favorite and sadly Ben North died before it was filmed. Melissa Blank the second poet, died last week at home with her husband, listening to Nina Simone. I joined her death, quietly and alone; Rudy told me right as we began to film one of our music reaction video sessions. I put my face in my hands and asked, no one in particular, “why?” Why does cancer rob us of beautiful souls? It’s not a question so much as a statement.

It’s been another tough week, my friends, and I’ll give you a health update after I meet my new oncologist on Tuesday. In the meanwhile, farewell Ben and Melissa. I’ll carry the poetry torch in your honor best as I can, with dignity and the wisdom of your words whispering through mine. We did not need know each other to get one another. As I said, cancer friendships burn bright and quick sometimes. I’m the only one of the three of us still living. I can only believe that the survivors guilt I’m wracked with might be one of the culprits making my legs heavy with dangerous lymphedema and my belly round with at least six liters of ascites fluid, both side effucks of the radiation treatments I had back in October/ November 2020. Fuck cancer. Seriously.

4 comments on “Music Reactions: two friends with terminal cancer”

  1. I watched the video and I liked it at the same time as it made me sad. The meaning of words change when your life are changing. Sometimes it just hit you like lightning. Save me is beautiful, I have never heard it before. The meaning of the two words is not hard to understand linked up to cancer. I will follow the Brain Cancer diaries on You tube.
    Fuck cancer

    1. Thank you, Rist. Yes is sad but I’m happy to create these reaction videos with Rudy. Our friendship means a great deal more than shown in the end results. But even so, it’s those words – you like the perfect fit/ for a girl in need of a tourniquet – add up to something more than just what’s sung. Save Me – I think is WG at people with cancer latch onto. But- watch the film Magnolia if you have cage time. It’s a hard one but worthwhile, kind of like Rudy’s vlog.

    1. I love Aimee Mann. She’s been around quite a while since her song Voices Carry with Til Tuesday in the 80s. The film for which this song was written fits in the scene it played over perfectly and without any fake tenderness. I related somehow to the film and without question the soundtrack. She does a version of One, originally by Three Dog Night. My dad loved the band and we sang Joy to the World at his memorial 9 years ago. It’s forever ago. He had inoperable brain cancer and our relationship struggled to become whole again before he died in my arms in hospice. I miss him. I miss the people who I’ve lost to cancer since, my life both enriched and enraged.

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