Hi! I'm Cadence

I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia on February 12, 2018. This is my story.

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1827 days

5 years. It feels like both an incredibly long time and sometimes like little time at all has passed since my transplant. There are days where I’m so far from it now, it seems like a long-lost memory of something horrible somewhere way off in the distance; then there are days where something small like a scene in a TV show where someone is dying of cancer will trigger a bout of PTSD and it feels like I’m right back in the madness and heartbreak and I’m suddenly sobbing uncontrollably. 

Although I still have challenges to overcome, today is my fifth Re-Birthday, and this year more than any of the last few I’m finally able to feel true gratitude after cancer experience. For the last two years I’ve been doing intensive psychotherapy three times a week with my cancer therapist Christian, trying move beyond the mental and physical damage of my transplant as well as some of my other anxiety and shame issues to reclaim a life filled with joy and magic. It’s been incredibly intense carving 3 hours a week to sit on the other end of a dark screen and pour my heart out to someone, but it’s also been one of the most healing things I’ve ever done. 

Ever since I was a young teenager shame has ruled my world. My decisions, actions and major mistakes have mostly been led and dictated by the shame I constantly feel. Not feeling like I’m good enough. Not feeling like I’m deserving of the love and opportunities that come my way. Not feeling worthy. I know everyone feels these things, but I felt these feelings so intensely they stopped me from living a full life, and after my transplant (especially with the weight gain), the shame became so crushing I thought I would crumble under the weight of it. I felt so disgusting and unlovable I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want to exist. 

After a year of working with Christian and trying out several medications and finally finding the right matches, I asked him in a session “Are we almost done now?” I was both hopeful and terrified he would say yes. 

To which he replied, “Oh no Cadence. We’re just getting started.”

He explained that it took nearly a year for me to learn to deal with my shame in a healthy way and get it to the point where it was no longer completely controlling and overwhelming me in every session, and now was when the real work would begin. Now we could really focus on the underlying issues that caused my emotional and mental distress and could start building the life for myself that I had always dreamed of step by step- that’s what I’ve  been trying to do the last couple years. 

In the middle of Covid, when it was apparent I was going to survive, a nagging regret led me to ask my husband a difficult question: Could we please buy a place in Nashville, so I could try to make a go of it down there? I had always deeply regretted not moving there and during my transplant that regret was so strong it felt like it was swallowing me alive. Feeling like I hadn’t done enough, fought hard enough for my dreams. Being the incredible man he is, he said yes, and we started looking for a small condo to buy. We bought it during the peak of covid over facetime, and nearly a year later finally made the drive to Nashville to see what we had bought.

It needed a LOT of work, but it was perfect in its own way. For the last two years my husband and I have been making regular trips down to work on renovating the condo and I’ve been travelling down to write with other songwriters and artists and build a little life for myself down there and it’s been nothing short of incredible. I’ve never felt more inspired, more connected and more excited about my life. I feel like I’m finally where I was supposed to be the whole time. I started learning music production and have been making my own demos of the songs I write, and it feels incredible creating and bringing songs to life. 

This has allowed me to finally with time and hindsight see that although my cancer battle was incredibly difficult, it brought me to where I was meant to be. It altered my path forever because my path NEEDED to be altered. I needed to see that I wasn’t living the full life I deserved to live. I needed to understand how painful regret can really be. I needed to finally step out of my own way and claim the life I deserved. I finally am doing that now and even though it’s scary sometimes, it feels so empowering to be truly laying it all on the line for the thing I love the most: music. 

This month I had all my 5-year checkups with 9 different doctors and everything is looking good. I still have chronic kidney disease and have some medical challenges but I’m stable, cancer free and all my blood counts look great except my immunoglobulins which we knew were likely not ever going to recover. 

5 years later I just wanted to say a resounding THANK YOU to everyone who sent me messages, gifts, cards and prayers. To all the people who supported me, loved me through the darkness and brought me here to this moment. I could not have gotten here without all of your love. I am eternally grateful to you all and I hope in some way I can repay each one of you the favour of what you’ve done for me. I will never forget the kindness and strength I’ve been shown. It’s forever changed how I see myself and the world. I can’t say enough about how grateful I am. THANK YOU!

To Celebrate my 5 year re-birthday and my new music filled life in Nashville, I decided to release some new music! I wrote a recorded a duet called ‘What If I Didn’t Love You’ with one of my close friends and a huge support to me over the last five years- Drew Taylor. If you’re interested in checking it out you can head over to https://orcd.co/wiidly or head to any music streaming or sale service and search for Cadence Grace feat Drew Taylors- “What If I Didn’t Love You”  or listen below 🙂

Thanks as always for supporting me and my little song babies!


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