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"How The Music of Led Zeppelin Helped Me Fight Cancer"

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How The Music of Led Zeppelin Helped Me Fight Cancer
17 Nov 2014
Me-with-my-letter-to-Jimmy-750x562.jpg
Janalyn Robnett Meeting Jimmy Page

“How The Music of Led Zeppelin Helped Me Fight Cancer”

By Janalyn Robnett

On November 30th, 2009 I had a full hysterectomy due to what they believed was a fibroid tumor in my uterus. They had done an Endometrial Biopsy, but the results were negative. Seven days later when I went in to get my staples removed, my gynecologist was there. He said to me: “The good news is the staples are gone. The bad news is the tumor was cancerous.”

My first thought: “I’m going to fight this.” My mom was sitting on a chair in the corner of the examination room. She began to cry. I looked at her and said, “Mom, I’m going to beat this. Don’t worry.” After about nine years of searching through spiritual paths (I had been a Christian for 21 years before leaving the church and embracing the path of Paganism/Wicca in the year 2001), I refused to let cancer destroy my ‘Journeys of Discovery.’

The type of cancer they diagnosed me with was a very rare form of Uterine Cancer that strikes about 4% of women and there is a 15% chance of survival (this from the head oncologist I was sent to see on December 12, 2009).

He gave me four choices:

1 – Chemotherapy to attack any of the cells that might have breached the Uterus wall, but there was no telling if they had or not, so unless something was discovered I would be putting poison into my body and destroying the good cells without any certain target of bad cells.

2 – Surgery, which they had already done.

3 – Radiation, which because there was nothing to radiate would also damage my body.

4 – Watch and wait.

I chose the latter. My oncologist said, “I wish I could tell you that was the best choice. But we honestly just do not know at this time. We may have gotten it all, but we just can’t be sure.”

My older brother assured me when we spoke over the phone that he would probably have chosen the watch and wait option, too.

So, I did. But the beginning of February 2010 rolled around and I began to feel a burning in my lower left abdominal area. I sought out another CT Scan. As soon as the scan was done… around 4:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday, they sent me to Emergency, giving me a report to hand to the Emergency room doctor. As I waited to be checked into Emergency I snuck a peek at the contents: “Large Mass Discovered in Pelvic Area.” I felt my world crush in around me. It was happening. I waited in Emergency until around midnight for the examining doctor to see me. He did a pelvic exam: “I can feel it and about three enlarged lymph nodes. It’s metastasized.” He told me, “You need to make an appointment tomorrow with the head oncologist here.” I was alone during this time and as I drove home that night, tears streaming down my face, I remember feeling shocked and uncertain, but also… peace. “Okay, okay, people fight and beat cancer all the time. You can do this. You MUST do this. You can and you will beat it.” I got home around 1 a.m. and called my mother right away. We shed some tears. I called my brother who lived about 2 ½ hours from me. He asked me if I had my affairs in order, but he did it so lovingly. We’d been estranged due to differences of beliefs for about eight years, talking off and on, but strangers. This time he was in my corner and wept with me. “I love you,” he said.

So… Going on…

With a close to five inch in diameter tumor in the area above my vagina, I was immediately started on chemotherapy and began treatment on February 19th. My older sister came out to stay with me that first weekend, and during the night I felt the effects of the drugs, causing a rather nasty sensation. She led me through a visualization and asked me where I would like to go. “Wales,” I said. My dream is to go to Wales and see the cottage where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote the songs for Led Zeppelin III. So she helped me to build a defensive castle in my mind along the country side of Wales. It got my mind off the physical discomfort of the chemo.

After two sessions they began radiation treatment. The doctors in the Radiology Department said, “For this type of cancer all we can do is make you comfortable. There’s really nothing that can be done.”

I was furious and let them have it. “I don’t want to hear that bullshit!” I shouted. My mom’s eyes widened. “I didn’t come here to be told to give up! You start me on radiation and you do it NOW! I’m fighting this and I’ll do whatever it takes so get started!” He just grinned as did the two other doctors in the room. I didn’t think I had it in me, but funny how you get ticked off when people tell you there’s no chance.

So after the second treatment of chemotherapy, they started me on two weeks of radiation, which made me violently ill.

I’d already taken a leave of absence from work, but a friend of mine from work, Carmen, she was by my side through the beginning, and she told me, “I’m taking you to my house to watch Duran Duran this Saturday night, so be ready.” She had their 2005 concert on DVD. I was all for it.

My mom was staying with me to help me through the bouts of sickness. So, that Saturday came, but before Carmen arrived to pick me up, I had finished throwing up about thirty seconds before I got her text telling me she was there in front of my house. I told Carmen what happened. She said, “None of that. I’m taking you and that’s final. If you have to throw up at my house then you do what you need to do. I have ginger-ale, I have a couch where you can stretch out. We are watching Duran Duran and I don’t want to hear another word.” Well… okay then. Pale as a ghost, my stomach churning, I left the house and my mom got a good look at me. “Have fun,” she said, trying to be encouraging. Sure… why not?

And wouldn’t you know it? I went… and had such a wonderful time! For 2 ½ hours I forgot about my being sick! I went home and was SMILING! My mom looked at me strangely. “What?” I asked. She said, “Jan, you were so sick before leaving and now you’ve come back and look at you!”

I grinned.

She simply said flat out: “You need music.”

Like a thud in my gut I knew she hit on something magickal. (Yeah, I spell it with a ‘k.’ )

Now before that Saturday night I had made arrangements with a friend to my sister, his name is also Jim, and he lived a town over. He is also a pagan priest. I’d asked him if he would come to my place that Sunday afternoon, to guide me on a healing meditation. He said he would.

So the day after the Duran Duran party at Carmen’s, and the day after my mom said what she said to me, Jim arrived and saw how much I loved Led Zeppelin. I had tapestries on my wall and was wearing a Jimmy Page T-shirt. He commented on it and I just smiled. “Yeah, they’re my boys. Jimmy especially because I get a spiritual connection when I hear him play. There’s something magickal about his playing. I can’t describe it, but my spirit does somersaults.”

He took a seat in my recliner as I sat on the couch bed I used in my living room. He started talking and asking me questions. After about an hour of getting my background he finally asked, “Jan, I can see how well-educated you are. I see lots of books in your home, your research of Wicca and Paganism and such, but… where’s your heart?”

I had to think about that. “I suppose my heart is with the music I listen to.”

He said, “Yes, you definitely need music in your life especially at this juncture.” I about rolled off the bed. He and my mom never met until that day and they both said the same thing in less than twenty-four hours. Then he asked me something I wasn’t expecting. “Jan, what is the most angry guitar solo Jimmy Page has ever done?”

I was stumped. I had to really think about that. “Well, I can’t think of an ‘angry’ guitar solo, but I can tell you his most passionate one.”

“What is it?”

“Achilles Last Stand.”

“Oh, wow! How appropriate. Can you call up the solo in your mind?”

“Yes.”

“Good. I’m ready to lead you on a meditation now. Lie down and let’s get started.”

I stretched out on the couch bed and he began guiding me down. When I was totally relaxed he said, “Call up the guitar solo.”

I did so.

He said, “Can you see the notes as energy?”

“Yes.”

“Use those energy notes to attack the tumor.”

I knew where he was going with this and I did so. I then took it a step further and envisioned Jimmy Page taking his fret board and stabbing the tumor again and again. I began to smile. I could feel it.

Jim pulled me back and said, “Whenever you hear that song, envision the guitar solo attacking the tumor. And listen to your music.”

The next week I had a violent reaction to the radiation. I came home and was doubly sick. I lied out on the bed at an angle, unable to move. My mom threw my CD player at me. “Listen to your music!” she practically barked the order. I opened the player to see it was Led Zeppelin’s soundtrack to “The Song Remains the Same.” I smiled and plugged in the CD with “Since I’ve Been Loving You” on it and within minutes I was smiling and relaxed, and with Jimmy’s playing, Robert’s lyrics, Bonzo’s drumming, Jonesy’s playing… I was taken away. But Jimmy’s guitar…

Robert once said Jimmy plays: “A little left of heaven.” I so get that and yes, he took me along for the ride. After that, I took his music with me to my treatments and when I needed to be proactive I listened to Achilles Last Stand and turned up the volume when the guitar solo hit.

There were other things to help me fight the cancer: Essiac Tea (a miracle herbal mix in and of itself), spiritual philosophies, positive determination to win. However, it was the music of Led Zeppelin that helped me get through the major bouts of sickness and helped me gain focus. I went into my spirit with Jimmy’s playing and still do.

This last week I was able to meet Jimmy Page personally due to a book signing in Los Angeles. The Universe basically opened up the pathway for me to be able to give him a letter explaining this story. I’ve been wanting to give him this information for over four years now and I finally was able to do it.

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Janalyn Robnett Meeting Jimmy Page

As I handed the letter over, the lady beside him, possibly his publicist, took the letter then immediately laid it on the table next to him. I think she read what I had wrote on the letter which was simply: ‘To tell you how your music helped me beat cancer.’

I could not speak as I stood in front of him. I was just overwhelmed to be in his presence and meeting him face-to-face. He stamped his autobiography with his date-stamp symbol and he shook my hand before and after. I was just so tongue-tied. Fortunately my friend, Jennifer, stepped up to the plate and as I left the signing area, I turned around to see her talking to him. He was listening to her intently. “I’m here because of that woman. She’s a cancer survivor and she used your music to help her beat it. That’s what the letter is about. The tumor is now down to one inch, it’s basically dead. She also envisioned you using your guitar to stab the tumor.” She came up to me and told me what she’d said. I started crying. She led me into a more private area of the shop, and held me as I cried. And as I cried, on the store speakers, they had been playing Led Zeppelin all day in honor of Mr. Page’s being there. As I cried, thrilled to have given him my letter, thrilled that Jennifer spoke to him… I kid you not… I then heard the guitar solo to Achilles Last Stand playing over the speakers. I lifted my head and started crying all over again. “They’re playing Achilles Last Stand right now!” And the tears continued.

I’m sure I probably could have found other ways and means to fight the cancer and on top of the things listed above, other ideas could have come along, but for me it was music, especially Led Zeppelin, that helped ease my spirit, the stress of the chemotherapy and radiation, and gave me the desire to keep fighting. They helped me in ways I can’t even begin to understand, nor do I want to. I’m just enjoying the ride Led Zeppelin created.

It was a few years later I learned from the oncologist who is overseeing my case that another woman the same age I was, who had the exact same cancer, began treatment two weeks after I started. She died three months later. It’s been a little over four years since they took me off of chemotherapy… and I’m still around. Thank you, Led Zeppelin, and thank you, Jimmy Page for ‘doing what thou wilt’.

-Janalyn Robnett

http://www.musichealsmovement.org/uncategorized/how-the-music-of-led-zeppelin-helped-me-fight-cancer/

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That's a wonderful story . You have great strength .. and an amazing mother to give you advice like that!

I think most of us here know about the power of music, particularly Led Zeppelin's, but not all of us are challenged, as you were, to understand on how deep a level music can speak to us, and to confront and to use the energies it gives you.

I am sure Jimmy would have been touched by your letter.

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How good to hear such an emotional and cathartic journey culminate in meeting Jimmy. Blessings to Janalyn for continued and full healing. An interesting site that - Music Heals Movement. All art has that power, though music seems to get at the core more swiftly.

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What an inspiring story! There you have it, we knew music was good for our mental well being, but a story like this proves that music can do so much more....

Never underestimate the power of music..........

Maaike

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Janalyn, that was a great and heartfelt post. Many thanks for writing it and sharing your experience with us. I am so happy that a great fan such as yourself got to be one of the fortunate ones to meet Jimmy while he was in Los Angeles. Keep up the good fight. :yourock:

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"When the Pain exceeds the Limits, the Pain itself becomes the Medicine...Ghalib"

..."it was (is) all about the Music...Jimmy Page"

Led Zeppelin ....Affair of the Hearts, for all of us ..

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After all the played out reunion pleas etc this was an inspiration to read Awesome thread .. Went and played ALS after this. Thanks to the OP...refreshing to hear this kind of positivity

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Wow, what a touching story, my friend also met Page at the 11/5/14 NYC signing, talked to Jimmy and said he was cool as heck, happy, and friendly. What can you say, JP's a legend who also has that extra rare, star-quality "it" factor. It's not something you can teach, you either have it or you don't. You can never underestimate the immense depth of the LZ catalog, and it's effects on people's lives.

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What an amazing real life story that is. Continue to fight as you have inspired us so much here! Possibly, the best post I have ever read on this board! It's amazing the power that music can bring!

Many thanks to Sam for sharing this incredible story!

Edited by SuperDave

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I absoutely love stories like this. What made it better was the fact I was listening to Achilles Last Stand at the time of reading this.

Music is the cure for pretty much everything.

If it can't cure it directly, it will always make living with it much easier.

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stunningly beautiful, thanks for sharing your story....music is indeed food for the soul, nourishing and life-giving. Zeppelin's tunes also touch me so deeply and so personally, and have saved myself from myself. Wishing you the very best of health and life and love and music for the future ~~!! <3

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"Where the Mighty Arms of Atlas hold the Heavens from the Earth"....God Bless you Janalyn.

Edited by nirvana

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It's been a little over four years since I sent this story in to this article. My name is Janalyn Robnett. I went in search of it before a few years ago and did not find it. The link no longer worked. A friend of mine did a search for it and showed it to me tonight. I've read your replies and I have to tell you I am touched beyond belief at what people have written here. I'm still alive, the cancer is gone and I'm still very much into Led Zeppelin. Always will be, I suppose. :) I thought this piece was gone forever and then I am shown by Jennifer, the lady who went with me that magical day and night, that the article is still here. I wept at your responses. I wanted to tell you all how much of a blessing your words were (are) to me. I'm sorry I never responded. I had no idea where the article went to, lost the link, and had no idea where to search for it. When I found it again the link must have been bad. I could not find it. I thought this story was lost forever. It's now April 7th 2019 and here we are. Popping in to say 'Yay!' and once again -- Thank you for your responses.

You ROCKED my night tonight!

Hugs and love,

Janalyn.

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