For many people supporting a loved one with cancer, the journey often means a realignment of priorities. Which is why, despite a new album to sell, Taylor Swift has hinted that she’s slowing things down in order to spend more time with her beloved mother.
Swift, who revealed earlier this year that her mom, Andrea, was battling cancer for the second time, has announced only four dates in the U.S. for her upcoming international “Lover” tour. While she didn’t explicitly say that her mom’s cancer was the reason, she told Beats 1 Radio that she has “some pretty intense things happening with my family right now. I can’t go on long tours and not have the ability to go home if I need to.”Read More
Having flexibility, she said, was extremely important: “This is where the rubber meets the road and I actually have to make decisions. Where there are question marks in my life and things that are really important to me and my family, I have to be able to have some breathing room in my touring schedule.”
Swift added that she trusts her fans to understand, and that they’d stick by her during this difficult time. “[Fans] have been really respectful of that in the past,” she said.
Supporting A Loved On With Cancer -- Taylor Swift's Journey
- Taylor Swift Speaks Up About What It’s Like To Have A Parent With Cancer
- “I Will Probably Always Sob” — An Outpouring Of Love From Taylor Swift Fans For Her Mom After Swift Releases Song “Soon You’ll Get Better” About Her Cancer Journey
- “We’re Going Through It” — Taylor Swift, 29, Says She And Her Immediate Family are Dealing With Her Mom’s Cancer
Swift’s mom’s cancer journey
Swift’s mom was initially diagnosed in 2015 after her children convinced her to see a doctor for some routine screenings, Swift had written in an announcement posted to Tumblr.
“I’d like to keep the details of her condition and treatment plans private, but she wanted you to know,” Swift wrote. “She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle. Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about.”
She also said at the time that her mom might not be able to make it to as many of Swift’s concerts as she had in the past. “She’s got an important battle to fight,” Swift wrote. The musician was then promoting her album, “1989.”
When Swift announced that her mother was facing cancer yet again, she said the experience taught her not to sweat the small stuff.
“I’ve had to learn how to handle serious illness in my family,” Swift wrote in a piece for Elle. “Both of my parents have had cancer, and my mom is now fighting her battle with it again. It’s taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else. My mom’s cancer is a real problem. I used to be so anxious about daily ups and downs. I give all my worry, stress, and prayers to real problems now.”
“Soon You’ll Get Better”
On “Lover,” in her moving song, “Soon You’ll Get Better,” the singer expresses what it’s like to watch someone you love battle cancer, a topic that resonates with millions of people worldwide.
On an album that features mostly upbeat pop numbers and love songs, “Soon You’ll Get Better” is a powerful and emotional surprise. “I hate to make this all about me / But who am I supposed to talk to,” Swift sings. “What am I supposed to do? / If there’s no you.”
The 29-year-old singer spoke about the song in a YouTube Live session ahead of her album’s Aug. 23 release. “That was really, really hard to write, and it was just a family decision whether to even put it on the album,” Swift said. “We as a family decided to [do it], and it’s something I’m so proud of, but it’s just really hard. I can’t sing it. It’s hard to just emotionally deal with that song.”
Information about music and cancer
Swift is not the only one who has found that music can be helpful during cancer. In an interview with SurvivorNet, breast cancer survivor Bianca Muniz said that music was a huge part of her cancer recovery. Bianca turned to music as an outlet when she received an ovarian cancer diagnosis at age 11, and a breast cancer diagnosis at age 22.
Breast cancer survivor Bianca Muniz talks about the impact of music during her cancer recovery
Cancer, Bianca said, has acted as both a muse and a deterrent. Undergoing a variety of different cancer treatments did have an impact on her voice, she said, but she didn’t let that get in the way of her love of performing, or in the way of what her life is really about — music.