SNTV Presents: SN & You - Music and Art: Reflecting On Your Journey
- SurvivorNetTV presents Music and Art: Reflecting On Your Journey, an episode from our original series SN & You, which shares cancer survivors’ stories about the importance of music and art during their cancer journeys.
- Follow five people as they explain the positive impacts music and art had as they struggled with the disease.
- Learning how to express yourself during difficult times can be empowering and cathartic.
Presenting SurvivorNetTV’s original series SN & You. In this episode, Music and Art: Reflecting On Your Journey, we follow Marianne Cuoozo, Bianca Muniz, Joel Naftelberg, Marquina Iliev-Piselli and Matthew Zachary as they reflect on the impact music and art had on their cancer journey. While going through breast cancer treatment, it can be challenging to keep a positive attitude when you’re feeling worn out from treatment. These survivors have been in your shoes and have tips to help get you through.
A breast cancer survivor’s creative outletRead More
Music helps survivors throughSinger/songwriter Bianca Muniz is a three-time cancer survivor. She had ovarian cancer at 11, was diagnosed at 22 with breast cancer and then lung cancer just two years later. Throughout her struggle with cancer, music has been her savior.
While Marianne and Bianca chose art and music, air guitar was Marquina Iliev-Piselli’s calling. Playing the air guitar at events allowed Marquina to dress up in fun, whacky outfits, try on different personas, and really stay in touch with herself during a tough time.
“With cancer specifically, every couple weeks I would grab a bunch of different clothes that were donated and bring them to the hospital and would just try to make something happen in those six to eight hours while I was in the hospital. It was glam rock chemo,” Marquina says. “I air guitared [during] my chemo, and it saved my spirit. It made it so I don’t look back on that time with fear.”
We later see Joel Naftelberg, a pancreatic cancer survivor, who saw music as his lifeline after his first cancer diagnosis. “It doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but it does let us dance on our problems for at least an hour or two,” he says. Joel has undergone treatment for both liver and pancreatic cancer. He compares his cancer to a monster, saying it has affected every aspect of his life. However, he hasn’t allowed his disease to take over his life. Joel handles cancer by taking it one day at a time–and of course, by making time to feed his love of music.
Other outlets for cancer survivors
Lastly, we hear from Matthew Zachary, CEO and founder of Stupid Cancer. When he was facing brain cancer as a 21-year-old college student, he noticed a lack of resources for people in his situation — that’s how he got into advocacy. Through being his own advocate and asking questions during his treatment, he was able to find alternative solutions that would give him the ability to continue pursing his passion, piano.
Marianne Cuozzo, Bianca Muniz, Joel Naftelberg, Marquina Iliev-Piselli and Matthew Zachary share inspiration and hope through their stories. These are tales you should not miss on SurvivorNetTV.
Helping breast cancer survivors cope
Art can be a beautiful outlet for people facing cancer (as well as many other struggles, both physical and mental) — but there are many other outlets for those who simply don’t feel up to creating.
Cancer can touch so many aspects of our lives, and everyone copes in different ways. Some people benefit a great deal from talking to — or hearing the stories of — others who have been through similar struggles. One of the survivors featured in this episode, Bianca, also spoke to SurvivorNet about how cancer treatment affected her self-esteem due to how it changed her appearance.
Because Bianca is a performer and is on stage in front of people often, the changes to her appearance had a huge effect on her life.
“Once I started treatment, I started getting these really bad breakouts on my face … I tried all these different skin regiments to try to make it better, and I made it worse,” Bianca says. “I’m a performer, I am on stage performing in front of people … so that was very hard for me to get over. It took a long time for me to finally feel OK about it.”
For Bianca, remembering that treatment, and its side effects, are only temporary helped her get through it.