My whole life I have woken up with a song running though my head every morning. There is no rhyme or reason or explanation for the particular song that day, but it is my thing. The only time in my life I didn’t wake up with a song was when I was recovering from a miscarriage, I didn’t have a song for about a month.
When I first found the crescent divot on my breast and felt a lump during a self exam I had ‘Copacabana’ running through my head. And every day thereafter until surgery.
It was weird, I know all the words and none of them seemed to fit the experience. I checked the alarm music on my phone to see if there was similar phrasing, asked my husband if he was humming it in the morning. I played it for him and the answer was a resounding no.
I knew what the divot meant, but I told myself it was a crease from wearing underwires. When we went on vacation, I made a vacation resolution to go without wearing underwires the entire time. I didn’t check but each time I got the urge to check, I started singing copa cabana without realizing it. The divot didn’t go away even though I went without underwires for 10 days.
I asked my husband if he could see it, maybe it was nothing anyone else could see. He saw it. We talked about what it likely meant. He, of course, told me not to borrow trouble, go to the doctor and get it checked out so I would stop worrying and stop humming copa cabana.
I checked in with a close friend at work, no, I didn’t have her look, I just told her about it. She got up from her desk, shut the door, locked it, stood in front of it and told me that no one was leaving her office until I made and appointment. I scheduled an appointment on the MyChart app for an hour and 15 minutes later.
When I went to my PCP, I was humming it. She both saw the divot and felt the lump and sent me down to the imaging center for a mammogram, where they were waiting for me holding the door, and calling my name. I was humming it when I realized I skipped to the front of the line. We chit chatted about the song all through the process. Even when she came back and said I needed more images. I kind of hummed it during the ultrasound process. It was REALLY loud in my head when the radiologist came in to get his own images. It stopped when he started talking biopsy and odds and early detection and intervention and small but noticeable. Small but noticeable and worrisome. Barry, Lola and Tony left my head for about 10 minutes.
When we were driving home the song was there, loud and clear and then the phone rang with my PCP telling me I had an appointment first thing Tuesday morning for a biopsy. The song was a little quieter, but still there.
This song really hung on until September 26th, the day of the mastectomy. Then it was gone, replaced with another song for the day, I don’t remember what it was, just that it wasn’t copa cabana. Barry, Lola and Tony haven’t made a repeat appearance in my head since then, only when I consciously make the choice to sing it or ask Google to play it.
I think that it was a defense mechanism, one to drown out the voices in my head that were filled with worry, doubt and worst case scenarios. Each time I would start to head down the dark path of negative thoughts, I would end up humming copa cabana. I am a firm believer in the power of positivity, truly, it has gotten me through a lot. While copa cabana isn’t exactly a positive song, it did keep the dark thoughts away. Find your song, or let your song find you and don’t try to fight it, its keeping something dark away–let it.