This is the weekend to get out on the track and walk as a survivor, raise money with a team, or write a check to support cancer research.


Shine On




Here are the lyrics to Daisy May Erlewine's song, Shine On. I think you'll see why I find it perfect  for all survivors, even those of us who simply made it to a certain age.

Knocked me off of my feet
But I think it's time for me to start walking again,
Stop running away from things.
Next time you see me,
I will be singing a new song/
I am learning to shine on.

Shine on, shine on,
There'll be time enough for darkness when everything's gone.
Shine on, shine on,
There is work to be done in the dark before dawn.

It's been hard not to give in,
And it ain't easy living in hard times.
I know it's weighing on your mind.
Next time you see me,
I'll be uplifting, yes I will give you hope!
I am learning as I go to shine on.

Shine on, shine on.
There'll be time enough for darkness before everything's gone.
Shine on, shine on,
There is work to be done in the dark before dawn.

I know how dark it seems,
Feel it coming up inside of me,
And I feel it in you too, in everything you do.
Next time you see me,
We'll both be laughing, oh just to be alive!
We are learning to shine, shine on.

Shine on, shine on.
There'll be time enough for darkness when everything's gone
Shine on, shine on.
There is work to be done in the dark before dawn.

There is work to be done,
So you you've got to shine on.

If you want to hear a snippet of Rani Arbo's version of this song, go to the Daisy Mayhem website,, or go to YouTube to hear May sing it herself: 


We went to hear Rani Arbo and her band Daisy Mayhem, the other night. As usual, we were not disappointed.

It was an unusually wet and cold Saturday for May, but all of the wooden pews and folding chairs in the old Unitarian church were filled. All you had to do was look around to see evidence of the hall's former use. What a perfect use for a former church! 

And, could there be a better venue for a band that describes its musical genre as “agnostic gospel?”

Aside from the flat-out excitement and originality these four classically trained musicians bring to everything they play and sing, we enjoy their song choice. On any given night, they'll play Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan tunes, old hymns, folk tunes, American classics, spirituals, and  sometimes country swing. Sit still long enough – I dare you! – and you’re bound to hear songs you know, or almost know.

Rani, herself, is a cancer survivor. She’s probably pushing 40, maybe a little older, and I could be wrong, but I believe she once said her breast cancer was diagnosed shortly after she gave birth to her son. To the delight of everyone in the audience, he sometimes runs around the stage while his parents perform. 

Daisy Mayhem’s latest CD, Big Old Life, focused on survivorship: hers, theirs and ours.

Survivorship was one of the building blocks of birdsonawireblog, from the very beginning. I saw this blog as a safe place for survivors of one threat or another. Sort of a virtual cafe where we can sit around, sip coffee and gain strength from each other.  

Almost half the women I invited to read this blog are cancer survivors. Some are dealing with it right now, today, as you read this post.  

Others, like me, escaped with their lives long ago. My cancer was detected so early, I’m a bit embarrassed to put myself in the company of those of you who endured hellish treatments and relapses. Still, even a "little bit" of cancer left a big imprint on my soul. That's plenty for me, thank you.  

When Rani started singing “Shine On,” it was all I could do to stay in my seat. I’m surprised every woman in the church didn’t rise up and join in to Daisy May Erlewine’s anthem to surviving whatever it is or was that scared them. My grandmother used to say, a little bit of fear is a good thing. I’ll take just a little bit, please. 

For a taste of Daisy Mayhem, go to They travel all around so, if they’re in your area, I encourage you to go hear them. We keep going back, and always have smiles on our faces when we leave.