'This Kiss' writer: I've seen cancer from all sides
August 22nd, 2011
07:14 AM ET

'This Kiss' writer: I've seen cancer from all sides

Editor's note: Beth Nielsen Chapman, besides her own recordings, has written songs for many top artists from Willie Nelson to Elton John and has penned numerous hits such as Faith Hill’s Grammy nominated mega-hit "This Kiss." Beth also teaches workshops internationally on songwriting and creativity and serves on the Honorary Board of Healthy Child Healthy World.

Just a few changes to the Joni Mitchell song, “Clouds,” could sum up my relationship to cancer. “I’ve looked at cancer from both sides now....”

Having lost my husband to cancer in 1994 and then surviving breast cancer myself in 2000, I have experienced two perspectives on this journey no one ever wants to take.

I’m a singer-songwriter, first and foremost. My songs have been an important part of my healing through these big life events. But I’m also a teacher of what I call “Creative Flow.”

In 2009, doctors discovered I had a benign brain tumor, which was fast growing and pressing on my left frontal lobe, the part of the brain whose function includes putting emotions into words - a.k.a. writing lyrics.

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