Blues artist Candye Kane has been battling cancer since 2008. Her treatment includes chemotherapy, dietary restrictions and touring the country playing live shows.
"People often wonder why I don't stay home, rest and take care of myself," Kane told The Beat.
"I tell them there's nothing more healing than coming into a town where 300 people are coming to cheer for you, and to share their positivity, their white light, their prayers."
Kane's is a powerful story of, well, empowerment. A dysfunctional childhood was followed by a teenage, unwed pregnancy, an abusive relationship, and "a bunch of bad choices," including hard drug use and nude modeling.
"Songwriting changed my life," she said, citing songs such as The Toughest Girl Alive and I'm Not Gonna Cry Today as giving voice to her desire to reclaim her life. The success of her self-empowerment, Kane explained, is what gave her the resolve to fight cancer.
"I was suited for cancer in a way. I was already practicing positive affirmation, writing songs that helped to heal. I just shifted that from emotional healing to physical."
Kane gives away copies of her CD, The Power in You, a collection of her songs of positivity and empowerment, to audience members at her shows who themselves are fighting something -- on the honor system. She told The Beat her shows sometimes feature "a crowd stumbling into a Candye Kane therapy session."
Through her latest recurrence of cancer, Kane has managed not only to maintain a relatively rigorous touring schedule, but to write and record and new album, Coming Out Swingin'. She said making the record, featuring traditional Kane styles such as jump blues, Texas swing and blues-rock, was sort of a way of separating from the cancer, at least emotionally, and just making a fun, upbeat record.
"I'm always fighting cancer, but cancer is not who I am," she said.