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Banner: Make Good Happen - Cancer patient heals and helps others with her writing

Cancer patient heals and helps others with her writing

From a book to a CD, Linda Trummer shares her story to inspire others

Linda Trummer always wanted to write a book. She imagined it would be about her career helping at-risk families and youth.

But in 2015, Linda was diagnosed with cancer.

That diagnosis started a new, and surprising chapter in her life. And today her story is inspiring others through music and the written word.

Linda shares her story

After her diagnosis, Linda began receiving treatment at Park Nicollet’s Frauenshuh Cancer Center for two types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - MALT lymphoma and Blastoid variant of mantle cell lymphoma.

Image of Linda Trummer Linda Trummer

“I was at Methodist Hospital a lot. My first stay was 32 days,” said Linda, who was so touched by all the support she received during her stay.

With friends and family eager to get updates on her condition, Linda turned to technology. She began sharing updates on social media. And she quickly realized her story could help others.

“I have learned a lot of lessons along the way that can be shared with other people,” she said.

Linda found a Facebook group dedicated to the type of cancer she had. She found comfort in the discussions people were having, and began to contribute, and her words stood out.

“I am a feeler and not necessarily a thinker,” she said with a smile. “So when I would write, everything would come from my heart. And people started to react to my posts.”

Those posts are now part of a self-published book available on From Hair to There: A Personal Journey Through Cancer is about how cancer changed Linda’s life.

Finding a voice: music as a form of therapy

Linda continued to write. “The words, they were just pouring out of me,” she recalled.

She started to dabble in poetry. And when she shared a poem on Facebook, a family member who happens to be a musician, turned it into lyrics.

“A few days later, he sent me the song,” Linda said. “It was just so beautiful.”

Linda recalled the team of music therapists at Frauenshuh Cancer Center who helped her during her treatment. The music therapists support each patient’s healing by catering to their specific needs. Listening to live music can ease anxiety, and singing or writing a song can help decrease pain. So Linda reconnected with Frauenshuh Cancer Center’s Music Therapy Program with an idea to help others on their journey.

Linda meets Laney

“It’s really a powerful thing to be able to put people’s words to music,” said Laney Donohue, a Music Therapy intern who will soon graduate from the University of Iowa.

Laney recorded Linda’s first song. It was then that both she and Linda quickly realized that much more could be done, too.

“Laney’s voice resonates exactly what my heart is feeling,” Linda said. “I feel a great sense of pride that I have found somebody who can express how I feel through these songs.”

“I feel like I am a part of the cancer journey she has told me about and that I have read about,” Laney said.

Another way to help other cancer patients

With the help of the City of St. Louis Park and the Park Nicollet Foundation, Laney recorded a series of Linda’s songs as part of her Music Therapy internship project. These songs are a part of a CD that is now being sold to benefit patients at Frauenshuh Cancer Center.

While Linda is in remission and currently “on a maintenance plan,” she knows there is no cure for the type of cancer she has. And she knows she will relapse at some point. But her words will live on and continue to help others long after her story ends.

“I wanted to do something to help other cancer patients,” Linda said. “That is really what this has all been about.”

Through donations, Linda has covered the costs of a free copy of her book for all patients being treated at Frauenshuh Cancer Center. You can also purchase her book, her CD “The Journey” or digital downloads of her music online.

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