daveisthemusic Cancer 22 Comments

A note on my absence.

I would like to let you all know that I am recovering from cancer at the moment. I'm feeling strong, and well, and very happy it was found, but I want to try and write openly about the subject as actually it does explain a lot about the last few years in which I haven't really felt at all like myself.

I would like to express that I'm writing this not for your sympathy but because I feel (and have consistently, all the while felt) a lot of regret about the amount of time that has passed since I was uploading a lot of videos and releasing my own music. It was a beautiful period of my life with a magical relationship with my fans - that I just wanted to continue until the end of my days! Unfortunately, since really around mid-2011, my overriding experience has one of unease, malaise and fatigue that has waxed and waned - that I have experienced to different depths and extents - but for a long time, has really changed my personality a lot.

Of course, good health is such a fragile and precious thing... once you lose it, it's a huge effort for anything else to really matter. I have missed so much to really feel like a musician, a composer... for life to be simple enough that music can feel <em>important</em> to me. I have missed the sense of my future coming towards me rather than feeling paralysed - stuck in the mud in the present moment. Today, the same as yesterday... no sensation at all of time passing... just everything moving as slow as a snail.

I'm actually happy now to have this enemy, with the face of cancer. This is something I feel hugely validates to me that this whole period of time I was pulled away from my love of music and the amazing people supporting and following me was not my choosing, not my fault nor responsibility. It feels cathartic to me - very much so - because the more time that passed, the more powerless I felt about the changes in my personality and physical health... the more difficult it was not to blame myself - to not become cynical about those things beyond my control.

I could still go through the motions at the piano, but I couldn't find the relaxed focus and excitement for creating I always used to have within me. I could focus microscopically on intricate sections of music, but writing a song was like trying to look at an entire city and understand it's inner workings; what held it all together. There was something fundamentally missing in my ability to grasp the logic or character of an entire piece of music - and before very long, music itself became something entirely abstract to me (as did reality, truth be told).

My coping method for a long time was lots of meditation, and lots of exercise, both of which are amazing for mental health and kept me very calm and relaxed. But I would like to give my deepest condolences to those many people out there dealing with cancer, likely the majority of them to much worse of an extent than I. I am now told by my doctor that after a short bout of chemotherapy, as far as this cancer diagnosis is concerned, I should be cured. And so, I am definitely one of the lucky ones.

Actually, I feel that I can speak with deeper understanding to any unfortunate souls out there experiencing states of depersonalization/dissociation - that sense of unreality that disallows the calm focus with which everyone needs to manage their lives effectively (the calm, still focus I am employing to be able to write this post now). I want to let you know that I absolutely <em>understand</em> how horrible this is, and I understand exactly how paralyzed - and ineffective - you must feel. Too much aware of your body, too much aware of everything...! Something's not right, something's different; a little thorn in your side, a little whisper in your ear. My heart goes out to you, also.

Since having the tumor removed, it's been a shock to me to realise for the first time in a long while the exciting sensation of having strength, energy and youth, to be whistling the same songs I did when I was 25... to have an avalanche of memories returning with clarity - playing in Brazil, in New York, in Edinburgh - how I felt when making my videos and to be waking up almost with that same feeling of excitement again. Truly, it feels like waking up in my own body for the first time in years.

So, for me I feel like I'm practically out of the fog... and this is actually a time of celebration. I'm happy to have gone through everything I have the last few years to be feeling this way today - and ultimately, I hope it will have made me stronger.

Thanks so much to everyone who listened to my music in the past. Once back to 100%, I have many ideas to continue working on in the coming months.

Best wishes!


Comments 22

  1. Dave,

    As an old fan and follower of yours, I’m pleased to know you’re on a promising road to regaining yourself back. Ten years ago this month your playing of Rue des Cascades posted to YouTube pulled me into your music. I always enjoyed listening to the music you released or posted. I’m sure when the postings simmered and finally stopped, I was concerned, but I do not recall. I’d be lying if I said it’s been a few years since thinking about it. However I was skimming through a box of sheets I tucked away and came across some Yann Tiersen and it reminded me of you. Initially, as most anyone would be, upset to hear your status but I’m glad to read that you seem to have made great progress in your health. I patiently look forward to listening to music from you, even if it’s another 5-10 years. I wish you the best on your journey. You are an incredible musician and it’s truly wonderful that you are alive.

  2. Hi Dave,

    Thank you for posting this message and letting us know of your status. We wish you the best in your recovery and are overjoyed to hear that you are starting to feel like yourself again! You have been truly missed.

    You are a one of a kind musician that puts so much emotion into his music, it’s hard to describe it in words. You’re covers of Rue des Cascades and La Notre introduced me to a whole new world of music I never knew existed. I have your CD and a week doesn’t go by that it is not on from start to finish.

    Good luck with the rest of your recovery and can’t wait to hear what you have for us in store soon. All the best!

  3. Good evening Dave

    I am in shock to hear of the missfortunes afflicting your life , mood and creativity, good to hear though the treatment has worked well for you and I wish for a quick and full recovery.
    I was just on Youtube today, listening some great Music and it just hit my mind from nowhere, that Dave Thomas guy from UK, I use to listen to a couple of years ago, I am curious what masterpieces he has been creating in my abscence, so I googled your name remembering you had a Myspace account where you release some tracks and I found your webpage instead and learnt about your misfortunes.
    I love your music Dave, used to play many of the tracks over and over again, never getting tired of them. There´s so much dedication, passion and heart in your music, its sometimes just as if it would be out of this World.
    l am waiting for your creativity to flourish once again and spread happiness to humanity.
    Best wishes
    John, Stockholm, Sweden

  4. Oh my, I love your work, you are loved, believe that. I’m glad you are here, cancer touches everyone in some way. You just get better and back to what you know and love, bringing us warm feelings with your talent.

  5. Good morning Dave,

    I came across your cover of La Noyee on youtube many years ago and to me, it remains one of the most memorable piece of music to this day.

    I’m glad that you are making it through – I am a firm believer of the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. I congratulate you for the strength and will. Life has many humps and detours, just keep moving forward when you are recharged.

    May health and happiness be with you. I look forward to your work!

  6. Sisi, le 25.03.2017

    Bonjour Dave
    Vous entendre sur you tube me donne toujours beaucoup de joie. Vous êtes un super musicien. En regardant si vous aviez une discographie je suis tombé des nues en lisant votre message. Il m’a rappelé beaucoup de choses dans votre récit. J’ai vécu aussi “le brouillard” après une chirurgie cardiaque, le temps à l’arrêt, l’énergie vitale au plancher .. . Ce que vous dites sur les difficultés d’écrire une chanson est impressionnant, et le reste aussi.
    Maintenant, la sensibilité, l’excitation , le plaisir de la musique ne disparaissent jamais.
    Et cela est vrai que: ce qui ne nous tue pas nous rends plus fort.
    Je me réjouis de vous voir de retour.
    A bientôt

  7. Oi Dave, sou do Brasil e te conheci a pouco tempo depois de um colega da faculdade usar sua música como referencia em um matéria. Sinto pelo que vc passou e passa mas fico muito mais feliz em saber da sua disposição e seguir em frente! Obrigada pelas suas músicas, pelo seu talento e por sua força!! Estou ansiosa pelos seus novos projetos! Continue firme!!

  8. Sizin gibi bir muzik adaminin basina gelen bu talihsiz hastaliga ne kadar üzüldüğümü anlatamam. Muziklerinizdeki soft ve içselleştirilmis melodilere baska kimsede rastlamadim. Gerek la noyye yada cascades parçalarınina ait cover lariniz degerini bilmek benim en büyük hayalim.
    Saglıkla geri donmen dilegiyle.
    Allah seni korusun

  9. Dave, dear Dave.

    Today I thought of you. I think this may be the second time I visit your website in all these years. It´s been a long time since we last spoke and, somehow, I knew in my heart you were fighting a battle. I just didn´t know what one. I read the word “cancer” and… I felt vertigo… I am still feeling it right now. What a huge battle, Dave.

    To not feel at all like ourselves is such a terrible, terrible thing – the worse thing someone could possible experience.
    To be lost of ourselves is like being completely covered by shadows… body, mind, soul and whole world around us…

    The personality may has changed, but what you truly are, in essence, remains.
    There are always seeds in our inner soile waiting for the spring of soul to germinate.

    The amazing artist that you´ve always been also remains.
    You travelled to the depths of a dark sea. And now so your art, your music, will go deeper.
    All the pain can now be turned into raw material for amazing pieces of art.

    Deep understandings of human´s condition makes better art.
    This is the only way we can truly touch people´s heart and transform them.

    Now you feel like waking up in your own body for the first time in years.
    You are reborned! You have a second chance in your hands, a beautiful life waiting for you.

    I am happy to know that you are alive.
    I am happy to know hat you are healing.

    And you will be always in my heart.



  10. Best wishes from Paris and Barcelona, I’m sure you will recover soon and you’ll will find the focus to create this awesome music that we all love.



  11. Hi Dave,
    I’m really really sorry to hear what you’re going through.
    Back in school I was talking piano clases, one day I found your covers for Amelie and the next day I just told my teacher.. that’s what I want to play.
    I must’ve listened to you playing a thousand times.
    Thank you for everything! I’ll be waiting for your new works, so don’t give up.
    Alisa, Moscow, Russia

  12. Dave

    No sé si lees español, o si te darás el tiempo de traducir esto; no conocí tu música hasta hace muy poco, pero tan pronto pude ver lo que habías creado quedé maravillado inmediatamente. Sinceramente tus temas siguen conmoviéndome cada vez que los escucho, y al día de hoy soy un fiel seguidor tuyo y de tus creaciones. Pido a Dios que te dé la salud necesaria para seguir encantando al mundo por muchos años más Dave.

    Mis mejores deseos y gracias por seguír luchando

    Pablo, Valdivia, Chile,

  13. Dave,

    Thank you for sharing this, and I pray you continue to strengthen everyday.

    Best Wishes,

  14. Dave,

    thanks a lot for sharing that shocking, but also relieving blog post! After the many years without news I had already almost given up hope to hear back from you again, but here you are, and it’s great to see you getting back strength again. Yay! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to hear new amazing works from you! You’re one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen on Youtube. You clearly managed to significantly improve Yann Tiersen’s masterpieces. 🙂

    Thank you!

    Christian, New Zealand

  15. This is beautiful. Thank you. I read the next post before reading this one.
    This is so beautiful. What a strange journey. The stranger the better

    I guess you’re safe, everything in life will arise beautiful for people who conceive things as you do

  16. March 6, 2018

    Hello, Dave,

    I am so happy to hear you are making great strides to recovery. Your music touched me so deeply, I was very worried when I saw all the posts and did not know what progress you were making. I have been praying for you! When our lives are in danger, that becomes the consuming thing. Your music is so special–a huge gift–that I hope you will one day soon be able to return to it and enjoy it the way you used to.

    Thank you for your beautiful music. It means so much. Thank you, too, for posting about your health. I am sure you will continue to grow in a way that is appropriate for you now. Keep sharing and shining.

    All the very best,

    Donna in Alberta

  17. I grew up watching you on youtube during the first days. I grew addicted to opiates 9 years after listening to your stuff as a teen. I now am clean, turned my life around, and looked through my favorites on youtube, and here I am. Watery eyes and all, I’m watching your Yann Teirsen covers once again. I’m fucking praying for you friend, thanks for inspiring me to pick up a piano <3

  18. Hi dear Dave Thomas, I’ve been listening and watching your videos since you’ve started on youtube, and I’ve found them magical, I listened your music several times between my books of medicine. Then I didn’t know more about you I was sad, I want to see you play in live and shake your hand, you moved me to tears with your story, I know how it feels to be stopped by a bad joke of life and not be able to do what you like for a long time, I want to believe this things make us stronger, is never easy, so I’m extremely happy for you. I send you the best words that haven’t been invented to describe how happy I am that you are recovering. Thank you Dave : ) I love what you do. I want you to be fine.

  19. Hi dear Dave Thomas, I’ve been listening and watching your videos since you’ve started on youtube, and I’ve found them magical, I listened your music several times between my books of medicine. Then I didn’t know more about you I was sad, I want to see you play in live and shake your hand, you moved me to tears with your story, I know how it feels to be stopped by a bad joke of life and not be able to do what you like for a long time, I want to believe this things make us stronger, is never easy, so I’m extremely happy for you. I send you the best words that haven’t been invented to describe how happy I am that you are recovering. Thank you Dave : ) I love what you do.

  20. Dear Dave,

    I come here always trying to find updates about you, since I was introduced to your music by the destiny, about 2 years ago. Isn’t magical that a completely stranger feels connected to someone that she never saw or talked before (in this life)? Well, I keep saying this to me and then I found myself here again and again… sometimes in the middle of my day I stop myself and play Waking Dream, then I bring back my soul to my body. Definitely only an angel has the touch of God to be allowed to create this masterpiece. I wish someday before I die I could know you to See how is an angel,I hope you know how powerful is what you created and will create. God bless you! I wish that you can really read this message.

    Suelen, from Brazil.

  21. Dave – You came to mind today, and I am hoping you are well. I’m at work listening to you on YouTube. Yay! God be with you.

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