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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted October 7, 2012 by
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tested for the breast cancer gene?

    More from fsphotog

    The Harpist (Video Version)


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     fsphotog takes you through harpist Marilyn Lemke's second bout with breast cancer. Lemke’s first fight with cancer was a war. But this time, her music helps her see it as a way of "cleansing" the cancer. The peaceful sounds of the harp music invite you into the truly personal experience of chemotherapy treatment. While the music helps the patient get through each round, you can see how her harp playing helps put fellow patients at ease. The iReporter captured just how Lemke has touched those around her.

    Hear more of Marilyn's music and story here.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    This is the video version of the same story of Marilyn Lemke, The Harpist.
    who is receiving chemotherapy for her second bout with breast cancer. Marilyn allowed me to come into her home and listen as she shared her life story. A former teacher who decided to play her harp at the bedside of those in hospice. It was there that she met Nancy Ostroff, a hospice nurse. Nancy saw first hand how soothing the music was and she and Marilyn became quick friends. Nancy began taking lessons from Marilyn every Monday. At other times, Marilyn has travelled around the world with Jerry Lacey while sharing a relationship spanning decades. Both were such valued and strong supports when Marilyn learned her breast cancer returned. They now sit by her side at every chemo treatment, doctors' appointments and recently surgery to remove a brain tumor. Marilyn has made a choice to approach each treatment in a very gentle way . She visualizes each drop as a cleansing while playing her harp throughout. I had the great honor of seeing how her music brought a peace and certain joy to the infusion room at Fox Chase Hospital. Rather than stay in each small section of the room, curtains were drawn and patients were all talking. Before Marilyn began, the only sounds were that of machines and quiet whispers. Her music drifted in and melted that sterile, secluded environment. Marilyn is still very much a teacher by her gentle example. I was given a glimpse of very strong bonds of love, courage rather than fear and peace rather than war. I am so very grateful
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