Margo Rey is a musician first, so when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 she didn’t want the disease to stop her from doing what she loved.

In fact, when the doctors told her they would need to do more tests, she told them that she would have to reschedule because she was going to Aspen, Colorado to work on her latest album, Habit.

“I looked at them and said, ‘Oh no, I can’t do it then, I’m going to write with John Oates,’” she explained to CBS Local. “I always felt before I’m a woman, I’m a musician… I think it chooses you.”

When she did get to Aspen she let Oates know what was going on in her life, explaining that she wanted the studio to be a cancer-free environment. Now she admits though, that her bout with cancer certainly had an effect on her music, specifically her song “Saturn Returns,” which she wrote with Oates.

The song refers to the cyclical event that happens every thirty years when Saturn returns to the same point in the sky that it occupied the moment of a person’s birth. The event leads the person to reassess their life. Something Rey did after being diagnosed.

It was also something Oates helped her do while they were writing together, telling her the song had to be her story.

“That moment forward enriched my songwriting,” she says about being diagnosed. “[Cancer] influences everything.”

Surviving breast cancer hasn’t just changed the way Rey approaches music, but how she approaches life.

She admits that when she was first diagnosed she had friends who ran away scared. 

Now in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she’s offering a bit of advice for anyone out there.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who has been diagnosed recently,” she said. “They could really use a friend.”

Shannon Carlin, CBS Local


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