Five years ago, yesterday. Five years ago, the night that changed my family’s life forever happened. I was sitting in an ER room frozen. I had just been told that my Fiancé had cancer and he had to have an emergency surgery the next day. The stories of this journey are weaved into the fabric of my life, and they have created the woman I am today. Cancer is what pushed me here. I share so much of this journey to help others heal from their own battles. As I sit here (on national DJ Day) in awe of everything I have overcome, I realize I have never shared how cancer almost made me believe I was done with djing forever.
Sometimes I am hit with a tidal wave of realization of everything I have pushed through. When I look at my Sundance gigs for this coming week, I see a woman who did not get defeated but instead followed her heart.
In 2019, I had to cancel my high-profile Sundance gigs with Lisa Barlow and The Bella Twins Birdie activation. Billy had to go in for a second surgery only days after his first and it was extremely dangerous. My fiancé was suddenly unexpectedly fighting for his life, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave the hospital to work. Thank God I did cancel because Billy ended be in a position where he was fighting for his life, the night I was supposed to play. When I called my booking agent to inform him of my situation, his first words were “you are going to lose your client.” I was facing losing my Fiancé, losing a client was not even a thought that had crossed my mind.
Imagine hearing that when you haven’t slept for days, and you are horrified by what your loved one is facing? When I heard his remarks, I completely lost it on the phone, yelling in the hospital hallway. The nurses immediately ran over to calm me down. Up until that point, I had remained calm, and they were very surprised to see me so upset. Over the next 45 days, there were 35 spent in the hospital, two ER visits and a phone call to 911. I still managed to travel to my DJ gigs in Washington that were previously booked, although I almost had to cancel one due to Billy being back in the ER. It was such an exhausting and overwhelming time for me. I am not sure if I really slept for months.
That argument in the hospital, came back around about 6 weeks later. I got a call from his business partner saying I needed to apologize for yelling at him on the phone that day. That day he thought the bigger loss was my Sundance client over my loved one’s life. I said I absolute would NOT apologize. He said if I wouldn’t apologize, I was going to be dropped from the roster. The night I was supposed to DJ, I was praying while two nurses stood by Billy’s bedside giving him blood transfusions because he was internally bleeding, and another surgery was deemed too risky. I was walked through a Code Blue and the last resort effort that would be made to save him if the bleeding got worse. They wanted me to apologize for losing my temper. I will never apologize to anyone that thinks money is more important than a human life.
The next blow came in 2020. Billy had a surgery that was supposed to be routine and ended up being a major surgery. I had two gigs in California booked a week later. He seemed okay so I went to my gigs and his boys stayed with him. At 8pm before my gig, I get a call that he is headed to the ER. I had his surgeon’s cell number, and he lets me know that he will call me as soon as he knows what is going on. He calls about an hour later and lets me know that Billy had a blood clot and that if it would have been a millimeter bigger, he would have died instantly. He put him on medicine, and he would call me at 6am to keep me updated if the medicine was working. I was in another state, I couldn’t get home, (I tried), so I Dj’d. I danced and tried to lose myself in the music praying I didn’t get another call.
By the time the shutdown happened, I was so exhausted and overwhelmed. Billy was still dealing with surgeries, and I had just lost my residencies and all of my local DJ gigs. I decided an era was over and I wanted nothing to do with the industry at all. It was an industry that was filled with drugs, alcohol, and people that that didn’t care about your well-being as much as they did the money. I had just turned 40 and all I wanted to do was focus on my health and my family.
Now that I can look at things with a different perspective, I can now see the above statement isn’t completely true. There are some very amazing kind people in this industry. My local residencies supported me and helped me with what I needed during the chaos. Without the team at The Cardiff in California, I would not have made it through the night Billy cheated death the second time. I needed to step away and step into who I am now and what DJing means to me in this moment before I could see the beauty in it again.
At the time, I decided to step fully into my Reiki and Coaching practice and switched my Instagram profile from @missdjlux to @luxhealingarts. I remember being so scared to do this! It was like I was deleting everything that I had worked so hard to create. At the time I thought I needed to completely shed that identity. I looked at it as a death instead of realizing I could be Lux Healing Arts and Miss DJ Lux at the same time.
As djing started to come back, I also navigated my way back. I realized I loved it. I found the pieces that were healthy and realized I get to choose who I work for and where I work. When Billy was fighting for his life, music was my escape. I got to leave the chaos for a few hours and DJ. I feel so much love every time I DJ and there is no feeling that I have found that replaces it.
Now I get to do what I love on my terms for venues and clients that care about me. I love what I do, and I am so excited to keep getting to do it. Last year during a Sundance, I made a post about being “back”. This year, I feel like I really am, and I am evolving into the woman I want to be more than anything. I show up into everything I do with integrity and love. I know I am going to continue to DJ as long as it keeps fueling my heart and my soul.
Cancer steals so many things, from not only the patient but also every member of the family that is living the experience with them. The fight is hard and long but healing from the chaos and stepping into whatever new path is before you are worth it. Billy beat stage 4 colon cancer. We are blessed. ✨
2024, Let’s GO! 🔥 - Amanda @luxhealingarts