Guest Story: Melodies of Caring House

During sunny afternoons in late January at Caring House, you might have heard the sounds of piano music echoing through our Great Room. Sitting on the piano bench was Lorie, a guest that often played music after her appointments at Duke Cancer Institute, where she is receiving treatment for both lung and duodenal cancer. 

With obviously loved, worn sheet music on the piano stand, Lorie would play calming melodies that guests, volunteers, and staff could enjoy from anywhere in the house. She’s played piano ever since she was a little girl, even studying music in college. But after a 20-year hiatus from piano, she picked it up again at church back home in Virginia. 

During Lorie’s 3-week stay at Caring House, she found comfort in gathered meals with other guests and was grateful for shared stories with people going through similar cancer journeys. 

“I think that when you’re dealing with cancer, it’s scary enough. And you know, taking away that fear of being alone is important. You need people. You need support,” she said.

Many people find healing and hope in music. It’s no wonder it’s used in a therapeutic sense, offering relief for both physical and psychological pain. Caring House periodically hosts evening performances by piano players and other musicians, bringing together our guests to enjoy relaxing music. 

For some guests like Lorie, having a piano accessible to her during her stay gave her the opportunity to tap into a beloved hobby. “I hope it’s helped other people to find some peace. Music should make you move in some direction, have some kind of emotion, whether it’s sorrow or joy or peace. It needs to evoke some sort of emotion, and I hope it has done that for some people,” Lorie said. 

It is about 3pm and the soft notes of the piano ring through the house. It sounds like peace. 

Want to support guests like Lorie? Give to our mission and support our home away from home.

Written by: Kristen Luft, Communications Associate