Wade Hayes on Second Cancer Diagnosis: 'We're Not Guaranteed Tomorrow'

Wade Hayes has battled cancer not once, but twice. The singer was first diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2011, and given slim chances of survival. Survive he did, only to have the cancer return one year later.

Now, Hayes is enjoying life once again cancer-free, and determined to make the most of the future he's been given.

"Music is very powerful," Hayes told PopCulture.com. "I've got to play, write songs, and play guitar for a living, and I've been very fortunate to get to do that. So, if I can help somebody in some way, through a song that I've written, I'm really into it."

Hayes' wrote "Go Live Your Life," which became the title track of his 2015 album, after his oncologist told him how uncommon it was for someone with his cancer diagnosis to live.

"He was telling me, 'It's nothing short of a miracle that you're still alive. There's no cancer anymore,'" Hayes recalled. "'You need to go live your life.' And I really took his words to heart, and I had to write that song. Think about it – this life is flying by us, and we're not guaranteed tomorrow. I was 41, 42 years old, and way too young to have the cancer that I had. But I not only had it, but was about to die from it. Most people didn't [live]. Everybody in my group there at Vanderbilt passed away, but me. Yeah. That will get your attention. It's an amazing thing. I'm glad to be here."

Hayes knows he is here for a reason, and he is determined to make the most of every day he's been given. The Oklahoma native has also a song, "Who Saved Who," about his rescue dog, Jack, who was with Hayes through every step of his recovery.

"I'm trying to take all these things in account, and I'm really, really trying to figure out what I'm supposed to learn from things," Hayes said. "Why am I still here? And the only thing that I can figure out is to tell my story ... Maybe with a song like 'Who Saved Who,' let somebody know that there are more weirdos out there that love their dogs like me, and just identify and let them know that there's plenty of us out there. We all suffer from the human condition.


"We're all dragging this flesh around," he added. "We've all got problems, so if I can help somebody in some small way, then that's what I'm into these days."

Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond