By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA
Marketing/Media Writer, Strategist and Consultant
Many well-known celebrities have battled breast cancer, and now speak out to help others suffering from the disease. Take a look at these inspirational celebrity breast cancer survivors who fought and won their battle against breast cancer.
“I had my biopsy at 8 in the morning,” she tells PARADE. “Within two hours, I knew I had cancer. Then, at 1 o’clock, I had to be on the set of The Sopranos. It was the scene in which Tony and Carmela were already divorced, and I’m telling him I’m going to take him for everything. It was a very angry scene for me, and that helped a bit, I’m sure. I had a miserably hard time holding on to my lines. It was a terribly frightening and surreal time, but I never missed a day of work, even on the worst chemo days. You have no idea at the time that there is a future. It’s a future that involves taking a trip to Sloan-Kettering hospital every six months to make sure I’m okay, but it’s just a part of who I am now. You learn to live with it and are amazed how you find ways to be grateful for it.”
“It’s a real showstopper when you get diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the big lessons for me was that, as much as we think we can control things by being fit and eating well and so on, there are just going to be things in life that you’re dealt for whatever reason. I think not having the power to control everything is where you will find the most opportunity. It demands that you let go. I think vulnerability offers you an opportunity for expansion,” Crow tells PARADE.
“By the time I was diagnosed, I felt like kind of a pawn in my own life. Everything I was doing was made out of taking care of everybody else. There’s a lot of fear in that—the fear of disappointing people if you say ‘no’ or of stepping on somebody’s feelings. I realized that the only person who could go through that treatment was me. Nobody could get on the radiation table except for me. It was very informative,” she said.
“I was 36 years old when I had breast cancer,” she tells PARADE. “The things I pray for are a lot different than they used to be. I pray that I’ll find joy and happiness in whatever comes my way rather than being totally focused on getting the thing that will advance my career. It’s not that I’m less ambitious, it’s just that I used to feel that if my life wasn’t a certain way I wasn’t going to be happy. Then I shifted gears in my consciousness. I really accept the fact that my life is blessed and that it doesn’t matter if I’m successful in this business or something else.”
“I probably felt a little more empowered because I’d gone through it with my mother but I didn’t want to talk about it while I was getting treatment,” she tells PARADE. “I just didn’t want to like shout from the rooftop, ‘I’m having radiation.’ But now that I’m OK, I don’t need to keep it a secret and I want to be able to help others. I’m a spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, which helps educate the 1.1 million women around the globe who face a diagnosis each year. “
“If you have a friend or family member with breast cancer, try not to look at her with ‘sad eyes.’ Treat her like you always did; just show a little extra love.”
“There is one thing I’ve learned for sure. It’s a life-changing thing to be in a position of needing help and being so lucky as to get it. And to feel like that’s okay,” she tells PARADE. “You can’t just take care of everybody else all the time. That’s almost as perspective-changing as the illness. For someone like me, that was kind of tough.”
“I’m feeling fine and clean,” she tells PARADE. “I’m actually healthier now because of better nutrition, yoga, a lot of hiking, and a spiritual awakening. October is breast-cancer month, and I spend more time then speaking and using my celebrity to help women become more aware. I think it’s working. The shame and the fear seem to be going away.”
Finally from myself as a cancer survivor – I say -“The worst thing you can do with any life-threatening disease is sit around all day waiting for the next test. If I die tomorrow I think I could look at myself in the mirror and say I tried everything I could to live as healthy a life as possible. I didn’t just sit around and hope that the next treatment might work.”