Marczewski's Strength Through Breast Cancer
- In a new interview, America’s Got Talent breakout star Jane Marczewski, 30, details her experiences with cancer, and how it felt when her husband left her after she was diagnosed.
- Marczewski is currently battling breast cancer for the third time; in the past, she has treated it with chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.
- Keeping a positive attitude through cancer, and leaning on hope and faith, has been shown to help some survivors.
In a new interview with NBC’s Brad Johansen, the Ohio native told the Columbus anchor, “I can’t tell people what will happen, but I can tell people what is possible, I can show people what is possible.”
Marczewski tells Johansen about her terminal breast cancer, saying, “It’s incurable. It may ebb and flow through your life maybe, but at the end of the day, you’ll die.” Following her diagnosis, Marczewski shares how her husband left her when doctors told her she had three to six months to live back in 2019. “You can go down those dark roads and stay there because it’s so tragic,” she says, “Or you can go down those dark roads and come back.”
Of her breast cancer and the road ahead, she tells him, “I’m not afraid of it.”
While Marczewski is bravely sharing her cancer battle with the world now, that was initially the plan when she decided to audition. The talented singer says she went back and forth with trying to decide if she would share her diagnosis with the judges, for fear of getting pity.
“I absolutely hate the sob story. Partly just because of the way I was raised and just the way I am. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I am no a whiner or a complainer so I don’t ever enjoy that kind of attention at all,” Marczewski told Metro UK. “They actually had to cut things short for the episode but they actually had to ask a few more questions for a lot longer before I would reveal that I had cancer. I was doing my best not to mention it because I wanted to know that I’m good enough to be here.”
While Marczewski might have been scared to share her diagnosis with the world in fear of being a “sob story,” she ended up inspiring a nation. “I’m grateful that people don’t see me as someone who is just having a pity party. I am also grateful for the impact my story does have because I wouldn’t be here at this point without what I have experience,” she said. “Maybe there would have been another way for me to reach many people but it would never be what it is. But it possibly wouldn’t have meant as much, and my song would never hit as hard had it not been coming from someone who really has been lost. So, in the end, it’s all worked out for good.”
Marczewski’s Breast Cancer Battle
Marczewski shared on her blog that she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer on New Year’s Eve in 2019. Doctors found multiple tumors on her liver, lungs, lymph nodes, ribs, and spine. They told her she had three to six months to live.
Her battle with breast cancer began in 2017 when a 4-centimeter tumor was discovered on her breast. For treatment, Marczewski underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. She had a brief remission in 2020.
In an earlier interview, Dana-Farber oncologist Dr. Ann Partridge explains the process of deciding whether or not a patient should opt for a mastectomy – as Marczewski did – as part of their treatment path. She says, “So when I talk to a woman who comes to me and she has breast cancer, I evaluate what the standard options for treatment for her are, which typically include cutting out the cancer– which is either a lumpectomy if you can get it all with just a little scooping around of the area that’s abnormal or a mastectomy for some women meaning taking the full breast because sometimes these lesions can be very extensive in the breast.”
“I’ll talk to a woman about that and I’ll say these are two main options or the big fork in the road,” she says. “Depending on the size and other features, such as family history, a patient may opt for more aggressive surgery. And so even for early stage one breast cancer, a woman may elect a mastectomy to remove her whole breast.”
Staying Hopeful Through Cancer
For people like Marczewski, who so beautifully display strength, hope, and positivity through cancer, they’re an example of what’s possible. Staying hopeful and optimistic while fighting cancer is no easy feat, but it can help make the journey easier to bear, experts tell us.
In an earlier interview Cedars-Sinai colorectal surgeon, Dr. Zuri Murrell explains what he sees in patients who keep a positive outlook. He says, “My patients who thrive, even with stage 4 cancer, from the time that they, about a month after they’re diagnosed, I kind of am pretty good at seeing who is going to be OK. Now doesn’t that mean I’m good at saying that the cancer won’t grow,” he says.
“But I’m pretty good at telling what kind of patient are going to still have this attitude and probably going to live the longest, even with bad, bad disease,” says Dr. Murrell. “And those are patients who, they have gratitude in life.”