The Importance of a Strong Support System
- After 41 years of marriage, Sharon Osbourne and her rockstar husband Ozzy are still going strong. Sharon recently took to Instagram to share a heartwarming photo from their special day back on July 4, 1082.
- However, the reasoning behind sharing the sweet throwback pic was more than just pointing out their long-lived relationshipit was to raise awareness and funds to help those affected by the devastating wildfires that have plagued Maui, Hawaii.
- Sharon and Ozzy have supported each other through major health challenges over the years, which included Sharon’s colon cancer fight a few years back and Ozzy’s struggle with faces Parkinson’s disease.
- Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Marianna Strongin says people faced with cancer should "surround [themselves] with individuals who care and support [them]" throughout treatment while also acknowledging their limits on what they can handle.
- "Going through [cancer] treatment is a very vulnerable and emotionally exhausting experience," Dr. Strongin wrote in a column for SurvivorNet. "Noticing what you have strength for and what is feeling like too muchâ€¦ [is] extremely important to pay attention to as you navigate treatment."
However, 70-year-old British-American TV personality’s reason behind sharing the sweet throwback pic was more than just pointing out their long-lived relationshipit was to raise awareness and funds to help those affected by the devastating wildfires that have plagued Maui, Hawaii.Read More
Texted placed over the dreary image read, “The buildings are gone. Lahaina Remains. -U’ilani Tevaga.”
Wildfires struck Maui on August, 8, 2023, and have been ravaging the island since, prompting thousands of people to be evacuated while responders fly in. Sadly, as of now, at least 99 people have tragically died due to the Maui wildfires, according to Hawaii News Now.
Aside from all the destruction that continues to take place on the Valley Isle, it’s great to see Sharon spreading the news to her fans in hopes to help support anyone in need on the Island.
Sharon appears to be someone who would do absolutely anyone for the ones she loves, or even the beloved places she’s been. In fact, the rock star couple supported each other through major health challenges over the years, which included Sharon’s colon cancer fight a few years back and Ozzy’s struggle with faces Parkinson’s disease.
The Osbournes’ love for each other is evident, two years ago on their wedding anniversary, Sharon thanked her husband for “most incredible life together.”
She wrote, “The crazy, wonderful and insane times. Yes, pain and sorrow too, but we got through it. We worked so hard for years professionally and personally. We succeed together.
“You are my soul, my life. What a fantastic life we have lived so far, the best thing is there's more to come. Every day is an adventure, every day I love you more and respect you more. My soulmate, my love and my friend here's to our next adventure! Love you always.”
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne’s Health Battles
Earlier this year, Ozzy announced he had to cancel tour dates while he continued to battle Parkinson's disease, a disorder that affects the nervous system and parts of the body controlled by the nerves, according to Mayo Clinic.
Last summer, the English singer had surgery to remove and realign pins in his neck and back, Page Six reported.
"It's been terribly challenging for us all. I did my last show New Year's Eve  at the Forum. Then I had a bad fall. I had to have surgery on my neck, which screwed all my nerves," Ozzy Osbourne told "Good Morning America" and fellow cancer warrior Robin Roberts in a 2020 interview.
More Stories On The Osbournes
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- After Beating Colon Cancer & Many Facelifts, Sharon Osbourne, 70, Steps Out As A Healthy Grandmother
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Prior to surgery, Ozzy dealt with nerve pain, blood clots, depression, and staph infections.
As for Sharon, she is a stage 3 colon cancer survivor who was first diagnosed in 2002. She had surgery to remove a foot of large intestine and some surrounding lymph nodes. She needed chemotherapy to kill any cancerous cells left behind.
With a powerful support group full of loved ones, she was able to beat the disease.
Sharon also underwent a preventable double mastectomy, a procedure in which breast tissue is removed to prevent cancer from developing in the future. She opted for the procedure after learning she had a genetic mutation that increased her chances of developing breast cancer.
Colon Cancer Basics
Sharon Osbourne’s colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects your large intestine (colon) or the end of your intestine (rectum).
The cancer starts when abnormal lumps called polyps grow in the colon or rectum. If you don't have these polyps removed, they can sometimes change into cancer. It takes up to 10 years for a colon polyp to become a full-blown cancer, according to SurvivorNet experts.
Most colon cancers can be prevented if people are regularly screened. The screening usually involves a colonoscopy, in which a long thin tube attached to a camera is used to examine the colon and rectum. If no polyps are discovered, the next screening won't be needed for about 10 years.
"We know that colon cancers can be prevented when polyps are found early," Dr. Heather Yeo previously told SurvivorNet. “Lowering the screening age helps somewhat with this, but access to care is a real problem.’
The American Gastrointestinal Association lowered the recommended initial age for a colorectal screening from 50 to 45.
Colon cancer symptoms and warning signs include:
- Change in bowel movement
- Bloody stool
- Diarrhea, constipation or feeling the bowel does not empty completely
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant abdominal pain or cramps
If you notice concerning symptoms or changes to your body, it's important to discuss them with your doctor promptly.
Treatment options for colon cancer may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and/or immunotherapy.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder affecting the nervous system and parts of the body controlled by the nerves, according to Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms tend to start slowly, such as a barely noticeable tremor in one of your hands. In Parkinson's disease, certain nerve cells in the brain gradually break down or die.
People 60 and older are at higher risk for Parkinson's disease. People with a family history of the disease are also at higher risk. Other risk factors include ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides and the male gender.
Common symptoms of Parkinson's disease include:
- Slowed movement
- Rigid or stiffness in your muscles
- Impaired posture and balance
- Loss of automatic movements such as eye-blinking, smiling or arm swinging while walking.
- Speech changes
- Writing changes
Having a Supportive Partner during a Cancer Battle
Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Marianna Strongin says people faced with cancer should "surround [themselves] with individuals who care and support [them]" throughout treatment while also acknowledging their limits on what they can handle.
"Going through [cancer] treatment is a very vulnerable and emotionally exhausting experience," Dr. Strongin wrote in a column for SurvivorNet. "Noticing what you have strength for and what is feeling like too muchâ€¦ [is] extremely important to pay attention to as you navigate treatment."
If you're ever in a relationship where you feel overwhelmed by how your partner is trying to support you, Dr. Strongin says you should try to communicate your feelings. This may help you decide if your partner is the person you want beside you "during this arduous chapter" of life.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is undeniably something patients and their supporters have to learn how to cope with.
According to MacMillan Cancer Support, communication is a vital tool in helping support a partner with cancer and it could help a couple understand each other better.
"Try to be yourself and live as normally as possible. Behaving differently may make your partner feel more aware of the cancer," the charity explains. "It can help to ask your partner what support they would like and find useful. This makes sure you help where it is most wanted and needed. It can also help you avoid misunderstandings."
The charity also advises partners to allow a loved one who is dealing with a disease to feel as if they are "still in control."
So it's important to allow someone who's battling cancer to have some control of things like family issues, their own care, and finances.
Finding the Support You Need
During a struggle with Parkinson's disease or a cancer battle, it's important to know that you are not alone. The Osbournes had each other, along with other family members and friends, by their side but you don't have a big family to get the support you need during a battle with disease.
There's always people out there for you to be vulnerable with, if you'd like, and connecting with others as you battle the disease can make a world of difference.
And it's normal to feel sad about changes in your life that might be brought on by a diagnosis.
"Grief comes in waves," says Dr. Scott Irwin, a psychiatrist and Director of Supportive Care Services at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "They're grieving the change in their life, the future they had imagined is now different." S
Some days can be tougher than others, but Dr. Irwin says talk therapy is helpful so it's important to reach out to your doctor, to a therapist or to support groups in your community.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff